"Grades, test scores, GPA are great. But experience and your network are really what take your career to the next level. Have an idea of what you want to do and find someone that does that currently. Ask him or her to mentor you, develop a relationship, and cultivate it."
My career roadmap has been all over the place.
Mr. Walker’s Honors History/Government course was a significant influence for my pursuit for politics. At the time, I wanted to pursue a career in DC.
After graduating from AOC in 2013, I continued my education at COC to complete a Political Science AA Degree. I also joined the ModelUN team and the Political Science Club.
I transferred to UCLA in 2014 to pursue my Bachelor's in Political Science and Government. I became heavily involved with Student Government, specifically the Undergraduate Students Association Council.
In 2016, things would change however. To me, Trump’s election was a clear sign that pursuing a career Washington DC/career in politics was NOT the place for me post-grad.
My interests shifted towards technology and entrepreneurship. I graduated from UCLA in 2017 with my Political Science degree, but I look onward towards developing a tech background.
In 2017, I was hired at Evident.io, a small cloud security start-up in the San Francisco Bay Area. I worked as a Entreprise Business Development Representative and a Commercial Sales Development Representative.
Palo Alto Networks acquired Evident.io in 2019. I continued to work for them, as I rose from a business development representative to a Corporate Account Executive, which is the position that I occupy now.
Here are my extracurriculars relevant to this pathway
DURING MY AOC CAREER
AOC PoliSci and Debate Club
JSA (Junior Statesman of America)
City of Santa Clarita Visions in Progress Youth Advisory Committee
AOC ASB Senior VP
City of Santa Clarita Parks and Rec Intern
DURING MY COLLEGE CAREER
UCLA Alumni Student Fundraiser
Bruins United and Undergraduate Students Association Council (Student Government)
American Israel Public Affairs Committee Fellow and Intern
What I'm currently doing/hope to do
Currently, I am a Corporate Account Manager at Palo Alto Networks. Essentially, I am responsible for generating net new revenue for our company by providing solutions and value to customers via our cybersecurity product portfolio. My day consists of several customer/partner facing calls/meetings in which I understand relevant pain points and problems they face and the solutions we as Palo Alto Networks can offer.
Right now, there are many career pathways available to me. Being under the Sales/Go-To-Market organization, I have many options. I could go into customer success, sales management, channel/partner/distribution management, Sales Enablement, Sales Strategy etc list goes on. I personally would like to transition to Sales Management and/or Sales Strategy.
How to maximize your AOC experience?
Advice #1: INTERNSHIPS, INTERNSHIPS, INTERNSHIPS. Number 1 advice. Grades, test scores, GPA are great. But experience and your network are really what take your career to the next level. Have an idea of what you want to do and find someone that does that currently. Ask him or her to mentor you, develop a relationship, and cultivate it. From that you can get access to internships which will fill you with invaluable experience. IMO more important than what a transcript can show.