How My Relationship with LGBTQIA+ Pride at Work has Evolved Over the Years

How My Relationship with LGBTQIA+ Pride at Work has Evolved Over the Years

Donnie Schumann, Head of Partnerships at Flockjay and proud member of our internal Flockgay community, took a moment to reflect on a question we’d like to extend to the tech industry:

How has your relationship with LGBTQIA+ pride at work evolved over the years? 

My journey to self-acceptance and Pride in the workplace took me longer than I would have liked. I remember when starting out in the corporate world during business school, I was terrified to be my true authentic self. Constantly worried that if I were “outed,” being gay it would be a barrier to securing new clients or even progressing up the ladder in my sales career. It wasn’t until I moved to San Francisco and began working in tech that I saw brave LGBTQIA+ leaders at startup unicorns and Silicon Valley giants alike. With it came a sudden realization that if they could excel without having to conceal their identities, then why should I hide in the shadows?

I can confidently say that embracing Pride in my identity as a gay man in the workplace over the years has contributed to the vast majority of my professional successes and career milestones thus far. I was lucky enough early in my career to have an incredible work family and supportive leadership that made my coming out at work a non-issue.

As a result, being authentic allowed me to build more genuine relationships with both colleagues and clients alike. I learned to lead from a position of empathy when moving into management and focus on amplifying the quieter, less confident voices on my team. Not to mention gaining the confidence that comes with shaking the weight of judgement from others, which propelled me to speak on stage at conferences with audiences in the thousands. But perhaps best of all, I realized that if any client along the way didn’t want to work with me because of my identity as a gay man, it was a client who probably wasn’t best to work with at all. 

Because of this lived experience, I now relish the opportunity to celebrate Pride in the workplace and feel so grateful to be with Flockjay where inclusion and celebrating diversity is core to our mission.

I hope that by being visible in the workplace lets other LGBTQIA+ folks out there know that living your truth is not a limitation to your potential and embracing your identity can be the catalyst to your professional success! Please feel free to connect with me on LinkedIn.

celebrate lgbtq+ pride at flockjay

Introducing the Flockjay Alumni Referral Program

Introducing the Flockjay Alumni Referral Program

At Flockjay, we consider our alumni to be lifelong members of our program. We want to do everything we can to nurture your career and help you thrive in the tech sales space. From the very start of our program, we’ve done this by hosting networking events with mentors, industry leaders, and fellow alumni.

Today, we’ve decided to bolster this support by providing financial aid through our new student referral program. We also want to give you the opportunity to pay it forward to future tech fellows by opening the doors for them to pursue tech sales.

Know someone with sales experience or the traits that you know are required to succeed in the space? Then refer them to Flockjay by July 9th! If we enroll them into our tech sales program, you’ll get a $500 gift card that you can use for anything, like paying down tuition, upgrading your work-from-home setup, or taking that long weekend getaway! 

📣 There is no limit on the number of students you can refer. 

For example, if you chose our deferred tuition plan of $7,650 and referred five students, you could earn $2,500 in gift cards and pay off your tuition six months earlier than originally planned. Who knows — maybe you could even refer enough students to pay off your entire tuition!

To earn your chance at $500, refer your friends and family using your personal link found here in the Flockjay portal by July 9th, 2021. Not sure how to get started? Read on.  (more…)

Announcing 10 #FlockjayHeadStart Contest Winners

Announcing 10 #FlockjayHeadStart Contest Winners

Last week, we launched our first official #FlockjayHeadStart equipment contest in alignment with our mission to empower upward mobility. Today, we are excited to share who our 10 winners are. These incoming Tech Fellows will receive a premium laptop, headset, and Visa debit card to help cover four months of internet access.

We’d like to thank and celebrate each person who entered for taking a chance on themselves and sharing their story. Our admissions team thoughtfully considered each submission and our decisions were not easy! As a reminder, winners were chosen based on their overall application, video submission, and need for equipment access.

Without further ado, please join us in celebrating the following winners of our #FlockjayHeadStart equipment contest! You can watch each of their video submissions to learn more about them. 🎥

#FlockjayHeadStart Contest Winners

Congratulations to the following winners of our #FlockjayHeadStart contest, listed in no particular order. As with every student, we are so grateful for the opportunity to be a footnote in the story of your career journey.

We look forward to taking flight with you and watching you soar!

1. Aja Al-harbawi

Hear from Aja, who is excited to embark on a new career path. With a background in retail, she didn’t know it was a possibility to join a program like Flockjay’s and admits she’s been hindered by a lot of factors on her journey. She says, “I want to flourish and gain exceptional skills and impact peoples lives. Flockjay told me that I can actually succeed. I have been hindered by a lot of factors, as my parents have passed away. I lost a lot of support.”

