In Her Own Words: How Elevation Ally Helped me Launch my Career

If you’ve landed on our blog, you might be looking for some concrete proof of why you need Elevation Ally. By partnering with Elevation Ally, you’ll get one-on-one focused attention to assist with your job search, the interview process and succeeding in the workplace. Together, we outline your goals, create an actionable strategic plan, and implement each step to ensure success.

Founder + Career Consultant, Arlena Jackson, has 20 years as a successful communications executive, leading and managing global teams for major organizations like IBM, NASA, Salesforce, Emerson and Thales e-Security in the Americas, Europe and Asia. Prior to leaving IBM, Arlena created and facilitated the IBM Corporate Communications Internship Program. It is now her mission to transform today’s emerging young women into tomorrow’s bold women leaders.

But, don’t just take our word for it, read on to hear just one example of success with Elevation Ally.

Samantha (Sammy) worked with career consultant, Arlena Jackson for two years. During this interview, she recaps the process from finding an internship to launching her career with Arlena as her key partner in success.

Q: Why did you decide to work with a career consultant?

A: As a college student, I had it together, because I always do! However, once second semester hit, I kept applying to internships and received no movement, no action. I had a talk with myself, and decided it was time to do something different for different results. I decided to INVEST in me vs. AROUND me.

Q: What was your journey with a career consultant like?

A: I partnered with Arlena because I knew working with a career consultant would not only give

me the strategies I needed for my internship and career, but the support and accountability I also needed. I explained to Arlena what I wanted out of our partnership and the internship I deserved. Together, we created my plan.

Our first task was me understanding that it was my job to roll up my sleeves and commit to the process. For me, that meant completing:

  • 5 applications per day
  • 25 applications by end of week
  • 100 applications by the end of the month

In order to complete all of these applications, Arlena helped me revamp my resume and personalize my applications and prep per each job.

Q: Can you give an example of this personalization for each job?

A: Yes, I was applying to a medical sales position, and the application asked about the instrument for sales. We worked on a custom approach for this specific instrument. Arlena helped me with:

  • The creation of interview questions
  • Conducting mock interviews
  • The breakdown of phone interviews vs. in person interviews

Q: What have your results been so far?

A: I had 3 offers in 30 days for summer internships. I gained invaluable negotiation confidence. I actually negotiated a 401K and Roth IRA, which is unheard of for interns, and I was still making money before I graduated. Additionally, I negotiated an increase of 12.5% in my internship pay.

I continued to work with Arlena throughout my summer experience, and she coached me on making weekly updates to my manager. As a result, I LED the summer internship presentation!

Moral of the story, this is a process and won’t happen overnight. With Arlena’s guidance

and experience as an executive and hiring manager, you will EARN the results YOU desire.

Q: Let’s fast forward to where you are today.

A: After my internship, I received a job offer from the company. I received a $7,000 salary increase from the initial offer, plus $4,000 in a relocation package. I GOT ALL OF THIS! But, more importantly, Arlena guided me on the POWER of intention with actions, and developing a relationship with my manager, so that he became my advocate.

ASK ARLENA: What can you say about Sammy’s Experience?

A: I worked with Sammy for two years, and the results she achieved were outstanding. She did not have to interview for her current position, because she used her internship as her longest interview. Companies will look for money for you if you prove yourself in this long interview. I can’t wait to see what Sammy will do next!


Arlena Jackson, MBA is an international career consultant, writer, keynote speaker and leadership trainer dedicated to the advancement of emerging young women worldwide. Considered the “career whisper” for early career professionals and emerging leaders, Arlena founded Elevation Ally after spending nearly 20 years in various executive roles where she led global communications teams with IBM, NASA, Emerson and Salesforce in the Americas, Europe and Asia. Arlena is a sought-after conference speaker, workshop presenter and panelists with universities and companies on careers, leadership, women at work and success in the workplace. For more information, email and connect with Arlena on TwitterFBLinkedIn and Instagram.