The Unexpected Journey of Ashley Kennedy: From Film Editing to Online Education Leader

Many of us dream of a straightforward career path, but life often has other plans. Such is the case for Ashley Kennedy, a senior staff instructor at LinkedIn Learning and a leading figure in media education. Her journey, chronicled in the TV Matters podcast, is a fascinating exploration of unexpected turns, adaptation, and a lifelong passion for storytelling.

This blog post builds upon the excellent coverage found on, providing additional insights and a link to the full podcast interview.

A Blossoming Love for Storytelling

Ashley’s passion for weaving narratives began in her hometown, leading her to pursue broadcast journalism in college. However, a deeper fascination with in-depth narratives drew her towards film, culminating in an MFA degree. It was during her graduate studies that she discovered an unexpected talent – teaching. Serving as a teaching assistant for television production classes ignited a joy she hadn’t anticipated.

A Detour that Shaped Expertise

Armed with a film degree and a newfound love for education, Ashley envisioned a career in documentary film editing. Fate, however, had a different path in store. While a technical editing instructor role at Avid Technologies wasn’t exactly what she planned, Ashley’s characteristic adaptability led her to embrace the challenge. This “detour” proved to be a valuable learning experience. She not only mastered the technical intricacies of Avid systems but also honed her skills as a video editing instructor, eventually leading certification programs for seasoned editors worldwide.

The Rewards of Witnessing Growth

The year 2008 brought another unexpected turn with a layoff from Avid. But this setback proved to be a stepping stone. Ashley quickly secured a teaching position at Columbia College Chicago. Here, she not only taught core video production courses but also created new advanced Avid editing programs. Witnessing students develop their skills and blossom throughout their academic journeys became a source of immense satisfaction for Ashley.

Embracing the Rise of Online Education

As the educational landscape evolved, so did Ashley’s teaching repertoire. During her time at Columbia, she ventured into the burgeoning world of online education, creating video tutorials for (now LinkedIn Learning). This marked the beginning of her journey in straddling both traditional classroom environments and the online learning sphere. Ashley acknowledges the challenge of fostering a personal connection in online tutorials compared to the physical classroom. To bridge this gap, she emphasizes the importance of warmth, empathy, and a genuine understanding conveyed through her voice.

An Inspiration for the Evolving World of Education

Ashley’s story is a testament to the adaptability and diverse skillsets required to thrive in the ever-evolving world of media education. It’s a journey fueled by a passion for storytelling and a love for connecting with students, both online and offline. Dive deeper into Ashley’s inspiring journey by listening to the full podcast.

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