Watch Aja’s TikTok entry.

@ajaalharbawi

#FlockJayHeadStart

♬ original sound – Aja Al-harbawi

 

2. Charlene Smith

Charlene says that she’s always loved communicating with people and has previous experience in different sales settings such as cashiering, waitressing, coaching, and teaching. “As a coach and as a teacher I’ve always loved the idea of selling a dream or an idea or a skill set. I’m excited to see how Flockjay can teach me how to better my ability and skills so that I can go out into the workforce and scoop up a great job in tech sales and become the professional that I want to be, and that I know I can be, with the right training and experience.”

Watch Charlene’s TikTok entry.

@charleanybeany

Excited to see where this journey takes me- ready to spread my wings and fly! 🦅 hehe #FlockjayHeadStart

♬ SUNNY DAY – Matteo Rossanese

 

3. Teyarra Alexander

Teyarra wants to join Flockjay’s bootcamp for two core reasons: career advancement and new skills. “It’s nice that you can have a job you can stay at for years and be able to advance and also gain new skills while on the job.”

Watch Teyarra’s TikTok entry.

@ilikelucid

#FlockjayHeadStart

♬ original sound – Ilikelucid

 

4. Stephen Baker

Stephen admits he has been interested in Flockjay for awhile now, and has applied in the past and not gotten in. He also opens up about his battle with addiction recovery. “I have 125 days sober today and for me, that is a miracle. If I could win this to get a head start, I believe it will help me settle in a career that will give me the driving force to remain sober. I know that a lot of people out there suffer from addiction and I know that they are consistently striving to better themselves as I am doing right now. That is what it would mean to me.”

Watch Stephen’s Instagram entry.

 
 
 
 
 
View this post on Instagram
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Stephen Baker (@jastman420)

5. DeAaron Waters

DeAaron brings the energy when he shares the news of his career change! Be sure to read his caption below for more details on why he entered the #FlockjayHeadStart contest and is passionate about a career in tech sales. Watch DeAaron’s Instagram entry.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

View this post on Instagram

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  A post shared by The Big Dope Energy Podcast 🎙🔥 (@dearrow)  

 

6. Sean Davis

Sean sat outside of the Washington Monument to share why he’s excited to join Flockjay’s upcoming class. “I’m a Flockjay rock star. I will be going into the tech sector and learning something new while I’m here in Washington, D.C.” What a natural Flockstar!

Watch Sean’s Instagram entry.

 
 
 
 
 
View this post on Instagram
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Bsavvy (@2bsavvy)

7. Kairo Dilla

Kai has a background in computer science and is passionate about helping others. He says Flockjay’s values align with his morals. Last year he discovered the sales career path and sought out opportunities to apply. However, “Without the proper training needed to be a successful sales representative, I was faced with rejection every single day. It became so bad that I had to depend on unemployment to barely scrape by, but luckily I was offered an overnight position at a rehab facility a few months ago. Working at a minimum wage job, I don’t have the necessary resources to fund the tools needed to succeed in a tech sales career. Winning this contest will definitely give me that #FlockjayHeadStart.”

Watch Kairo’s YouTube entry.

 

8. Alice Okunola

Alice says that, “Joining Flockjay is a great privilege for me. The education is going to provide me with the tools, the knowledge, and the understanding of what is expected of me as a tech sales representative.” She noted that launching a career as a tech sales representative is going will provide an avenue to help connect customers with the right products and problem solve. She also wished success upon her fellow contestants, and we’re all about community!

Watch Alice’s YouTube entry.

 

9. Kendra Brockett

Kendra is excited to join Flockjay’s upcoming class because of the support gained through live video classes and career services like expert interview help to land the job. “Flockjay is where it’s at right now!’

Watch Kendra’s YouTube entry.

 

10. Alejandro Valdivia

Alejandro is looking for a career and has been working at his current job for years now and feeling stuck. “I would really love to join this program. Something that really caught my attention is that they want to promote minority groups. I’m a Mexican American Latino born and raised in San Francisco, so having a program that wants to give you those tools to see you succeed sounds amazing to me. I love the fact that there’s zero tuition initially, so you can join the program without having to worry about paying that money up front. Sometimes that’s the reason why a lot of people don’t take on challenges, because financially they can’t cover the cost. So having this opportunity to join the program and then pay later is amazing. I think a career in tech would change my life. There’s a lot of potential for me to grow and tools for me to learn and I’m very excited and very motivated.”

Watch Alejandro’s YouTube entry.

