Employees at A-LIGN take many different paths throughout their journey – that’s why we sat down with Gabriella Howard, A-LIGN’s Learning Coordinator, to discuss the new hire orientation program she runs, her favorite part of working at A-LIGN and more! Read below for all the details.
Where are you from, and how did you begin your career at A-LIGN?
I was born in Orlando, Florida, and shortly after my family moved to Alaska for the first nine years of my life. Then, my family moved to Clermont, Florida, which is a little west of Orlando, and I’ve been in Florida ever since. In my early high school years, I watched my brother go off to college at Florida State University and I decided that was my dream college too. When I started at FSU, I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do, so I bounced around a few ideas from working in the medical field, to being a business major. I eventually stumbled upon a newer major that FSU was offering, called Information Communication and Technology, and decided to try that out. I was learning so much and fell in love with the feeling of learning something new every day, so I stuck with it. I had been to a few career fairs at FSU, where I was introduced to employees at A-LIGN, and here I am today!
Tell me about your role as the Learning Coordinator at A-LIGN.
The largest aspect of my role is to support all our new hires throughout their first few weeks at A-LIGN. I am responsible for running our new hire orientation, making sure our new hires have all the resources they need, and setting every individual up with any training programs they should be in. I also coordinate with the training facilitators and handle scheduling for all our training programs. Additionally, I get to do a lot of behind the scenes work with our performance management tool, so I run reports and analyze how all our departments are working towards growth.
How would you describe A-LIGN in one word?
What has surprised you most about working at A-LIGN?
The true opportunity to grow. I have grown a lot since I first started working at A-LIGN, and I believe it’s because of everyone being so supportive and encouraging to one another. Sometimes it may feel like I am being pushed a little bit out of my comfort zone, but I think that’s the reason I’ve grown so much. I truly feel that I’m learning something new every day, which is pretty awesome to think about.
What is your favorite part of working at A-LIGN?
Definitely the people. When I first started looking for a job back in college, I laid out all the things I was looking for in my first post-grad job. The number one thing on that list was to be surrounded by a great group of people that care about me and push me to do well. It’s really encouraging to know that all my coworkers have my best interest at heart and want to see me grow.
What have you gained professionally from working at A-LIGN?
I’ve gained a lot of experience improving my communication skills in a professional setting. I think it’s a huge learning curve that I’ve experienced, whether I’m interacting with C-suite individuals or new hires. I now feel confident navigating conversations in a professional setting with employees at all different levels.
How do you ensure employees are onboarded effectively?
Going into their new hire orientation and the onboarding process as a whole, I try to be as welcoming as possible and make sure our new hires feel comfortable. Aside from the interview process, I’m often one of the first individuals that our new hires meet, so I think it’s extremely important to make a good impression and represent A-LIGN well.
What is a work-related accomplishment that you’re proud of?
I’m really proud of the fact that I am now running our new hire orientations by myself. When I first started, if someone told me I would be doing this, I wouldn’t have believed them because my confidence was not there. I wasn’t even sure how to go about new hire orientations, but my team had the confidence in me and pushed me because they knew I could do it. Now, I run them by myself every week and get to see the positive feedback from new hires, which is really rewarding. It’s a huge accomplishment in my eyes to see new hires giving me that affirmation that they feel supported by me and appreciate everything I do to help them their first few weeks.
Which of our values (Be All In, Commit to Quality, Do the Right Thing Always, Innovate Constantly) do you identify with most and why?
Do the right thing always. I strongly believe that if you are doing the right thing always, that means you’re putting your best self forward and that you have the right intentions. With that comes working hard, doing your best work, and having integrity. When you’re doing the right thing always, everything else should fall into place.
What do you do for fun outside of work?
I love being outside, being in nature and going on the water on the weekends. I live near a lot of lakes, so my family is always out on the water. I love seeing and learning about new places, so I really enjoy spontaneous road trips or taking little adventures when I get the chance. I’m a huge family person so you’ll usually find me somewhere outside with my friends and family.