Entrepreneurial Alum Invests in the Future’s Training Experts

As one of the University of Houston Human Resource Development program’s biggest fans, training and learning consultant James (Jay) Clancy’s decision to hire four undergraduate student interns was not a very tough one to make. “Consultants, entrepreneurs and small businesses   normally do not assume this kind of risk. Building an internship program is a huge, but very worthwhile investment. Making this an amazing experience for our clients and the students is our challenge and major concern,” said Jay. “In the long run, by making this investment in our future training professionals, we are also creating better learning solutions, and ultimately improving socio-economic conditions,” he said.

Consultant and entrepreneur James (Jay) Clancy’s interest in training began after earning a B.S. in Psychology from Texas A&M University. When he heard about the University of Houston’s training and development program, Jay pursued his M.S. in Training and Development in the Department of Human Development and Consumer Science a few years later. Since then, he has earned several certifications in training, learning design, and facilitation. His company, Strategic Ascent, LLC, specializes in curriculum and learning design and group process facilitation, primarily serving oil and gas clients like Shell, Exxon, and Chevron. An avid and dedicated supporter, Jay currently serves on the UH Human Resource Development Advisory Board.

”Our goal is to coach the students and prepare them to make tremendous differences in organizations here and around the world,” said Jay. His wife and business partner, Monica Clancy agrees. “UH is close to our heart. There are other programs around, but we would not go anywhere else for talent. This internship opportunity is a win-win and aligns with our business needs and also helps prepare students for successful careers,” she said.

During their time with Strategic Ascent, the team will develop plans and produce training materials for various clients. “Since they will start with the design phase, it presents a great opportunity for learning to approach projects strategically,” said Jay.

Working with our assigned coach and senior project consultants, the interns will be expected to manage and complete deliverables on time, within budget, and according to quality standards.

The interns were selected because they demonstrated talent extends beyond the classroom. “In addition to their energy, enthusiasm, and passion for learning, there are excellent team dynamics and diversity of talent, ranging from writing, to art and graphics which are critical elements in designing learning experiences,” said Jay.

Jay offers advice to HRD students regarding their pursuit of successful careers:

Classroom work provides the strong foundation. In addition, it is important to get good at what you do, understand how to deal with diversity, and build coaching skills through experience.

Some organizations assume that their human resource and training goals can be met without investing in formal professional training. Therefore, the role is often misunderstood and the value becomes questionable.

People who are good at knowing how to add value are the ones who become the most successful.