 

On a Mission to Empower Upward Mobility for All

Congratulations to our winners and thank you again to all who joined the #FlockjayHeadStart contest! At Flockjay, there is nothing that brings our collective team more joy than working in support of our mission to empower everyone with the promise of upward mobility.

We also aim to promote diversity and inclusion in our application and training process, in the hiring partners we work with, and in our own company. We seek to include and highlight applications from underrepresented, underserved, and non-traditional backgrounds. We do our best to reduce implicit and unconscious bias in our screening and training processes. This includes working with candidates individually to find the best formats to showcase their strengths. Read our Flockjay Manifesto to learn more about our commitment to DEI.

Interested in applying to Flockjay and launching a new career in tech sales? Awesome! See resources to help you learn more and determine if Flockjay’s 10-week tech sales program could be right for you.

To read real student reviews and follow us across social media platforms, click here.

Your New Career in Tech Sales Starts Now

Sales is the best kept secret in tech, and Flockjay will show you the way. With online classes and live instructors, Flockjay teaches you everything you need to know to be job ready in just 10 weeks. Ready for a career change?
#FlockjayHeadStart: Tech Sales Bootcamp Equipment Contest

#FlockjayHeadStart: Tech Sales Bootcamp Equipment Contest

Note: we edited this article to reflect an updated application & contest deadline of June 4, 2021

Flockjay is an online 10-week tech sales bootcamp, no degree or prior experience req. to apply.

A head start can be the difference between someone investing in their career or putting their growth on hold. It can be challenging and feel downright impossible to pursue online learning without access to the tools and resources that keep you connected and set up for success.

At Flockjay, our mission is to empower everyone with access to the promise of upward mobility. But what if you literally can’t access Flockjay? It’s important for us to set you up for success and remove those barriers to get you in-flight.

We are excited to announce a foundational access contest that directly supports jobseekers interested in dedicating themselves to tech sales training.

In our #FlockjayHeadStart contest, Flockjay will award 10 incoming Flockjay applicants a MacBook Air laptop, Jabra Evolve2 headset, and a Visa debit card to help pay for 4 months of internet access.

If you want to break into tech, now is the time to bet on yourself. We want to help you succeed, which is why we’ve included tips on how to submit the best contest entry in the final section of this blog. On behalf of the entire Flockjay community and me, we’re looking forward to seeing you soar to new heights. (more…)

Flockjay Tuition 101

Flockjay Tuition 101

At Flockjay, our mission has always been to make education more accessible to everyone. So it’s important that we’re able to offer tuition options that are easy to understand, flexible and affordable.

We started by offering deferred tuition repayment via ISA’s, or Income Share Agreements, which let students pay a percentage of their income after graduating and landing a job. However, ISA’s aren’t perfect – either for students or for us. Especially as sales compensation can include bonuses every quarter, we want to ensure every learner has a clear, simple understanding of how much tuition they pay every month.

Effective today, we’re updating our tuition pricing and payment options.  

We believe our tuition remains among the most affordable and accessible of any sales bootcamp or training program. And at the same time our program will continue to deliver the highest value for our students.

It’s important for us to still offer a deferred tuition option where you only pay if you are earning over $40,000/year – so we’re keeping that. However, instead of paying a variable amount each month with the ISA, students will now pay a low, fixed monthly amount of $425.

There are some other important changes as well, which differ depending on where you reside. We don’t like making things more complicated, but unfortunately, we have to follow the regulations and rules set forth by each state.

If You Live Anywhere in the US, Except for California

1) Deferred Tuition – $7,650

With our deferred tuition option, you can join Flockjay for $0 upfront. Once you graduate and are making at least $40,000 per year, which equates to approximately $3,333 per month, you’ll pay a fixed monthly amount of $425 for 18 months.

If you’d rather finish paying for our program in 12 months, you can pay us a fixed monthly amount of $640 for 12 months.

Our deferred tuition option makes it easier for you to break into tech and helps align our incentives with yours — we only win when you win.

Please note that our deferred tuition plans are only available to students residing in the United States. 

2) Upfront Tuition – $6,000

You’ll receive a discount of $1,650 (~20%) when you choose our upfront tuition option. Payment is due before the start of class.

Alternatively, you may also choose to split the $6,000 tuition into two payments of $3,000 each. The first installment must be paid at the beginning of the program and the second installment is due in the middle of the program.

Flockjay’s Tuition Options (Excluding California)
Tuition Option  Payment Schedule Total Price 
Deferred Tuition $0 upfront + $425/month x 18 months after graduation & making $40,000+ per year $7,650
Upfront Tuition One payment of $6,000 upfront or two payments of $3,000 paid after Week 1 and Week 6 $6,000

If You Live in California

For residents of California, we are unable to offer a discount for upfront tuition. This is due to state regulations which we must abide by. Regardless if you choose deferred tuition or upfront tuition, the cost is $7,650.

