‘Space and Grace’ — What It Means to Grow Professionally at AlertMedia

Employees credit the company’s plentiful career development opportunities, positive company culture and inspiring mission for their professional growth and success.

Written by Olivia McClure
Published on Jul. 10, 2024
‘Space and Grace’ — What It Means to Grow Professionally at AlertMedia
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 Portia Smith used to be the person in the room with all the answers. 

That’s because, before joining AlertMedia’s team, she was a high school teacher. Smith loved every chance she had to connect with her students and break down complex information about government and history. Yet toward the end of her teaching career, she realized what she really enjoyed the most was building courses and assessments rather than delivering them. 

That was right before she stumbled across a social media video that changed everything, exposing her to different types of tech roles that are well-suited for former educators. 

“Learning and development roles seemed like a perfect fit,” Smith said. “I could do what I loved all day.” 

So she made the leap into the learning and development space and stepped into her current role as an L&D manager at AlertMedia, where she has spent the last two years creating and delivering content designed to support ongoing skill development for the company’s post-sales teams. 

The safety solutions company gave Smith a sought-after sense of career direction, guiding her on a supportive path toward fulfillment. 

It has done the same for Cheyene Lockhart, who was 20 years old when she joined the company. Despite never having an office job prior  to AlertMedia, she soon found herself building a team from the ground up as a customer support manager.  

“AlertMedia has given me the confidence and tools to take control of my career journey and not be afraid to reach for higher goals,” Lockhart said. 

At AlertMedia, every team member’s career journey is unique, yet each one is anchored in having access to resources and people who are eager to help them reach their professional aims. It’s a workplace so empowering, it enabled Garrett Bogorad, once a certified wine specialist, to become a director of sales development. 

“Here, I’m surrounded by people I can lean on and learn from and who care about my growth and development,” he said.

AlertMedia has been a professional launching pad for Smith, Lockhart and Bogorad, setting each one on an unexpected path toward career success. 

 

ABOUT ALERTMEDIA

AlertMedia helps organizations protect their people and businesses through all phases of an emergency. Our award-winning threat intelligence, emergency communication and travel risk management solutions help companies of all sizes identify, respond to and recover from critical events faster and more confidently. AlertMedia supports essential communication for thousands of leading businesses — including DHL, JetBlue, Coca-Cola Bottling, In-N-Out and Walmart — in more than 130 countries. 

 

Gaining the Confidence to Grow

“As a former teacher working in tech for the first time, acclimating to the company was a huge culture shock for me,” Smith recalled. 

Stepping into her role at AlertMedia was overwhelming, to say the least, which is why she immediately sought to understand how she fit into the bigger picture, building up a knowledge base of industry acronyms and terminology. 

“I knew there was a reason I was chosen; I just needed to figure out how my skill set could be an asset,” Smith said. 

Once she had solidified an understanding of her role and the company, she started to incorporate her passion for curriculum development into her role. For Smith, seeing the leadership invest in software for designing, editing and authoring e-learning content was a pivotal moment. 

“Having the space and opportunity to learn new software skills gave me the tools and ability to develop my existing talents and expand the types of learning experiences I can offer,” she said.

 

“Having the space and opportunity to learn new software skills gave me the tools and ability to develop my existing talents and expand the types of learning experiences I can offer.”

 

This level of support has continued over the years, as Smith’s director has encouraged her to take on new initiatives and projects outside of traditional L&D responsibilities, enabling her to expand her curriculum and design new skills. According to her, this freedom has given her the confidence to grow in other areas, such as creating customer-facing content. 

During a conversation with an implementation manager, Smith was asked to help create a course to train administrators who use the company’s platform, and she took on the challenge wholeheartedly. Since then, she has spent a significant amount of time developing administrative and business travel safety courses. 

Joining AlertMedia has allowed Smith to embrace a level of work-life balance she said she has never had before. That’s why she plans to “ride the wave a bit longer” as she pursues her next big goal to build an entire customer-facing course catalog with materials that can serve the company’s entire customer base.

“It sounds cliché, but joining this company was the best opportunity and decision I’ve made in my career,” Smith said.

 

Finding ‘Space and Grace’

Lockhart may be from a small town in Texas, but her career ambitions are larger than life.

These dreams are what led her to move to Austin to take on a job at AlertMedia. And since joining the company, Lockhart said, she has found “space and grace” to be herself and grow, both personally and professionally.

“The people I’ve met are some of the most positive influences I’ve ever had in my life,” she shared.

 

“The people I’ve met are some of the most positive influences I’ve ever had in my life.”

 

Lockhart believes AlertMedia truly buys into each individual’s growth journey. She has had the chance to take part in the company’s three-month “Leading at Alert” manager training as well as its six-month mentorship program.

“Without these tools and resources, my growth wouldn’t have been as exponential as it has been,” Lockhart said.

But the opportunities for development don’t stop there. Lockhart shared that she has participated in quarterly Ascend Manager training courses, developed and led by AlertMedia’s People team and business leaders, related to various topics, such as giving feedback and supporting direct reports’ career growth, for her ongoing learning. 

She believes that the company has taught her about the value of patience, professionalism, radical candor and more. And she feels confident that, no matter where she works within the company, she will find the guidance and support she needs to thrive — and she can’t imagine herself anywhere else.

“The culture of growth is so evident at AlertMedia,” she said. “It’s one of the main reasons why I would rather work here than anywhere else.”

 

On a ‘Mission to Do Good’

Bogorad believes his career journey really began during a wine-making internship in California.

He said that’s where he discovered a passion for wine, which inspired him to earn a degree in wine, viticulture and wine business. And while Bogorad’s love for wine has never faded, his career path took a turn into the sales realm, where he was able to further his interest in connecting with people.

He initially began his sales career selling to restaurants and retailers on the West Coast before he moved to Austin and stepped into software and inside sales. According to Bogorad, that’s where he discovered AlertMedia and joined the company as its first sales development representative. 

Now, he spends his days building and scaling a team of managers and SDRs while identifying and improving process efficiency and productivity to drive outbound pipeline. But for Bogorad, the journey toward professional fulfillment isn’t over. 

“As I think about the next phase of my career, I want to be in an environment where I can develop my skills, round out my business acumen and be a part of a team with a mission to do good,” he said. “AlertMedia does just that, and it’s motivating.”

 

“I want to be in an environment where I can develop my skills, round out my business acumen and be a part of a team with a mission to do good.”

 

Since joining the company, Bogorad has been able to refine his outbound sales process and his closing skills while learning how to leverage various technologies. He said that there are other opportunities to grow as well, including the “Coffee and Connect” program, which encourages SDRs to meet with team members in other departments.

For Bogorad, one of the most gratifying aspects of his career at AlertMedia has been seeing his peers thrive, particularly through the company’s SDR program, which feeds top performers into different business functions. With so many internal promotions taking place consistently, he explained, it’s not hard to see how the company encourages its people to grow — and stay. 

“I still see many of the same faces as I did when I started five years ago, which is a testament to our culture, product and mission,” Bogorad said.

As he aims to continue building out his own skill set, he’s determined to help others do the same while pursuing the ultimate goal: Connecting with the world’s top security and safety leaders so that more companies recognize the power of AlertMedia. 

“Our opportunity to grow is still massive,” Bogorad said. “We’ve only just scratched the surface.”

 

 

Responses have been edited for length and clarity. Images provided by AlertMedia.

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