This week we recognize Jenni and Ramy at Stellic for this week’s dual Vendition Apprentice of the Week nomination. Jenni, a recent grad of University of Oregon, and Ramy, fresh out of CalPoly, got in touch with Vendition around graduation and found their homes in higher ed tech shortly thereafter.
Read the rest to learn their Vendition story:
Jenni first shares that she didn’t plan to go into sales while in college, but she knew technology was a good industry to pursue coming out of her four years. Having studied PR and Advertising at the University of Oregon, she had plenty of experience in that particular space and she found a way to apply it to tech sales. “I don’t have a business degree, and I figured that I wanted to go more into advertising and PR while in school. But when I learned more about Vendition and sales—how it was a mix of the strategy found in ad/pr and a mix of sales skills I had acquired working at Nordstrom—it really worked out. I was most excited to work in tech sales because it’s an ever-changing industry. Technology is constantly advancing and accomplishing the unthinkable.”
Ramy says that similar to Jenni, she hadn’t planned to go into sales while in school but given her business background, she knew it was a good option. “I didn’t have a specific plan approaching graduation as I didn’t know what I wanted to do exactly. I had a business degree, and I figured [tech sales] was a good way to get my foot in the door. I was most excited to learn more about a specific market in technology that I was interested in, as well as building/nurturing relationships when connecting with people. Vendition was pretty appealing for that reason, and it’s gotten me to a really good place.”
Both share that it was a clear fit when it came to joining the Stellic team.
Jenni says she felt a connection with the team right away–a good indicator she’d be a fit. “Stellic was a culture fit because I felt like I instantly connected with everybody on the team. During my in-person interview, I forgot that I was in the middle of an interview because it felt like I was having a conversation with a friend. [Since interviewing, I’ve learned that] our team has very similar values, priorities, interests and communication styles, which makes working together easy and non-work related events fun!”
Ramy says it was a fit based on her interests and echoes Jenni’s take on the team. “[What made Stellic stand out] was that I had experience in higher education in my junior and senior years. While interviewing, I felt that they had a similar communication style to me, they were passionate, and I instantly felt like they really cared about each other and the company values.”
Ramy says she didn’t know what to expect starting out but it’s been a great transition regardless. “For me, I think day one and it being my first real job post grad, I didn’t know what I was expecting going into it. It was fast paced, and I was learning a lot really quickly. It was nice to have Sam starting out—I found that I used him for help with sales in general. Today even, I feel like I’m still learning new things, and I’m super thankful for Sam and Gabriella for finding such a good company fit and helping me start out. The three months of my apprenticeship flew by, and looking back I know I learned a lot from Stellic, Entangled and Vendition.”
Jenni says that the guidance she experienced from the entire process, start to finish, helped her to get to Stellic and her successes in the first place. “What I found most valuable from Vendition was the mentorship to find these companies and opportunities in the first place. It being my first job out of college, Gabriella was there to guide me and support me. It’s crazy to think how things would be if I hadn’t gone through the apprenticeship program. It’s great working with innovative, creative thinkers. I was most excited to work in the higher education industry because as a recent college graduate, my struggles were still very fresh in my mind and it’s very motivating knowing that I can help eliminate these problems for students still in college.”
Jenni continues, “Once I got into the company, it was really helpful to get sales advice from Sam. It’s easy to get down on yourself when you start from scratch, and he was there to pick us back up. Like Ramy said, sometimes higher ed tech can be different than other types of tech, so Sam really helped us with putting processes in place, getting the wording down, and we learned more about the specific style from our boss. The collaboration was really helpful and insights from all sides really helped.”
Ramy echoes, “On a small team you have to take ownership of everything you do. I was most excited about Stellic because I had finally found a product/mission that I really cared about, believed in, and related to. I felt like I was part of an awesome team that was making a difference for students.”
Jenni and Ramy’s Tips for SDRs starting out:
- Give it time, time helps everything and helps you practice. Ramy advises you’ll get a lot of advice from a lot of different people, and sometimes it can get confusing. “It’s great getting advice, but also try to stick to what you know. Time is the best way to get in the groove of things. I’ve changed a lot from my first day to now.”
- Think outside the box, don’t follow things too closely. It’s easy to see the job as following a ton of processes. When Jenni was first onboarding, she would make a calendar every day and it would seem like a repetitive job. Ultimately the way she found the most success is thinking outside the box, to change things up to set meetings.
- Get exposure. Getting in on the ground floor, both Jenni and Ramy share that they’ve been able to take on different side projects and gain exposure to various departments within Stellic. Jenni says a win for her is just that: exposure. “With a small company, we’ve gotten to wear multiple hats and roles. We got to dip our toes in account management, business development, of course, and marketing, to name a few. We got to experience a lot of different roles at such an early point in our careers. It’s been a difficult challenge, but extremely rewarding, and I feel that I’ve grown so fast. It’s cool to see what we do as a BDR, see it go through the process, and how it impacts the entire company.”
Congratulations again, Jenni and Ramy! The Vendition team is proud of you to have helped you both find the right fit. Continue to bring your learning mindsets and your dedication to helping students to work, and we know you’ll continue to see success at Stellic.