It’s Not What You Know, It’s Who You Know

Jazmine Alessio joined the Wink team after a chance networking encounter with Managing Partner, Kristie Atkins

The world may have changed but those famous old words still ring true.

Some of us may have found our way into a career in the incentives and rewards space but let’s face it, no-one really started out planning to be here.

Kids want to be astronauts and firemen. How often do they say I want to run loyalty programs or sell gift cards (even if, statistics show it’s still what they want when it comes to their birthday)?

The path to the profession is usually through marketing or sales and occasionally finance or some kind of general business pursuit. Yet what if you’ve never had any or very little experience in any of those?

Meet one of Wink’s latest and greatest new recruits. She’s young, smart, dynamic and has not yet finished her university studies. She’s had professional experience but nowhere near others currently in the job market, so why did she get picked?

We first met this young lady online as part of a mass careers engagement day run by one of Sydney’s leading Schools of Business. She was one face in a crowd of hundreds, yet she stood out. She was different.

Immediately after the first session, she sent a LinkedIn connection request with a personal message identifying specific aspects of an address I had given that resonated with her. I shot her a note back and she responded with a thank you.

Fast forward a few weeks and the same School of Business had identified what it termed “the best of the best” students. We were teed up to provide in-person executive mentoring support to groups of the top 100 or so. The same young lady made the list and sought us out.

She had copies of her CV ready to go, a firm handshake, great eye contact and a confident and easy manner that made you feel like you had met her a hundred times before.

After the day, she followed up with her CV in digital form and emailed a thank you note.

We started recruiting for more fresh faces to join our team. Every time we considered an emerging talent, she kept coming up. No-one knew what she had, but she had “it”. Why waste time on reviewing generic CV’s when we had the style and attitude we wanted at our fingertips? She was hired.

Our new recruit is tenacious, has a willingness to learn and a maturity and approach way beyond her years. She loves the product, brings experience from retail and fundraising that is directly relatable to what we do and is a breath of fresh air. The rest can be taught.

This may not be the profession she dreamed about as a little girl. However, in the words of entertainment personality Stephen Colbert, “Thankfully, dreams can change. If we’d all stuck with our first dream, the world would be overrun with cowboys and princesses.”