By Siobhan O’Neill Meluso
Communications Coordinator
Benedictine Sisters of Chicago

As a lifelong learner who appreciates flexibility, I’m a huge supporter of LinkedIn Learning (previously Before I was hired by the Benedictine Sisters of Chicago a year and a half ago, I had dabbled with Adobe Photoshop for social media purposes in previous jobs and for my own personal photography but I had merely “viewed only” projects in Adobe InDesign. Because biannual newsletter magazines for the Sisters are created through Adobe InDesign, I needed to expeditiously learn and refine my skills for the sake of the upcoming winter/spring newsletter. Thankfully, through my CWR membership, I was able to take a few courses on InDesign and successfully get the magazine to print on time! Phew!

Like any new job, the first few months were crazy. However, thanks to the flexibility provided by courses that ranged from general overviews to specific skills for InDesign, I was able to hone my new-found skills at my own pace. Some days I would watch an hour’s worth of content and others I would watch five minutes or re-watch a section of the course. Re-listening to a course while working on something else—in the same way you might listen to a podcast—also helped solidify some of my skills.

After surviving learning a new job and publishing the newsletter on a new platform, I later revisited to see what else it had to offer. I stumbled upon a writing course with a great British instructor who fostered a creative outlet and provided a break for me in between the busy tasks of the day. Perhaps it was just the soothing accent, but taking that course provided some much-needed moments each day to focus on the art of storytelling. I believe that as communications professionals we are, at heart, storytellers and I don’t want to forget that.

I was inspired to take a Photoshop course on creating a portrait collage after receiving a magazine with an incredible blend of photos on the cover. I still want to replicate and learn that skill, but I know I will in time and at my own pace. And when I wanted to create a timeline of the history of Prioresses in our latest newsletter magazine, I searched for a course on InDesign timeline templates and landed on my preferred template style through the skills I learned from the course. The timeline I created has received several compliments too!

Now that we are officially integrated with LinkedIn Learning, I’m very excited to continue to take advantage of this remarkable feature of our CWR membership. LinkedIn Learning also allows you to download certificates and add them to your LinkedIn profile upon completion of a course—that’s amazing. I’m excited to see what recommended courses will be available through the “From Your Organization” tab too. And after listing in my profile some skills that I’m interested in like logo design, typography and digital marketing, several suggested courses from LinkedIn Learning have piqued my interest and I’ve added them to my queue. We all know how fast our industry changes and I’m grateful to keep up through this incredible resource, one course at a time.