Meet the Allocadia team: Lights, Camera, Jorelle! A story of change

By July 25, 2019Culture Blog

Every Allocadian has their own story to share. Meet Jorelle Almeda and learn about his journey at Allocadia.

I was fresh out of college with a degree in History and a Minor in International Relations when I started my career at Allocadia. I worked part-time in sales during school, so naturally, I jumped on the opportunity to join a growing start-up as a Sales Development Representative (SDR). I didn’t have formal training but what I did have was the ambition to apply myself to whatever was thrown at me and the openness to learn. 

Going into the job, I knew that I had a few skills that could be lent to my new role. I could hold a conversation and build rapport, I had strong research skills and I was all too familiar with rejection. After a few months, I was ramped up and chugging along with my duties. What drew me into work every morning with a bright disposition were the people around me. I knew I could be me. On the first day I came in, my desk was barren and organized, but after a week I had filled it with bobbleheads, lightsabers, and posters of things I loved, showcasing all that is Jorelle. 

So who is Jorelle? Growing up, I idolized the early stars of YouTube. I made videos with my parent’s camera and any free editing software I could get my hands on. That hobby developed into a passion for story-telling. After two failed attempts at entering an International Relations program, I reflected deeply on what my next move would be. I knew that I wanted to be happy, but being 23 at the time, I wasn’t entirely sure what that meant. After several days of reflection, I honed in on the two things that made me happy in life – cartoons and making people laugh. So I set my sights on becoming a showrunner or a screenplay writer, and have been honing my craft ever since.

Which brings me back to my role at Allocadia. My plan was to work as an SDR until I could apply to UCLA for a writing program. What I didn’t expect was how welcoming and nurturing the culture at Allocadia would be. Within a few months I started learning more about the company and becoming more attracted to the marketing team’s programs. I made friends on the team and was asked to help out with a video project once in a while. Then – a few spots opened up and I saw my chance! I applied but it wasn’t the right fit. I wasn’t too shaken, after all, my goal was to become a writer. So, I continued as an SDR and doubled my effort to generate more sales. 

About a year into working, the company participated in an off-site story-telling workshop which to me, was the best ‘field trip’ I could have asked for. We were asked to prepare a story of ourselves which we would workshop and then potentially share to a wider audience. I decided to be bold and share the story that I explained above, my pursuit of writing. Nearing the end of that day, we were asked to buddy up and share with a new partner. I scanned the room to make eye contact with a peer who I would share this personal quest of mine with. But before I did, our CEO Kristine Steuart, elatedly exclaimed, “I want to hear your story!”. The only thing that would make me feel more like a deer in headlights would be a well-timed DJ turntable scratch. I was about to tell the CEO of Allocadia, that I had aspirations beyond the role I was in.

What happened next was a definitive moment in my life. I remember her nodding excitedly at every turn my story took and at the end of it, she applauded me for my honesty. She told me to continue pursuing my dream and that she would see to it that Allocadia nurtured my passion instead of squashing it. I was shook. 

From then on, Kristine took it upon herself to include me in our company meetings. She had learned that I loved being on stage and sharing stories. I was invited to share the same story with the entire company which then got my foot in the door to join the marketing team. I started off working part-time, editing and filming videos, while balancing the duties of an SDR. I couldn’t believe that being candid about my talents and my passions could yield such a positive reaction.  I was lucky enough to be offered a full-time role as a Marketing Specialist a few months after. That isn’t to say I didn’t enjoy being an SDR, that role was a foundational building block from which I was able to leap from. And I was pretty good at it too!

Video requests came pouring in from every department. I was taken aback by the amount of support and encouragement I received from the company to do work that actually aligned with my talents and ambitions. One of the earliest projects I was asked to create was to encompass the culture of our company in the form of a “73 questions” styled video. 

I am proud to say that in my two years working here, I have never had to sacrifice my identity or my passions. I can honestly say that Allocadia is a different kind of company, they truly care about your personal and professional growth. 

Watch Jorelle’s “73 Questions” video and see what it’s like to be an Allocadian!