This week, we recognize Jamila Alani at Bridge as Vendition’s Apprentice of the Week!  Prior to joining the Bridge team, Jamila had worked as a staff assistant for the U.S. House of Representatives, and though she loved her experience, she realized she wanted to take on a new challenge in sales given she enjoyed the client facing aspect of her role and wanted to double down.  Jamila says that sales hadn’t crossed her mind as a career path during college.  “It was only after my first job, as the staff assistant at the US House of Representatives office when I realized I really enjoyed the building relationships aspect of my job. I was also looking for a challenge, and I wanted to be pushed professionally. I found that sales was the perfect combination for what I was looking for: the client facing component with, you know, a challenge.”

Since starting at Bridge in January, Jamila has built up her confidence as an SDR and taken on new challenges in Bridge’s outreach process. 

Read the rest to learn Jamila’s story:


The opportunity with Bridge was compelling for two reasons. “I was so drawn to Bridge because first, the mission is about bringing a solution to a broken process. Secondly, that process is immigration and my parents are immigrants: I have personally been affected by the immigration process.”  

Jamila’s manager Kevin Gong, also a Vendition Apprenticeship alum, credits Jamila as having a noticeable impact on their team. “Jamila is integral to helping our team grow and lead with more empathy. She consistently shows curiosity about pushing the limits of our outreach as an organization and is always eager to work on side projects. It makes a big difference to have such a relational team player like Jamila on our team!”

Since starting, Jamila’s biggest area of growth has been confidence in herself.  “You know, you think about the number that’s dangling over your head. But in reality, you’ve got everyone asking, ‘What do you need help with?’ ‘What are you failing at?’ then ‘Let’s work on that. Let’s hone in on that.’ And so that’s not only helped my confidence but it’s also helped me reach my quota.”

In regards to her expectations starting as an Apprentice at Bridge, Jamila notes that she had three main goals going in. “I was expecting three things going into the apprenticeship with Bridge: 1) professional guidance, 2) mentorship and 3) hands-on experience.  I got all three of those things with Sam. I got both the professional guidance and mentorship from him with my hands on training at Bridge. I was on the ground doing the work, sending more emails, making cold calls.”

In addition to guidance, mentorship, and hand on experience, Jamila mentions that the foundational skills she’s gained with her confidence in the role will carry her further into her career. “Not only for my current position, but for later on, I truly believe that the things I’ve gained going with Vendition will distinguish me later on.”

Jamila’s advice to SDRs starting out…

  1. Keep an open mind and don’t be afraid to talk. “You’re going to be talking to C-suite execs, HR folks, VPs of talent acquisition and they are also human.  Don’t put people on a pedestal–keep conversations genuine!”
  2. Lean into your mentor.  Jamila says mentorship was key for her being her first time in a sales position. “Having that mentorship component with Sam was one of the most helpful things to my professional growth.  I have the internet, in theory I could look up the answers to my questions, but that’s not the same as the human interaction.”