Week 7 was a change of pace from our typical recruiting duties and Portfolio interviews. We began the week making final selections for Portfolio candidates and ended with a community service project at Genesis Women’s Shelter. In the midst of all of this, we also learned how to beef up our LinkedIns profiles, tested out new messaging strategies, and even made a few candidate hires!
On Wednesday, the Will Reed team surpised the Fellows with an "on the spot" pitch competition. With only 3 hours to prepare, we were tasked with developing a three-minute pitch on a topic of our choice. Our only goal was to "sell" our audience. Our very own Jami Albert won the pitch competition when she persuaded us all to try out the indoor cycling studio, Zyn22.
Mike Ebbers | “LinkedIn is a professional equalizer.”
Account Executive, BlueCat
Mike climbed the ladder, and he climbed it fast. This week we heard the passion he has for sales and empowering others when he stepped into our office to speak on cultivating a professional presence on social platforms.
“LinkedIn is the third fastest-growing social media network, and it provides a college-education's worth of information.” Mike shared practical steps for "upping your game" on LinkedIn. “Now is the time to connect with people in the industries you want to explore - that’s your target market. People love helping bright, young talent.”
Not only is LinkedIn a powerful learning and networking tool, but it also has the power to level the playing field. "LinkedIn is the first-ever professional equalizer," Mike said. “The hierarchy is completely flat - both the CEO and the custodian are equal. You're valued by your ideas, contributions, questions, and conversations rather than your career status. To not leverage LinkedIn is to pass up the greatest free opportunity to connect with hundreds of millions of people who are eager to help each other advance the world professionally."
Paige Robinson | Vision for Will Reed
CEO + Founder, Will Reed
What was the last PowerPoint presentation you saw? Do you remember it? How about the last story you heard? The Will Reed team agreed that stories are almost always more memorable than a slideshow.
On Monday, the Fellows and new hires had the privilege of hearing our CEO’s story about her life and the origin of Will Reed. Like most big things in her life, entrepreneurship took three tries before she tasted real success. Like any true entrepreneur, she internalized many lessons learned from failure, such as the need to constantly test her business assumptions in order to grow a stable company.
Paige's vision is for Will Reed to become the Southwest Airlines of the recruiting industry. While many individual recruiters have good intentions, the industry as a whole has, unfortunately, earned a poor reputation. We learn from other sectors though, like the airline industry, that broken industries are ripe for disruption by a redeeming player. How is this done in recruiting? Paige recognizes that building this redeeming culture requires constant attention. Having recently returned from maternity leave, she drew an analogy between business and motherhood: "Cultivating culture is like raising kids. If you don't actively tend to it, it will drift." Leadership naturally trickles down to influence everyone else in a company, and all of the Fellows certainly are inspired by Paige's vision.
Caroline Lengyel | Sales Bootcamp: Strategic Emailing
Strategy Manager, Will Reed
Emailing can be monotonous, which makes professionalism even harder. If you over-edit an email, you will sound like a robot. Even the most creative emails often don't get a response. How can one overcome these and other email issues? Enter: strategy. A strategic email has several crucial components. First, a killer subject line grabs a recipient's attention and entices him or her to open the email. Second, structure is added to the body of the email - no one wants to read a ten sentence paragraph. Throughout the email, do not forget to show your humanity with small personalizations. Finally, make your ask clear. Of course, a phone call is often more effective than an email, so we learned to only use email in appropriate situations.
P.S. Utilize the p.s. function of an email to grab attention one more time!
Kyla King | AppDynamics “Ask Me Anything” Interview
How do you excel at work while raising a beautiful 4-year-old daughter, maintaining a stellar singing career, and staying true to yourself? How did you find the mentors that shaped who you are today? These are the sorts of questions we asked Kyla during our AMA ("Ask Me Anything") interview on Thursday.
Kyla is a woman of grit. AppDynamics is truly her dream company, and it’s given her room to grow as a leader and influencer, especially as she builds out the public sector branch for AppDynamics.
Hannah Yeargan | Sales Bootcamp: Pitching
Soulful in every word that she speaks, Senior Client Director Hannah Yeargan sat down with the Fellows on Thursday morning to give advice on pitching. To her surprise and flattery, the Fellows furiously typed every word she said. Only then did we realize we had our surprise pitch competition coming just hours later! Here is just a snippet of what we learned from Hannah:
Do your research. As charming as you might think you are, schmoozing won’t win the deal for you. Content is key.
Be memorable and make it a conversation. No one remembers a PowerPoint as well as he or she remembers a relatable story.
Grow into your communication style. It takes some time to find how you communicate most naturally, but challenge yourself to always be searching for your "sales style."
Meal at the McArthurs
Who loves hugs more than life itself? Who breaks out into show tunes mid-way through the week just for kicks? Who tap dances her way to the gong when she gets a hire? That’s right, Executive Talent Recruiter Sarah McArthur. Not only is Sarah incredible at her job, but she is also an undercover chef. Sarah opened up her home to the Will Reed team on Tuesday night and served us dinner and homemade cookies. This was a sweet time to get to know one another outside the (very pretty) walls of the office and eat a five course meal like queens.
Community Service at Genesis Women’s Shelter
The Fellows had the honor of serving lunch at the Genesis Women’s Shelter on Friday. After a quick grocery and coffee run, we prepared a hearty meal for women in need. Eight of us share a kitchen regularly so working in this kitchen together was no big deal. Not only do we love to work together, but we also love to serve together.
Why did you join Will Reed?
I got a random email back in September from the Executive Director of my favorite campus organization. He suggested that I apply for this internship because it came highly recommended by Megan Mulcahy, a former Director of the organization and now Will Reed team member. I thought to myself, "I know her, and it would be a joy to work with this woman."
Once I learned more about Will Reed and recruiting, I was sold on the idea of matching people with their dream jobs. Looking back, I can see I made the best possible decision coming to work for a startup built on such a solid foundation with an amazing team.
What do you hope to get from the summer?
Heading into my senior year at Texas A&M, I desire nothing more than direction. As much as I wish someone would tell me exactly which career path to take and why, I know the world doesn't work that way.
I hope that this summer will be a launching pad to gain exposure and insight into recruiting, the tech industry, and sales in general. More than anything, I want it to be a period of growth for myself and the other seven Fellows (who just happen to be my new best friends).
How’s it going so far?
Check. Check. Check. There have been tough times and rewarding times. Hitting quotas and missing quotas. The best part? We’ve grown in professionalism and knowledge of... probably everything! We've had the privilege to create processes and pave the way for future Fellows.
I cannot brag enough about the entire Will Reed team. Each woman is so willing and able to lend a hand or go to coffee to talk dreams. These women have propelled our growth. Paige Robinson, CEO, wants so desperately for Will Reed to be a safe place to try, fail, and try again. I'd say she's done a pretty great job so far!