Look Ma, I’m a Professional
As a student who has always been curious and industrious, I walked in excited (and of course, nervous) for the first day of my co-op term at Allocadia. Fast forward to eight months later, I can say, with every inch of confidence in my body, that I have never felt more accomplished, more confident, and more resourceful.
In April 2019, I was given the opportunity of a lifetime. I was humbled to be a part of Allocadia, a small-medium Vancouver-based Software as a Service (SaaS) company. Allocadia’s mission is to help marketing leaders around the globe plan their marketing spend strategically, measure performance, and bring better results. Allocadia’s namesake tool allows for greater transparency of marketing spend and hence, helps elevate conversations on marketing actions. Through its offering, Allocadia has been at the forefront of creating a new core platform investment called Marketing Performance Management (MPM) and proudly helps many Fortune 500 companies as well as emerging organizations across various industries propel their marketing actions in the right direction.
My role, Solutions and Services Co-op, is named after the very department, Solutions and Services. The department is heavily structured around consultation and provision of needs-based solutions after sales. The department itself consists of various teams, namely, Professional Services, Technical Solutions/Integrations, Support, and Education. All the teams work in tandem to ensure smooth onboarding of new clients into the tool, as well as seeing through some change-management projects for existing clients. My department is specifically responsible for understanding customer-needs on various levels, facilitating integrations with their CRM and EPM systems, training them on the tool, and finally supporting them with any concerns or questions.
A major part of my role at Allocadia involved supporting various projects and gaining technical insights into the tool itself. I also got the opportunity to work with integration systems like Azuqua and Embedded Analytics tool like GoodData. By May, I had a good idea about what my position entailed. On a daily basis, my tasks involved data cleaning and manipulation using Excel, creating analytics reports using GoodData, data import and validation, and project support. However, I was surprised to learn how well my tasks and acquired skills at Allocadia aligned with my professional goals of venturing into project management and data analytics. Being a marketing major, I got the opportunity to dive into a data-driven marketing culture and work first-hand in a company that has been a pioneer in this field.
Teamwork Makes the Dream Work
If I had to describe my experience at Allocadia in a few words, the aforesaid phrase is most fitting. I was inspired to see the chemistry amongst team members and the drive to learn, excel, and work as a unit. The team building exercises, the recreational offsite activities and socials were always bustling with positive energies, passion, and affinity. Within days of starting work, I made great connections and felt confident walking into work. My team members were supportive, and they provided a great working and learning environment that allowed me to thrive. While I do take back valuable skills and experiences to school as I wrap up my term, the thing I am most proud of is the meaningful conversations I engaged myself in during these last eight months. My coworkers were great conversationalists who could effortlessly hold anyone’s attention and keep an audience captivated. I learned a great deal about public speaking from them, and I feel that this is something that will never run obsolete wherever I go.
Every team at Allocadia celebrated Fridays (yes, you read that right!!!) in their own unique ways, but the one thing that brought everyone together was the BEER CART. My team would get together and play games, drink local craft-beer, and wrap up the week with some great tunes, suggested by over 30 people. Music, games, and beer brought everyone together, and it was a delight to see everyone celebrate work and achievements every week in great spirit (HA, an occasional pun!).
My tenure at Allocadia was defined by skill enrichment, great colleagues, and growing self-esteem. My advice to anyone venturing into their first ever co-op, especially with a tech company, is to keep the conversations going, and to stay open-minded as every day is poised to be a new challenge.
Beyond the Blog
To learn more about opportunities like Sharan's, visit SFU's Beedie Co-op.