Staff Spotlight | Desmond Vest

Training Specialist and Content Coordinator Desmond Vest loves to talk, but that wasn’t always the case.

“I was really shy growing up,” said Vest. “I couldn’t really talk to strangers and my hands would shake when I had to get up in front of class. When I went to college, I realized that I could talk to anyone, I could be whoever I wanted to be. I could reinvent myself. Now, I love talking and listening to people and asking questions.”

After graduating with a degree in economics from Cal State Fullerton, he made the move to Utah with his girlfriend, who grew up in the state. He first landed a position with the Utah System of Higher Education (USHE) as a data analyst, where his supervisors quickly realized his penchant for chatting with coworkers and moved him into more supervisory roles.

“That job was more about managing people. I wanted to be in a position where I was building relationships and not just hiring or firing people,” he said.

He moved on to work as a technology trainer for Universal Music Group, where he was charged with training all of the company’s staff, all over the world.

“I was doing content creation, instructional design and a lot of teaching,” he said. “I guess you could say I was wearing all the hats.”

Wearing all those hats helped prepare Vest for his role on the Communications, Training and Outreach (CTO) team, which he joined in August of 2023. He – along with Instructional Designer Genevieve King and Associate Director of Training Lindsay Mapes – work across the department to help create thoughtful, user-centered trainings.

“On the training team, we’re doing any sort of content that people in [Financial Services] need help with. I manage any sort of content that we come up with and make sure it’s living in the right spot and that it’s up-to-date,” he said. “I also get to help make demo videos, create written guides and instructional materials for future trainings.”

“We [the training team] really are just here to help,” said Vest. “We want to help people around us the best that we can. And sure, we want it to look nice and be useful – but isn’t that part of being useful? I think we’re all just trying to do whatever we can to make things easier for others and that’s what I really enjoy about the work that I do.”

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