1) Deferred Tuition – $7,650

With our deferred tuition option, you can join Flockjay for $0 upfront. Once you graduate and are making at least $40,000, which equates to approximately $3,333 per month, you’ll pay a fixed monthly fee of $425 for 18 months.

If you’d rather finish paying for our program in 12 months rather than 18 months, you can pay us a fixed monthly fee of $640 for 12 months.

Our deferred tuition option makes it easier for you to break into tech and helps align our incentives with yours — we only win when you win.

2) Upfront Tuition – $7,650

With our upfront tuition option, you’ll pay the full $7,650 before the start of class.

You may also choose to split the $7,650 into two payments of $3,825. The first installment must be paid at the beginning of the program and the second installment is due in the middle of the program.

Flockjay’s Tuition Options for California
Tuition Option  Payment Schedule Total Price 
Deferred Tuition $0 upfront + $425/month x 18 months after graduation & making $40,000+ per year $7,650
Upfront Tuition One payment of $7,650 upfront or two payments of $3,825 paid after Week 1 and Week 6 $7,650

FAQs

Why are you making this change?

There are several reasons for our tuition update.

  1. We needed to update our tuition to be in alignment with local regulations in the state of California.
  2. Affordable, fixed payments eliminate ambiguity for students trying to plan their finances. This tuition plan should also reduce the amount of administrative work on all sides compared to the ISA.
  3. The tuition changes allow Flockjay to be a more financially sound company. Training students for $0 upfront is expensive, and this change lets us support more people breaking into tech.

When do the changes go into effect?

The new tuition options are in effect immediately. This impacts students enrolling in our March 15 class and beyond.

What if I previously withdrew but want to re-enroll in an upcoming class – what do I pay?

Please contact your admissions advisor. We’re here to address the specifics of your situation and work with you on an individual basis.

Why are students in California ineligible for a tuition discount?

While we would like to do so, California state regulations prevents us from offering a tuition discount.

Do you have a refund policy?

Students who withdraw from class before week 7 are entitled to a prorated refund. Additionally, students who withdraw before week 2 may receive a full refund.

Do you offer scholarships?

We do not currently offer scholarships but are hoping to be able to offer this in the near future. Stay tuned!

Your New Career in Tech Sales Starts Now

Sales is the best kept secret in tech, and Flockjay will show you the way. With online classes and live instructors, Flockjay teaches you everything you need to know to be job ready in just 10 weeks. Ready for a career change?
From Shelter-In-Place to Movement: Charting Our Path Forward in the Workplace

From Shelter-In-Place to Movement: Charting Our Path Forward in the Workplace

If 2020 was the year of shelter-in-place, then 2021 is destined to be the year of movement. The global pandemic froze us in our homes glued to webcams and Netflix, while rapidly thawing the shaky glaciers of how we live, work, and connect with each other.

As we look past COVID-19, how might we move from a world of escalating isolation and polarization to a better, more generous world, where everyone has access to the skills, networks, and job opportunities needed to achieve the promise of upward mobility? How might businesses rebuild in a world fueled by technological change, expanding their idea of value to include economic and social justice?

There are many paths forward, but the pandemic’s gall has laid bare one historically reliable salve: the value of a college degree. Not only do students leave with $30,000 of debt, but nearly half also graduate underemployed. If they do land a job, they soon discover the value of that degree rapidly diminishes, as businesses continuously demand new skills to confront a remote-enabled, tech-fueled world.

If we are to move into a more equitable world from today’s crisis, then it will require rewiring the labor market to benefit both employers and jobseekers. This means a conscious shift from exclusively rewarding static degrees that weakly predict on-the-job success, to encouraging dynamic credentials and continuous upskilling within our companies, empowering all of us to build back better.

Flockjay Raises Series A Funding

Flockjay’s mission is to accelerate this system-level change. Today, we are proudly announcing our $11m Series A, led by e.ventures, and with participation from Lightspeed, Salesforce Ventures, Impact America, Cleo Capital, Gabrielle Union, and other lighthouses for economic and social justice. We are also announcing our shared goal with Opportunity@Work to enable 1+ million STARs (workers “skilled through alternative routes” who lack a 4-year degree) to translate learning into $20B in higher earnings by 2030.

Thanks to our employees, Flockjay is a Glassdoor Best Place to Work in 2021!

