Mihret Tamrat recently joined the team this month as an Instructional Design Fellow. Mihret brings a wealth of experience – ranging from education, language, development and more. We sat down with her to learn a bit more about her background. Welcome to the TechChange team, Mihret!
Q: So…how’s your first month going?
Fantastic! I love the atmosphere and my coworkers – I feel right at home. I get up every morning excited to start work.
Q: Could you share a bit about your background before joining the TechChange team?
I grew up in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia and moved to the U.S. in the summer of 2013. I graduated from Cornell University with a B.A. in Economics and minor in History this past May. Before my TechChange fellowship, I had interned at Eleni LLC (a company that built agricultural commodity exchanges for emerging markets based in Ethiopia), the Innovations for Poverty Action (in Lusaka, Zambia), and Harlem RBI (an education nonprofit in New York City).
Q: What originally interested you in joining TechChange?
I was immediately drawn to TechChange because it encompassed the three things that I want to focus my career on: education, technology, and international development. When I was in high school, I knew I wanted to do something to help improve the quality of education for people in my community. TechChange solves part of the problem by providing high quality engaging and accessible educational materials to development workers.
Q: How does Instructional Design fit into your interests? What interests you in your projects?
I used to struggle to get my nine and ten-year-old students to write creative plays when I worked as an Odyssey of the Mind coach in Ithaca, NY. I quickly learned that regardless of how much information I threw at them, sometimes the delivery is more important than the material itself. A well thought out instructional design ensures the material gets its spotlight. Instructional design is all about structuring material in a way that maximizes understanding, engagement, and retention. At TechChange, I love the challenge of thinking through how a user will go through the material that we prepare and how best to present it. As a bonus, we get to work with our in-house creative team, so the possibilities are endless.
Q: What is one thing that you’d love to learn or do this Fall?
This is the first time I will be working in e-learning and I’m excited to sharpen my Articulate Storyline 360 skills. I think it’s a great tool that will serve me well in my career.
Q: Lastly, what’s something that not a lot of people know about you?
I speak four languages: Amharic, Tigrinya, English, and French. However, I wouldn’t call myself a native speaker in any of them. My love of Middle Eastern history led me to my passion for belly dance, which has lasted three years and counting!