Want to Grow Your Career? Join a Company That Values Professional Development.

These Colorado tech companies actively help their employees gain new skills.
Written by Michael Hines
November 9, 2021Updated: November 15, 2021

Ethan Gilbert has had the type of career arc that makes people want to work in tech.

Gilbert joined Prologis, a logistics real estate company, in 2018 as an environmental, social and governance analyst. A little more than three years later, he is the company’s director of ESG.

Mishay Benson of SambaSafety, Ranya Ankarlo of Homebot and Luke Flege of Xactly have had similar trajectories. Benson and Ankarlo both moved into director roles at their respective companies within three years of joining.

Although their roles and companies differ, all organizations actively work to ensure employees are ready to seize new opportunities when they arise. Benson said that SambaSafety both helps employees develop professionally and figure out what career path they want to walk.

“SambaSafety has never put a cap or restriction on my ability to grow,” Benson said. “This company has helped me to understand what my career passions are and make them reality.”

Career development isn’t just about moving people into leadership roles: It’s also about giving entry-level employees the tools and support needed to develop their skill sets and move upward. 

Continue reading to learn more about how these four Colorado tech companies help employees accelerate their career development. 

 

Ranya Ankarlo
Director of Customer Success

What role were first hired for at Homebot?

I joined Homebot in 2018 as our first customer support representative. Usually when you think of tech support, you think “mundane,” but that was never the case at Homebot! In my first several months every day of the job was a challenge and a massive learning opportunity. The role allowed me to become an encyclopedia of our product, not only to our customers but internally to my teammates.

I learned how to be resourceful and efficient while problem-solving and became our customer advocate through day-to-day conversations that allowed me to convey necessary feedback. This ultimately resulted in enhancing and growing our product.
 

When I reflect back on where I started versus where I am now, I’m overwhelmingly grateful.

What role are you in now? 

I’m now, proudly, our director of customer success. When I reflect back on where I started versus where I am now, I’m overwhelmingly grateful. A contributing factor to my growth was my eagerness and willingness to learn. This is naturally cultivated across our entire team and in Homebot’s culture. Trial and error was a large part of the learning process, and I had to take risks and get comfortable being uncomfortable. I’ve also had the unique pleasure of working closely with exceptionally smart and strategically driven individuals, from the top of our executive team down to my peers and colleagues. 

I’m currently scaling our customer success team. Less than a year ago, a CSM only had one promotional path. Today, there’s a variety of opportunities to grow on our team, all the way from junior-level roles to management. Being able to give people on our team the chance to excel the way that Homebot gave me the chance to grow my career is incredibly rewarding.

 

What is the most important skill you’ve acquired on the job?

I’ve learned several career-building skills during my time at Homebot, but by far the most important one that will continue to serve me is to never cut corners. If you put in the time and thoughtfulness to learn a new skill set or complete a challenging task, it will pay off big time in the long run.

I learned this skill early on in my customer support days. The job requires attention to detail and the ability to problem-solve. Learning to exhaust all my options and put forth effort initially while helping customers was a skill I continued to carry forward as I supported our highest-touch enterprise customers as a customer success manager. Now as a leader, I continue to instill this skill in our team.

 

Ethan Gilbert
Director, ESG

What role were first hired for at Prologis?

I was originally hired as an environmental, social and governance, or ESG, analyst. Some of my primary functions included supporting our reporting work by helping with our annual sustainability report, our responses to annual sustainability assessments and other sustainability reports. I also was tasked with supporting and managing work tied to our annual data collection of biannual sustainability KPIs and the data needed for our annual carbon footprint report.
 

Now I have the opportunity to help rebuild our team and currently have my own direct report.


What role are you in now?

I am now a director of ESG. This has been the result of being persistent through significant change and has included managing all of the work and responsibilities of the team as members have come and gone. Now I have the opportunity to help rebuild our team and currently have my own direct report. I am still doing a lot of the work to support our annual reporting efforts, but I am now in a position of overseeing and managing these projects. I’m  currently helping to support our teams in communicating our sustainability efforts to new and existing investors.

 

How has Prologis supported your career growth throughout this journey?

Prologis has trusted in me to continue to advance our program while our team has changed. For example, I was trusted with continuing to run our annual sustainability efforts while our company was rebuilding the sustainability team. This included giving me additional opportunities to represent the company and the ESG team to internal and external stakeholders. It has also involved providing sustainability training to new employees as well as representing the company by presenting to investors the ways that we create value through our sustainability initiatives.

 

Mishay Benson
Director of Customer Operations

What role were first hired for at SambaSafety?

I was initially brought into the company as a senior onboarding specialist. In this role I was responsible for the initial post-sale interaction with new accounts that needed configuration and training. This was the best learning experience for me and I am very grateful I had the opportunity to see the company process from the beginning.

 

SambaSafety has never put a cap or restriction on my ability to grow.


What role are you in now? 

I am currently the director of customer operations where I manage a team of managers whose teams all work in support of customer-facing positions. I love this role because it has absolutely allowed me to do something I am most passionate about with my managers. Right now we are working on a series of process improvement initiatives across all three of my teams to ensure the customer experience is the best it can be and to make sure we have a tight, efficient workflow across our customer experience.

 

What is the most important skill you've acquired on the job? 

SambaSafety has never put a cap or restriction on my ability to grow. This company has helped me to understand what my career passions are and make them reality. The biggest thing that Samba has done for me in the last several years is to create an environment where my role, no matter what it was, was impactful and all the work I did was recognized and praised. 

The most important skill I have acquired here has been a sharpening of my management skills and a broadening of the business knowledge I developed during my first days with the company. My industry knowledge has become more refined and I continue to grow it by creating deep, meaningful relationships with other departments across the company.

 

Luke Flege
Revenue Operations Analyst

What role were first hired for at Xactly Corp?

I joined Xactly as a sales operations analyst after my junior year at the University of Denver. This was my first introduction to the software industry and the responsibilities of a sales operations team. My internship allowed me to better my analytical skills through projects that exposed me to people in all different departments.

To kick off my time at Xactly, I took over the launch of a new sales engagement tool and learned how to integrate this tool with our existing systems, allowing me to report on key metrics for sales leaders. I also learned how to create Salesforce dashboards to present the reports I had been working on all summer in a way that was easy to view and understand.
 

My team was recently given the opportunity to take a variety of courses that prepared us to acquire certifications corresponding to our day-to-day responsibilities.


What role are you in now? 

Xactly allowed me to stay on part-time after my internship as I finished up my senior year of college. I was ultimately hired as a full-time employee where I now work as a revenue operations analyst. The most interesting project I am involved in at the moment is transforming our spreadsheet views into a folder of dashboards within “Xactly Forecasting.”

 

How has Xactly supported your career growth throughout this journey?

Everyone who is, or has been, on my team throughout my two years at Xactly has had a huge impact on my professional development. There has always been a clear goal to help each other learn and grow as a group. For example, my team was recently given the opportunity to take a variety of courses that prepared us to acquire certifications corresponding to our day-to-day responsibilities.

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