How We’re Doing This

We are actively building an ecosystem where companies move from degree-based talent assessment to skill-based talent assessment. Many companies like Apple and Facebook have already announced relaxing degree requirements for open roles, and we believe more will follow suit. In fact, of the hundreds of Flockjay graduates since we started in 2019, over 40% did not have a college degree – yet those very graduates are attaining their sales quota twice as fast as their non-Flockjay peers at companies like Salesforce, Zoom, Slack, and Gong.

Moreover, many of our hiring partner companies have now hired multiple Flockjay graduates, creating amazing opportunities for real people who hail from historically excluded backgrounds, all while gaining DEI momentum to build a stronger foundation that better supports an increasingly diverse customer base.

“We have such high confidence in Flockjay grads we hire at Airtable. There is consistently a strong work ethic, natural team leadership and collaboration skills, as well as an eagerness to learn.” shared Liat Bycel, VP of Customer Engagement who oversees the Sales org. “We have seen a significant difference in ramp time and consistently strong performance.” 

This level of performance was one of the driving reasons behind the broad coalition of investors in the round. “We heard from almost every hiring company we spoke to that SDRs hired through Flockjay are high performing,” said Jackson Cummings from Salesforce Ventures.

What’s Next

Changing how we identify and support potential hires, with or without a college degree, is the first step in building toward companies’ future success in a post-pandemic world. To create more opportunities for candidates like Lawrence to shine, employers must rewire their values to be more inclusive and build systems of support and mentorship from within.

Community is at the heart of everything we do at Flockjay, right down to our name itself: we fly farther and faster, together. With the new funding, we will be further strengthening our ability to provide Flockjay graduates with not only world-class sales training led by top-performing sales leaders, but continuous upskilling and support from a diverse community network, with hands-on coaching from alumni and real industry professionals to support lifelong learning and upward mobility.

As an example, we recently teamed up with our partners at Gong to build out a mentorship program matching Gong sales professionals with Flockjay graduates. In addition, all Flockjay students now have access to Gong’s revenue intelligence software and are trained on how to use it as they advance through our program. Sandi Kochhar, Chief People Officer at Gong, shared that:

“It’s a meaningful partnership between two companies whose commitment to diversity is more than platitudes and aspirations. It’s shaping people’s lives. Two of our Gong hires in the US last quarter came through Flockjay and that number will continue to rapidly grow.” 

Transparency around Internal Diversity & Leadership

We believe in living the values we want to see in the world. In our rapidly growing Flockjay team, here’s how we stand:

  • Race/Ethnicity (75% BIPOC, 25% White)
  • Gender (51% Female, 46% Male, 2% Non-binary) 
  • 48% of Flockjay staff are First Gen or Immigrant
  • 12% of Flockjay staff are Alumni who went through our program
  • 20% Identify as LGBTQ+

Welcome Pablo Pollard, Flockjay Chief Strategy Officer

We have also expanded our leadership team by welcoming Pablo Pollard as our Chief Strategy Officer. Pablo brings on two decades of sales, leadership and sales training experience from his past roles across both early-stage startups, like 6sense, and industry-leaders, like Facebook, Salesforce, and Oracle.

Pablo started his tech career as an SDR, the very role our Tech Fellows are seeking to launch their careers. With this, he brings a personal perspective from his own lived experiences as a cis-gendered gay, white man in tech. Pablo will focus on our strategic vision and go to market approach, strengthening our foundational ability to set our Tech Fellows and Hiring Partners up for long-term success in a new remote era. 

Join Flockjay in Empowering Upward Mobility through Education and Access

Where we truly go from here depends on the willingness of the industry to adapt for the greater good. 

Consider Raven Winchester, a former custodian who lost her job then more than doubled her salary by transitioning into sales at LaunchDarkly (the very place she used to work as a janitor). SF Chronicle highlighted Raven’s success story, where she shared that, “Coming from where I come from and being able to position myself into this kind of career, it really meant a lot to me.”

We are incredibly grateful for our students, team, partners, and investors for continuously supporting and trusting us on our journey to empower upward mobility through education and access. We’d like to sincerely thank each of you for the critical role you play in helping us build the vocational school of the future while prioritizing DEI and deep, impactful industry change.

If you are interested in learning more about our program, how to support our mission, or how to connect with our diverse pool of elite SDRs, please reach out to us at hello@flockjay.com.

Read more on Flockjay’s funding at Fast Company

See career opportunities at https://jobs.lever.co/flockjay 

Apply to join our next class at https://flockjay.com

Read more incredible student stories on our company blog

See our post about reskilling & rehiring on Crunchbase’s blog 

Follow us on Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram

Check out our reviews on our official Flockjay Reviews page, Glassdoor, & CourseReport 

flockjay is a glassdoor best place to work 2021