Bandalier’s team is built by folks who are ready to build a new career. As they move into new roles, we love to stay in touch to learn more about their new experiences. Our CEO, Jeremy, recently caught up with Bandalier alumni Alex Acosta to discuss his experiences with Bandalier and how he prepared to pursue his dream career. You can see the interview and other Bandalier alumni interviews on our Team Member Stories page – or keep reading to learn more about Alex’s steps to build his new career.
Alex joined the Bandalier team last May. Like many of our team members, Alex had plenty of experience in other fields. After almost a decade in optical sales and management, he was ready to pursue a new career path. He knew he had plenty of skills at his disposal, but it was tough to find a role that seemed right for him.
“I started looking around, seeing what was available, but the experience needed was extensive. It was discouraging, to be honest.”
His experience echoes a common frustration for job-seekers – many entry-level roles require years of experience in the field. Bandalier doesn’t. Using our data-driven recruiting process, we connect with talent all across the country. Only the top two percent of applicants complete our interview process and join our team.
Ales was part of that two percent. From his first interview with Jeremy and another member of our recruiting team, Alex was clear about his goals: he wanted to be hired by his client. He was open about those goals, too:
“I was clear about what I wanted and what people could offer me, even if they couldn’t promise it to me. I wanted everyone to know what it is that I wanted. It can sound selfish, but when you are willing to put in that work, and you’re confident about what you can bring to the table, you just need to be ready to learn. Tell people what you want to accomplish in 3 months, or 6 months, or make it 8 months.”
That clarity of purpose drove him toward success. As soon as he finished Bandalier University, Alex started climbing up our activity leaderboards. He saw every call as an opportunity to practice his new skills, even if his prospects weren’t quite ready to cross the finish line. As he grew comfortable in his role, he realized that he still wanted to learn more. Whether that meant that he was learning more technical terms from his client or running through roleplays with his Program Manager, Brenden, he was constantly looking for ways to improve his results. Alex quickly realized that he wanted to get his skills to a new level:
“Bandalier University will get you to the first level, where you feel comfortable. But when you hit the phones, you realize there’s another level, and that you’ll have a lot more to learn. You have to be okay with asking for help and trying to grab time. Most of the people you work with have done it before.”
Alex took the concept of kaizen and ran with it. His client noticed his drive to improve and supported his growth by pairing him with other team members and encouraging them to work together on new initiatives. Sales calls can seem simple – after all, it’s just a conversation, right? But starting that conversation can be tough. When we asked Alex about his sales strategy, he said:
“There’s a lot of coordinating. You’re trying to get a CEO on the phone, which is nearly impossible. There’s a lot of targeting. You have to find the account, and do a lot of research. Look at their social media – can you find their Twitter handle? LinkedIn page? It took me 2 months to get some people on the phone. It takes a lot of creativity, but it’s really rewarding when you speak to someone.”
Alex’s persistence and creativity paid off in a matter of months. From his first meeting with his client, he was open about his interest in joining their team. In return, they were transparent about his progress toward that goal. Just like his sales conversations, Alex made sure to follow up on his opportunity to join his client’s team:
“All goes back to being open and transparent. They asked about my goals during our first meeting, and I was open about my goal being a direct hire. What if they’d said no? Better to know then and go back to the drawing board. I followed up with them periodically after that, and as the economy shifted, the opportunity opened up.”
In the fall of 2022, Alex left the Bandalier team to start his new role. Though we miss our team members, we’re always excited to see them pursue new opportunities. As Jeremy describes it:
“It’s one of the things we talk about with new team members. A lot of people feel like it’s good to hold their cards kind of close to their chest. They don’t know how Bandalier will feel about them wanting to go in-house with a client. We tell folks from day one that cases like Alex’s, cases where clients are hiring folks directly, as a big win on all sides.”