What I learned about the 'power of together' at Ellucian Live
- Gabriel won a trip to attend Ellucian Live 2019.
- Meeting new colleagues and customers, and reconnecting with old ones, drove home the importance of personal connections and relationship-building.
- Post-eLive, Gabriel remains inspired by the experience and is finding ways to channel the positive energy to his current team.
On my first day back in the office after Ellucian Live 2019, I walked into work a bit lighter, standing taller, and with more confidence than I have ever had in my life.
Why? Because at my first eLive, I got to see firsthand the scale of what we do at Ellucian and who we influence on a day-to-day basis. I saw how we excel in maintaining and creating new and valuable relationships throughout the entire world.
I also now truly know what people mean when they say they are “hungry.”
Okay, let me clarify, as I am a portly fellow: I don’t mean I am craving some good ol’ Texas BBQ and sweet tea.
No, what I mean is that I am reinvigorated with drive, excitement, and motivation, and I am craving learning more about all of our Ellucian products. Not just the products I work with currently—I really want to know about all our products. While my experience and current role keep me mainly in Banner, and while being a funky tech is great, I know we have far more to offer. At #eLive19, I connected with people who love their jobs and the solutions they support. It was fantastic to get more insight into our products by hearing firsthand how we are leading the industry—in more ways than one!
Ellucian has a brand that is held to a higher standard—and I hope that we are forever held to it. It means we are the best at what we do as the leaders of our industry worldwide, thanks to great people and the relationships we have built with our brand and the higher education community.
Speaking of relationships...
At eLive, Kim Fisher, Ellucian’s senior director of global sales enablement, asked customers and employees to define their personal brand with one word. Regrettably, I was not able to share my word with her in person, so in lieu of my missed opportunity, I will share my word now: “relationships.”
Relationships are the foundation of what Ellucian is built on. It was the theme of the conference and the theme of my eLive. Everything I did there revolved around relationships. Whether it was reconnecting with an old colleague, working with the other eLive winners, fostering continued relations with the schools we serve, or creating new relationships, it all centered around some sort of relationship that was built and nurtured. Our values are expressly written with relationships and the idea of the “Power of Together” in mind.
Post-eLive, my new purpose both professionally and personally is to connect with more people in every capacity and use those connections to help connect others so that they, too, can build lasting relationships and networks.
Admittedly, at times prior to eLive, it was sometimes difficult to truly feel a part of this large organization. While our small team of three does a great job celebrating being a part of Ellucian, being located on-site with a client makes it challenging to stay connected. Video conferencing is a fantastic tool, but nothing compares to the real thing.
That’s why, at our pre-conference pep rally, it hit me: “I am a part of something huge.” It wasn’t just the number of employees in one place—it was being belonging to a culture and brand that I am proud to be a part of. Meeting so many like-minded people that feel the same way I do was inspiring. I felt pride, motivation, and team spirit, and I am inspired to step up my game of representing myself and the Ellucian brand. I never in my life thought I would be so proud to wear purple everything!
By working so closely with my eLive team and helping them work conference events, I also gained a new perspective on the effort and preparation involved. I am still a little sad that I won’t work with my eLive crew anymore!
My eLive badge now hangs right behind my monitor so it’s always in my field of view and I am reminded of my experience. Ellucian Live was a great way to reset, meet new people, learn new things, and come back stronger than ever! My challenge now is to harness this feeling of positivity and motivation and bring it to my current team.
I couldn’t be happier with my experience, my colleagues, and most of all my company. I will treasure the relationships I built, and I look forward to seeing those relationships grow. To those I met: please know, whether it was a quick interaction, a dinner conversation, a photo opportunity, painting a wall, or taking a quick selfie, you made an impact on me and many others. We should never underestimate the importance of these connections.