Katie Stripe, Senior Learning Technologist, National Heart and Lung Institute

I work in both the Faculty of Medicine and the National Heart and Lung Institute as a learning technologist and learning designer, focusing on the digital aspects of postgraduate courses and the implementation of digital tools through the curriculum review.

I will very soon be moving to a full-time role in the Faculty of Medicine as the Senior Learning Designer for the Attributes and Aspirations project, as well as being involved in two Excellence Fund for Teaching and Learning Innovation projects – IMPACTS and IMPLEMnT.

My background is in teaching English as a foreign language. I worked for a small independent language agency in Prague and fell into online content because of a need to reach a wider audience – this was in 2006, in the Czech Republic, on Windows 95. The tools I had then don’t compare to what we all have available now.

I moved back to the UK in 2010 to complete my Diploma in Teaching in Lifelong Learning, hoping to move into adult education. Having qualified, I talked my way into a learning support role at the University of Brighton where I was given my first Blackboard course and I have not looked back since. In 2013, I was doing freelance work combining learning technology and English language when a learning technologist job came up at Imperial.

Of course, I didn’t think I stood a chance. I was a less than exceptional university student struggling with my sexuality and mental health – I used to think: ‘how could I possibly work at one of the best institutions in the world?’ But someone saw potential in me, and here I am. I still wake up sometimes wondering how I got here, but I am extremely proud of the work I have done so far, and grateful to the amazing people I have worked with. I am excited about future challenges and I wish I could tell my younger self that it gets better. I wouldn’t have believed me, but regardless of your history, you can achieve great things.

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