As someone who loves to read, Lauren Belmont was happy to study English literature in college. Unsure of a career path following graduation, however, she decided to pursue a master’s in technical and scientific communications as a professional “safety net.” She soon discovered that instructional design is a great fit for her interests and skills. Now, as associate director of Academic Technologies, she helps Babson shape and realize its online and blended courses. Tracking trends and exploring innovative technologies makes her work exciting, notes Belmont, who also likes to push boundaries outside of the office.
What was your first job? I worked for The Home Depot’s corporate office near Atlanta. They wanted young, creative people to help them design training courses for store employees. I’d put on an apron and work alongside associates who had been there for 20 years and knew every single type of drill bit, fastener, and saw, and I learned extensively about the products myself so that I could design the training.
How did you come North? It was the dot-com boom, and I had a surprising number of job offers from all over. But one was from the Boston area, where my brother was living at the time. He said it’s a great place for young people in technology, and the company paid for my relocation.
When did you come to Babson? In 2005. I was married, and we wanted to start a family—I have three girls—but the company I was working for was small and didn’t have any maternity leave. I talked with HR, and they were nice but not open to any flexibility in my schedule. Babson has been really flexible with me in terms of work-life balance. They made it work in a way that I feel a lot of companies don’t for women.
What are your job responsibilities? I still do some course design and content development, but I’m probably more focused right now on curriculum and production, just because there are so many programs that we’re involved with. I also focus a lot on faculty training, which I love.
What are your hobbies? I’m definitely one of those people who has my Kindle with me all the time. I love historical fiction, particularly anything about World War II or the Civil War. And I’m sort of a thrill-seeker at heart, so you can often find me at Revolution Trapeze in Stow. I started to do flying trapeze a few years ago. It seemed like a good adrenaline rush—and it really is.—Donna Coco