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SV Academy

How SV Academy Helped Shae Transition to Civilian Life as a SDR in Tech

"There's a lot pressure when working on matters of national security. I asked myself, 'Do I want 15 more years of this stress in my life? No.' But I was looking to still hop into a fast-paced environment. The tech industry provided that."

Below is an article originally published on Jan 13, 2020 by SV Academy. Go to SV Academy's company page on PowerToFly to see their open positions and learn more.

As a Cryptologic Linguist in the US Army, Shae Felicien was using her skills as an Arabic translator to serve her country. While she took tremendous pride in her role, she realized that a lifelong military career was not the path for her — so she set out to find a new challenge:

With no prior sales or tech experience, and a commitment to finishing out her military service, Shae set out to find a training program that allowed her the flexibility to continue working while building new skills that would prepare her for her next chapter — that's when she found support in a tech sales fellowship with SV Academy.

I liked how SV Academy was really confident in their ability to help me find a job after. That was something that stuck out to me and made it seem like a no-brainer.
Within a month of completing SV Academy's 12-week fellowship, Shae interviewed with two of SV Academy's employer partners, and received offers from both!

Hitting the Ground Mission-Ready

Like so many service members before her, Shae prided herself on preparation and execution — two core skills that are also central to the structure of the SV Academy fellowship curriculum. After landing a role following her fellowship, she was able to put that preparation to work almost immediately in her role at Suzy.

SV Academy has definitely made every single task here more manageable. We [SV Academy fellows] already have experience in what the demands of the job are, so going into the role of a SDR, I understood what the expectations were right off the bat.

And because SV Academy works so closely with its network of business partners, Shae was able to tackle her new role with familiar faces at her side:

We do have another SV Academy fellow here, and he has just been crushing it on the quota - far exceeding it. So it is really exciting that we have seen so much success here and that we will continue to build on that.

A Smooth Transition, A New Future in Hand

As any service member can attest, the transition to civilian life can be a confusing one, and often one that leads too many hardworking and talented individuals astray. For Shae, it was important to find work that inspired her passion, brought her the mental fulfillment she needed, and provided a path for growth and success over time.

According to Shae, her time with SV Academy was instrumental in helping make that transition a smooth and successful one.

Shae enjoying her role at her new office

I think getting out can be scary for a lot of us. We are used to being told exactly what to do, when to do it where to be and at what time, so being able to get out find work right away, not having to worry about racing to find a job and a stable income to support myself… I can't be more grateful for that.

And for Shae, it hasn't been just the experience and placement support that has been vital for success, it's also been the network and support she received along the way:

A large part of it is the constant reinforcement of your own abilities, help with the areas that you can still improve, and just having someone to practice with and give you insights. I was also surprised at the friends and connections I made. I still keep in contact with my Cohort and it's exciting to see where we all wound up. To be able to encourage each other throughout our interview process and give each other tips and sharing little bits of advice ... it's been awesome for sure.

Parting Advice for Fellow Service Members and Aspiring SDRs

For Shae, entering the world of tech started as a means to relieve stress, then blossomed into an opportunity to build a dynamic career with true growth potential. When asked her advice for fellow military members considering a career in tech, she has some simple but powerful words to share:

I would definitely recommend SV Academy. Don't be afraid to take that leap. Yes, it's going to be a new environment; yes it's going to challenge you in ways that you may not have thought of before; but at the end of the day, the work-life balance and the opportunities for reward are well, well worth it.

How These Companies Are Celebrating Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month

According to a recent study, anti-Asian hate crimes have risen 150% since the pandemic started. But these acts of violence are not new — they are part of a much larger history of anti-Asian racism and violence in the U.S.

That makes celebrating Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month (which was named a month-long celebration in May by Congress in 1992 "to coincide with two important milestones in Asian/Pacific American history: the arrival in the United States of the first Japanese immigrants on May 7, 1843 and contributions of Chinese workers to the building of the transcontinental railroad, completed May 10, 1869") this year all the more important.

Autodesk, Inc.

How Embracing What She Doesn’t Know Led Autodesk’s Arezoo Riahi to a Fulfilling Career in DEI

Arezoo Riahi isn't a big fan of the "fake it till you make it" approach. She'd rather ask for the help she needs and learn from it.

Autodesk's Director of Diversity and Belonging joined the design software company from the nonprofit world after a long career in connecting people from different cultures. While her work had been deeply rooted in DEI values, there were certain parts of the strategy-building aspects to her new role that she wasn't sure about.

"If you know it, show up like you know it. If you don't know it, you shouldn't fake it. And Autodesk didn't shame me for not knowing everything. They helped me, and the entire team, by providing the resources that we needed, bringing in outside expertise to help teach us when we were in new territory," says Arezoo, who has been at Autodesk for three years now, during which she's been promoted twice into her current role.

We sat down with Arezoo to hear more about her path into DEI work, what she thinks the future of that work must include, and what advice she has for women looking to build fulfilling careers, from knowing what you don't know and beyond.


Behind-the-Scenes: Sales Interview Process at LogMeIn

Get an inside look at the interview process for sales roles at LogMeIn, one of the largest SaaS companies providing remote work technology, from Michael Gagnon, Senior Manager of Corporate Account Executive Sales.

Procore Technologies Inc

How Being an Open Member of the LGBTQIA+ Community Has Helped Procore’s Alex Zinik Overcome Imposter Syndrome at Work

Alex Zinik wasn't surprised that she started her career in education—she decided she would become a teacher when she was just in third grade.

She was surprised while working as a paraeducator in the school system and preparing to become a special education teacher, she discovered that it didn't feel quite right. "I didn't know if that's what I really wanted to do," she recalls.

So a friend suggested she take a job during her off summers at construction software company Procore. She thought this would be the perfect opportunity to try out this new challenge, and if she needed to, she could go back to the school district once the summer was over.

"Five summers later, I'm still here!" she says, smiling. "And I see myself here for many more years. I just fell in love with the company, the culture, and with the career growth opportunities I was presented with."

As part of our Pride month celebrations, Alex, currently the Senior Executive Assistant to the CEO at Procore, sat down with us to share how a common fear—the fear of being found out—underlay the imposter syndrome she felt when pivoting to an industry in which she lacked experience, and the anxiety she often felt before coming out to her friends and family about her sexuality.

Read on for her insight on overcoming negative thought patterns, being yourself, and paying it forward.


The Outlook That Helps CSL’s Paula Manchester Invest in Herself and Her Team

If you told Paula Manchester that you weren't good at math, she wouldn't believe you.

"That's a global indictment," she says. "'I'm not good at math' implies that you don't have the ability to nurture that muscle. And then I'd ask what kind of math? There's a lot to math."

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