For the second year in a row Medallia will be attending AfroTech World Nov. 8-13. Why do we keep going back? The answer is simple: supporting Black excellence. Last year Alisha Thomas, Global DEIB Community Manager here at Medallia, wrote in More than a Conference: 4 Takeaways from AfroTech World, “AfroTech is a space to spark Black joy, uplift Black excellence, support Black entrepreneurs, and provide opportunities.”
She added that “representation matters. There is no substitute for seeing people all around you who are wildly intelligent, driven, and successful and who also happen to look like you.” This is what we are actively working toward embodying here at Medallia, from every employee’s first day joining, carried throughout their entire time here.
Dorothy Height once said “greatness is not measured by what a man or woman accomplishes, but by the opposition he or she has to overcome to reach their goals.” And Medallia is focused on helping people reach those goals.
We sat down with Jasmine Ellis to learn about her journey with Medallia thus far. She decided to join Medallia soon after meeting us at AfroTech World 2020. Jasmine, who is a member of our employee resource group Black at Medallia (BAM), describes herself as loved by friends and family, a philanthropist, entrepreneur, believer in Jesus, and Black woman.
I wanted to make the jump to tech sales and a mentor of mine let me know about AfroTech and how it could be a great chance to meet with tech companies. I researched at least 20 different companies and had my game plan set for how I would approach AfroTech. After Day One, I realized there were so many more companies than I had expected and decided to meet with as many as possible.
Actually no, I had never heard of Medallia before AfroTech, but a member of the recruitment team gave me a great overview of the company and a really good understanding of what roles were best suited for my experience.
It was a pretty standard process as I knew there would be multiple conversations throughout. One thing I really appreciated was how honest and transparent the Medallia interviewers were. I never got the salesly approach from the team and my recruiter did a great job aligning me to the best role at Medallia.
My experience at Medallia has been an amazing learning curve. I have been surrounded by people (both peers and in leadership) who truly want me to succeed and grow not only at Medallia, but in my overall career. I want people to know that as long as companies are going to be around, there are probably going to be areas of improvement around diversity and inclusion. It’s not all unicorns and rainbows all the time. And for me, Medallia has empowered me to speak up if I see areas for improvement or if I know something can be said differently. Knowing that Medallia is willing to listen and take action and help me grow in my career is what makes working at Medallia a great experience.
I would tell anyone attending AfroTech to come prepared with your research done on every company that interests you and know what kind of roles you are looking for. I’d also recommend reaching out to potential employees at said company to see who is willing to have a few conversations with you.
It widens our perspective and allows us as Black professionals to see and learn from others who look like us and are making waves in spaces where we are not commonly seen. Being at AfroTech, everybody feels like family. When you’re having conversations people don’t feel like CEOs or founders, but rather like your aunties and uncles, and that’s inspiring. My mother used to tell me “iron sharpens iron” and I really felt that at AfroTech.