We are excited to welcome our new Innovation Training Specialist, Tamara Bertram to CFI! Tamara was asked to answer a series of questions pertaining to her professional background and what she hopes to accomplish in her new position.
Who are you, what is your position title, and what are you hoping to accomplish in this position?
My name is Tamara Bertram and my position is Innovation Training Specialist. I am looking forward to building a strong team of Creativity Fellows, made up of UND graduate students who I will work with to develop their creative problem solving, design thinking, and facilitation skills. I am also excited to get the Eureka program going which will extend the reach of CFI in the community and in the state, and help even more businesses and start-ups come up with great solutions to their business problems and goals.
What are you most excited about in your new position?
I am excited to work with many new people: a great creative team of colleagues at CFI, local and regional businesses, start-ups, and UND students.
What are some interesting facts about you?
I grew up in Sydney, Australia and I also lived in Milan, Italy for 8 years. I am a proficient viola player and a very creative person. I love painting and I also love to dance. I am an excellent cook and as a child, I learned many delicious Italian recipes from my Italian grandmother “nonna.” She also taught me how to knit, sew and crochet.
Briefly explain your background. Degrees, past positions, what brought you to this new role?
I started out with a Bachelor’s degree in Organizational Learning from the University of Technology Sydney. It was the perfect blend of adult education and business. I chose a management major and also combined the degree with a B. Arts in International Studies, where I focused my research project on Creative Industry Clusters and spent a study abroad year in Italy. Following this, I stayed in Italy and enrolled into the Milan Conservatory of Music, where I completed a Bachelor’s degree in viola performance. I then got offered the amazing opportunity to come to UND to complete my Master’s in Music and I stayed to complete a PhD in Music Education (and I am almost finished with that!). I am an experienced educator/teacher, having taught in various capacities for over 18 years, so it just made sense to come full circle and return to a job that focused on adult education, training, facilitation, creativity, innovation and business. I have taught students of all ages, ranging from children through to senior citizens, in many varied disciplines. I have also gained extensive entrepreneurial start-up experience through the creation of my own successful music business. When this job came up, I thought it was the perfect fit for me!
What skills do you have that you believe benefit you for this position?
During my time in previous employment positions and throughout my education career I feel I have developed a whole range of skills including: teaching experience, strong leadership skills, familiarity with creating training, workshops and courses, and excellent writing, interpersonal and verbal communication skills. My administrative and leadership positions have also prepared me to exercise initiative, empathy, flexibility, and possess quantitative and analytical skills. I am also familiar with mentorship as it is a central focus of my PhD dissertation, and I have mentored student teachers for the past two years. With regards to creating training, workshops and courses, during my Master’s at UND, I researched and created an online course, teaching self-directed learning skills to undergraduate music students.