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Whether You Want to Play Pop Music or Pro Hockey, Crayon Has Your Back

For most of April, an indie pop band called shallow pools was touring the East Coast of the United States, making stops at legendary venues like Irving Plaza and Toad’s Place.

For now, the band is back at home in Boston—but if you take a few minutes to scroll through their Twitter timeline, you can live vicariously through their fans, many of whom have shared pictures from the tour with captions like “not gonna forget this night any time soon” and “listened to nothing but shallow pools between the Rhode Island and Albany shows.”

 

Impressive stuff, right?

Would you believe me if I told you their drummer is Crayon’s full-time Video Production Manager?

Yup. When she isn’t playing the skins for hundreds of people in the same rooms that once hosted The Ramones and Bob Dylan, our very own Ali Ajemian is editing the videos that you see on our YouTube channel, in our LinkedIn posts, and throughout Competitive Advantage Academy.

“I was able to accept an insane opportunity to go on tour and I didn’t have to worry about how I would pay my bills when I got home,” Ali told me. “I’d set up shop in the back of the van or in the greenroom of a venue, get some edits done, and then sign off to sound check and play! It was a bit of an adjustment at first to figure out the best way to do things, but no one expected me to dial into any meetings or be available on Slack at normal business hours. Instead of worrying about me being out of office for two weeks, my team was just genuinely happy for me, and that made my stress level a LOT lower than it could have been!”

In late February, as Ali and her bandmates were preparing to hit the road, the South Carolina Stingrays—a professional hockey team in the Eastern Conference of the ECHL—were going head-to-head with their in-state rivals, the Greenville Swamp Rabbits.

As far as rivalry games go, it wasn’t much of a contest: The Stingrays won 4-1, thanks, in part, to Shane Walsh, the fifth-year pro who got the scoring started with a power play goal.

 

Nice shot, right?

Would you believe me if I told you that Shane is a top-performing rep on our business development team?

Yup. When he isn’t putting a puck squarely in the back of a net, Shane is creating pipeline for our sales team—connecting with prospective customers and helping them take their first steps towards healthy and impactful competitive intelligence programs.

I’ve always been drawn to competition, whether it’s trying to beat the person you’re lined up next to or quieting that inner voice that tries to trick you into thinking you can’t do something,” Shane told me. “When I brought up the idea of going back to play pro hockey and continue my sales career, I wasn’t sure how it would be received. I was expecting doubts of whether I’d be able to handle both. It was quite the opposite—the team at Crayon pushed me to take the challenge and go do it. That’s a work culture and environment I want to play for every day.”

In leading the lives that they want to live, Ali and Shane embody several of Crayon’s core values, the clearest one being Work Hard & Be Happy. Less obvious (yet equally important) is our value around Transparency. Ali and Shane are able to pursue their passions while working at Crayon because they know exactly what’s expected of them and exactly how they fit into the bigger picture.

They do what they need to do, on their own time, and they don’t let it get in the way of their artistic and athletic enrichment.

I asked Tom Huntington, Crayon’s Chief Financial Officer and head of People Operations, for his perspective: “When everyone knows exactly how they fit into the bigger picture, it creates a much more relaxed work environment. I know this from personal experience. When my father fell ill in the fall of 2020, I was able to go to Long Island for six weeks, take care of him, and get my work done on my own time. I didn’t need to block off a lot of vacation, and my team didn’t need to adjust in any significant way. That’s the power of transparency and effective communication.”

If that sounds like the kind of environment you’d like to work in, check out our careers page.

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Conor Bond
Conor Bond is a member of the content team at Crayon, where he fervently talks all things competition. If, for whatever reason, you were to rip his headphones off his head and put them on yourself, you’d probably hear The Strokes, Charli XCX, Denzel Curry, or Ariana Grande.
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