My Name Is Monica Jacob — This Is Why I Joined Aha!
I got the “gift of gab” from my Cuban-Italian family. I was a chatty kid who loved to scribble down my thoughts. Words helped me stand out. Most notably in first grade, when I was asked to write a one-page essay on Peter Rabbit and instead turned in a six-page dissertation — detailing the fuzzy critter’s many ups and downs to my classmates.
I have always looked for ways to connect with others and express my creativity, preferably at the same time.
As a teenager, I was naturally drawn to a specialized high school that focused on communication arts. In addition to regular studies, I took classes in design, speech, photography, and film. From the yearbook to creating the school’s weekly video announcements — I loved being a part of it all.
This experience inspired me to pursue a career in the arts. (I even briefly considered becoming a screenwriter once I got to college.) But after realizing that the starving-artist lifestyle was not for me, I started to look for ways to put my strong communication skills to use in the business world. So, I pursued a communications degree with a concentration in public relations and marketing.
I started with an internship at a boutique public relations agency in my hometown of San Antonio, TX. I had the chance to work closely with the CEO, writing new account proposals and connecting with local reporters and influencers. Next, I interned at Rackspace, a large cloud-computing company. It was not a typical intern role — I helped to launch a cloud boot camp education program and rebuilt our team’s reporting processes.
As soon as I graduated college, I was asked to join the corporate communications team at Rackspace full time and the momentum kept going. I led public relations for many of the company’s top revenue-driving business units and got to travel around the world to different industry events. I also worked closely with customers such as YETI, Tinder, Mark Cuban Companies, and the National Kidney Registry, helping to tell compelling stories.
Connecting with people was always my favorite part of the work — understanding their point of view and how I could best tell their part of the story.
After five years, I was asked to take on a few projects outside of traditional public relations. Getting a taste of this extra responsibility made me realize that I wanted to be involved in all aspects of a program — from strategy to project management and internal communications. I started looking for a new opportunity where I could make this happen.
So, it was fortuitous when I discovered that Aha! was looking for someone to develop new communication programs. It sounded like the exact opportunity I was looking for, so I applied and quickly began interviewing.
I spoke with several members of the team and was impressed — not just with the work they were doing, but also with their values. I was wowed that one of the fastest-growing companies in the U.S. still managed to prioritize employee joy and kindness. I knew I wanted to be part of it.
No two days have been the same since joining Aha! — I am constantly looking for new ways to collaborate with the team and share our story.
I love my work. Just like I was searching for, I get to use my creativity and people skills to manage many different projects. In the past year, I got to foster relationships with industry influencers and work on new programs that brought major recognition to our team — such as ranking #143 on the Inc. 5000 List and #50 on Deloitte’s Technology Fast 500.
I love building relationships with our team, customers, and experts in our space. It feels good to have such a unique story to share — one about a rapidly growing company that still puts people first.
That is why I joined Aha! — and why you should too.