Our diverse community of students comes together from various non-traditional backgrounds to learn, reskill, and unite around a shared goal to break into tech sales as an SDR. It is with the utmost pride that we share their stories with incoming Tech Fellows, in addition to our mission-aligned hiring partners seeking to strengthen and diversify their sales teams with elite candidates.
Meet Melina Adragna, a Flockjay Tech Fellow from our seventh class and current SDR for hire. She shared a few details about her journey with us below. Her sales trainers had this to share:
“Melina is extremely hard-working and always gives 100 percent. She is genuinely driven to be a great SDR and always loves supporting her flockmates! Her “can do anything” mentality made it an absolute pleasure to work with her in class! Any company will be lucky to have her on their team!”
What did life look like before you found Flockjay?
I mostly grew up in a Latinx community in East Los Angeles, which connected me with the work ethic of my neighbors, including the ice cream cart vendors, the elote man, and the tamale lady. Being raised by an Italian father and Mexican mother blessed me with a sort of empathetic assertiveness that lent itself well to my pursuit of opera. I graduated in Fall 2019 with a degree in Vocal Performance in opera from Bob Cole Conservatory of Music.
What began first as a means of escape from the turmoils of adolescence, evolved into a means of escape for others (those in my audiences). I developed the vocal and theatrical skills to perform in grand productions, including months and years of learning French, Italian, and German to a level of convincing fluency. Complete commitment to my training and performance gave audiences a successful passage to a different world, a memorable story through art and song. Performing opera introduced me to the concept of giving back to others what I’ve been given. It is one of my personal bridges to the rest of humanity.
To finance college and ease the burden for my parents, I got a job as a sales associate for Paradis, a Danish ice cream shop. It wasn’t a typical job search; I first fell in love with their product and mission, developed a relationship with the owners, helped promote their business on social media, and only after I realized tuition was not going to be cheap did I ask if they had openings. This job was where I discovered the joy of selling. It wasn’t about the money. I reveled in conversations with customers, occasionally listening to their life stories, and was elated when I was able to help them find the flavor they didn’t know they wanted.
The pandemic of 2020 forced me to re-evaluate my career options. I needed a means to some financial stability for myself and my family. I stumbled upon Flockjay’s sales training program by chance and applied sheerly based on their mission statement. I quickly found comfort in the sales part and discovered my love of the tech part through intense research and discussions.
Now more than ever, I’m eager to start a new chapter exploring the art of tech sales as an SDR!
What past accomplishments are you proud of?
I’d say what I’m most proud of throughout my career is when I worked both as a soloist and as a team section leader for St. Matthews Church. I was able to combine my various vocal abilities and my love for helping people as I led 20 senior vocalists, outlining vocal methods, and resolving sensitive vocal issues. This not only saved one hour every week of rehearsal time, but my approach to teamwork established trust within the choir.
I am also proud of how I marketed our church’s recitals. I cold-called our contact list and marketed via social media and went door-to-door to local music studios to source prospects. This increased attendance by 70 percent, which contributed to our church’s scholarship funds. I worked alongside two pianists for two months in order to raise $5,000 for students pursuing music education.
Reflecting on these experiences, I discovered a lot of my musical background relates to my skills in sales. I’m passionate, curious, and tenacious. Whatever I set my mind to do, I do it.
What excites you most about a future SDR role?
I was born with an innate curiosity to pry, dig, and learn. As an opera singer, it worked perfectly when answering the “why” in order to convey the emotions and objectives of a character. But as a future SDR, I’m excited to openly exercise my curiosity when connecting with others to determine how my future companies’ products can help them.
Additionally, I’m eager to start working as an SDR because more and more companies within the tech industry are supporting diversity, equity, and inclusion into their core values. I believe diversity is integral to success. Lastly, having a career where my salary mirrors the amount of effort I put into my work is something that excites me as well.
As a future SDR, I’m eager to begin this adventure of continuous growth, participating in an inclusive environment, and begin generating financial security for myself and my family.
Advice for someone who wants to break into tech?
“Hard work is worthless for those that don’t believe in themselves.”- Naruto Uzumaki
Hey you…yeah you…Si se puede! Yes, you can! Embrace your non-traditional background and the different skills and perspective that comes with it. Use them to help those already in tech because the likelihood they have your unique strength is zilch. If you need someone to connect with, don’t hesitate to reach out!
Follow Her Journey from Tech Fellow to Elite SDR
Are you a sales leader who is growing your team? If you’d like to connect with more quality SDRs for hire like Melina, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or get more info right now.
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