An Apple For The Teacher

About Jul 02, 2020

Moira Gagen, a Former Apple Training Specialist, started her career as a school teacher. She taught students in the UK, Germany, and the United States. Once settled in California, Moira found it hard to live on a public school salary as she was given no credit for her non-US experience. Moira researched her options within teaching and having heard about a growing new company, Apple, she dialed the company switchboard and asked naively, “Do you need a teacher? As they say, the rest is history.

Moira at the time she joined Apple.

In her 20+ years at Apple, Moira spearheaded some of the most innovative teaching programs in the industry. She is most proud of her work in Apple Retail (a personal project of Steve Jobs) and the training that shaped the language and behavior of Apple stores and the Genius Bar. Technical help in 2000 was painful — customers were either talked down to or blinded by science. The Genius Bar team made it their mission to help everyone understand the scope and power of Apple products. The team built an entire mock retail store on campus and practiced customer service conversations for weeks before they were allowed to work in a store.

Moira says little things matter. She taught Apple Geniuses to ask not, “What’s wrong with it?“ but rather, “How can I help — Can you describe the issue….Can you show me…What do you need your Mac to do”?

In terms of customer care, Apple wanted to be the Ritz Carlton of Tech. Moira’s job was to train Mac Specialists. Managers and Geniuses to see things from the customers’ viewpoint and make what had often been a humiliating experience one of “surprise and delight. ”

At 60+ Moira is still breaking stereotypes. She is now part of the GetSetUp Academy, training retired teachers on software onboarding. Moira advises, “Don’t judge a book by its cover.” For example, don’t assume a senior finds it hard to understand certain concepts. Ask good questions and engage before you judge.

As a teacher, she is passionate about seeing the lightbulb turn on for learners. This means knowing your audience, being flexible, and asking rather than telling. At 66 Moira also brings a first-hand perspective to how retired people learn.

Moira developed a customized GetSetUp training program. Her training focuses on two key aspects of the GetSetup Academy — Customer Engagement Skills and Virtual Instructor-Led Training. This ensures that all GetSetUp Guides know how to facilitate a virtual environment, and how to teach older adults in an empathetic, fun, and engaging environment.

Moira’s talents show how wisdom collected over decades can continue to be used and applied in new and innovative ways to budding technology and innovations. Knowledge never goes out of style and is always needed!

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