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5 Programs to Support Your Learning and Growth at Appian

Kelly Kelly Kennedy


Before I joined Appian, I worked at a university helping students figure out their life and careers after school.  

I’ve found that I really enjoy working in the transitions of life, helping people navigate the complexities and ambiguities of trying something new. When you’re changing jobs, careers, or industries, there’s a lot of uncertainty. 

I felt this in my own experience with Appian. When I joined, it was a shift to work in a corporate tech environment and didn’t know what to expect.

Today, I work on the  Talent Development team and there are a lot of similarities to my past roles. So much of my day to day work is about helping people find a strong, supported place to launch and grow from. 

I want to share five ways we support employees’ learning and career growth. 

Meet Kelly Kennedy

1. Appian University

This is our very own online course library and curriculum that has everything from onboarding training to team-specific technical courses.

We partner with each department and determine the skills their team needs to learn, and then work with in-house and external experts to create courses based on those needs. Sometimes it includes people management skills like emotional intelligence, or specific technical expertise. Other popular courses are on employee development topics, such as navigating difficult conversations, and how to develop your leadership skills at work. 

2. The Manager Portal 

Even when you’re experienced in your career, becoming a people manager for the first time requires a big shift in how you work. It’s a very different role than an individual contributor.

With many Appian employees being promoted and growing into manager roles, our Talent Development team asked:

  • How can we clarify what to expect when you’re a manager? 
  • What training do new managers need for the transition? 
  • How are we providing resources that are easily accessible? 

We created the Managers Portal that lives on our home intranet with resources, training that’s available, and information on how our team can support people.

3. Leadership workshops: Presentations, managing up, and career transitions 

Career development workshops are offered throughout the year to all employees, either by an in-house expert or a guest speaker. One of our most popular ones was on managing up about understanding the context behind decisions and pressures your manager is under. Another popular workshop is on presentation skills, and how to adapt your presentations when your audience is in-person, online, or a hybrid. 

It’s also very common at Appian to have employees transition into new careers and new departments within the company. To help facilitate that, we host workshops featuring leaders across teams and people who have grown into new career paths at Appian through following their interests.  

4. Mentorships

Appian has eight employee-led Affinity Groups that play a key part in creating community and opportunities to meet coworkers outside of everyday work. The AppianWomen Mentorship Program matches women across the company and offers career growth opportunities and networking. Christine Danzi, AppianWomen Mentorship Program Leader, shared her experience developing the first mentorship program.

AppianRise supports personal and professional development for employees early in their careers. They organize a mentorship for interns every summer, and aim to make your first job less isolating. 

5. The Appian First Friend Program

To be set up for success, sometimes you need that one person in your corner, cheering you on. We ensure new employees have that person from the moment they start with Appian. The First Friend Program is part of orientation for all employees when they join. You’re paired with a buddy on another team to get that warm welcome, and have a go-to person you can turn to. 

Being set up to learn and grow at Appian isn’t just set programs you can participate in, it’s having a built in network of people who will encourage you along the way. 


What’s important to remember about learning and development is that your career interests change over time. The goal is to give employees a strong place to launch from that sets the tone for their whole experience at Appian. 

I’ve realized most of my work across different jobs and industries relates back to building communities that help people feel a sense of belonging. That’s what I’ve found in my role now at Appian as well. To grow in your career, you need to be in an environment that supports your learning, and that’s what these programs are really all about. 


Written by

Kelly Kennedy

Kelly is a Talent Development Specialist II at Appian.