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SMNYC 2024: LPG edu Founder and Netflix Global Ed Alum Lori Greene Talks Career Pivots and Finding Your Purpose

At Streaming Media NYC 2024, Tim Siglin, Founding Executive Director, Help Me Stream Research Foundation, and Contributing Editor, Streaming Media, sits down for an interview with Lori Greene, Founder, LPG edu. Greene formerly ran global education at Netflix. She discusses the challenges of teaching online and the importance of engaging students. She also shares her insights on career development, emphasizing the importance of understanding one's purpose, personal branding, networking, and being a positive force.

Greene's experience at Netflix and how it helped her grow as an educator

Greene says she was lucky to work at Netflix for four and a half years running Global Education. “I created an education strategy to enable us to scale, and we did training in 20 countries on six continents in many different subject areas of entertainment because Netflix does local content for local audiences using local crew,” she says. “That crew isn't always as skilled in global best practices, and they all want to be. So we went in, and we would train them. After that, I started my own education consulting company doing education strategy, curriculum development, e-learning, and live training.”

Greene also discusses her university teaching work. “I've taught for 15 years at NYU,” she says. “I teach a master's class at Fordham. I taught another master's class at Temple. In fact, my Fordham dean is here today, and so is my mentee. So I love the idea of teaching because it really helps with my purpose, which is to help people be the best that they can be.”

Siglin mentions that both of his parents were teachers and that he never imagined he could stand up in front of a room of students and engage with them in effective ways. “And just last week, at the charity that I run, I had to go present for an hour to four seventh and eighth-grade classes,” he says. “And as I told Eric Schumacher-Rasmussen, who used to run the Streaming Media shows, I was more nervous about that than I've been about [presenting] panels in probably 20 years because seventh and eighth graders are totally real. And they also gave me some really good feedback about their frustrations in streaming, including things like audio, video, and latency problems.”

Siglin asks Greene more about her time at Netflix. “Was part of that pre-covid and part of that post-covid?” Greene tells him she was there only five or six months before the pandemic hit. “So, did anything change in the pedagogy and how you delivered it, or were you already using the Zoom equivalent of things?” Siglin says.

“I was already teaching online,” Greene says. “I've been teaching online for years and years. It's much harder in a lot of ways to teach online. You have to have a lot of energy and make sure you're constantly changing up your slides, getting them into breakout sessions, getting them to not just look at a ‘sage on the stage,’ but to really think about what they're learning.”

Greene's dynamic role at Streaming Media NYC’s career track

Siglin asks Greene about her role in Streaming Media NYC’s career track, a new element that Program Chair and Host Evan Shapiro introduced to the Streaming Media conferences.

“I think it was really smart to bring that to the mix because so many people are out of work, and if they're not out of work, they're worried about being out of work,” Greene says. “So we had Jayzen Patria talk about how to brand yourself. And then afterward, we talked about how to take your brand and market it with a panel that I put together [‘Marketing You & Networking For Keeps’], with [Andy Pondillo] from LinkedIn, Dayo Harewood from Paramount Brand Studio, a recruiter, Karen Morgan from Morgan Search International, and Sara Demenkoff, an Entertainment Marketing Consultant from JustWatch. And that was amazing! We couldn't get people to leave the room to go to the cocktail party because it was so engaging. I think it was very effective and people seemed to really hunger for it and want to know how they can do better in their career.”

Siglin says, “And to a certain extent, you've got the perfect example yourself, having worked in a large corporation and then pivoting over to LPG edu. Do you find people want to just go from one big company to another big company, or do they want to go start their own thing?”

“I think it's hard for people to know right now,” Greene says. “It's so hard to find a job. I'm helping a bunch of students get internships right now. I do people's resumes and LinkedIn profiles and I write bios for people. And really, I think what they want is just a job that satisfies them. It's so hard to get a job in a big company. Everyone's doing layoffs. Everyone's really rethinking it. A lot of people I know that are looking for jobs just want a job.”

Siglin says, “What I've found intriguing, working with a number of startups, is that people were comfortable in the work-for-home model, but then the mandates came down, and they had to come back to the office, and they said, ‘No, I've experienced that freedom. I'd rather go off and do my own thing.’ Maybe [they won’t] make quite as much, to begin with, but it keeps that fulfillment of not having to constantly go back to the office where it felt like busy work or having to sit in your seat as you did in elementary school.”

Greene says that at the moment, the economy is difficult enough that people will return to an office full-time just for the sake of having a job. Still, ultimately, she views the hybrid model as an ideal mix because working with people in person can be dynamic and fulfilling in ways that a fully work-from-model is not.

Purpose, identity, and volunteering: Greene's core career advice for the near-term economy

Siglin asks, “What's good career advice that somebody should think about six months from now and a year from now?”

“Definitely understand your purpose,” Greene says. “Don't just do something for the sake of doing it because there's money there.” She also emphasizes thinking about who you are as a brand. “Jayzen Patria spoke about whether you are coffee or Starbucks. Are you a commodity or a brand? So I think that's really important. Then, on our panel, we talked a lot about the power of LinkedIn. I think it has done amazing things for me, and I think it's done amazing things for Evan [Shapiro]. I think that's how many people discovered Evan and hired him. And for me, LinkedIn helped me get my job at Netflix. Somebody I knew that I had worked with when I was at BBC found me on LinkedIn, and I said, ‘Why did you think of me for this job?’ And he said, ‘Because I was reading your posts on LinkedIn, and I knew you would fit the culture.’”

Greene also highlights the importance of volunteering as another way of career development networking. “One of the reasons I started another business, LPG Enterprises, which is a marketing and content creation consultancy and personal branding, is because I was on the board of New York Women in Communications, and I had a lot of my client base from there. So volunteer! There are a lot of steps that you can do in the process. In the end, you have to really work at it, especially in this economy.”

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