‘I Love My Job’: My Company Supported Me From Being a Recent Grad to Becoming a Boomerang Employee

Sponsored by Sonepar USA

Photo courtesy of Sonepar.

Photo courtesy of Sonepar.

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Fairygodboss
April 16, 2024 at 11:1PM UTC

Welcome to I Love My Job, the series where we hear from women who really love their jobs. In this edition, we sat down with Alexa Jeffrey, a Branch Manager at Codale Electric Supply, which is a Sonepar Company.

Throughout her career, Sonepar has supported Jeffrey at every step. For instance, when she had just left college, Sonepar supported her by providing a fantastic rotational training program for people early in their careers (which is now called STEP or the Sonepar Training for Emerging Professionals). In the program, “I was able to go through every single division within our company, learn about electrical distribution, learn about who our customers are, what they need, and also get to know how everything operates and figure out where I fit best within the company,” explains Jeffrey. “That experience was crucial to my entire career, and Sonepar supported me from that day on.”

Sonepar also supported Jeffery when her personal and professional needs changed. For instance, Jeffrey left the company for a few years because she needed to be closer to her family. However, “Sonepar told me that I always had a home here, and that I could come back,” Jeffrey tells us. “And, sure enough, when an opportunity came, I was able to join Codale, and it feels like you're back with your family.”

In the video below, Jeffrey tells us more about why she loves working at Sonepar. We also provide lightly edited highlights from the video discussion in the following article.

In case you have trouble watching this video, please click here to watch it on YouTube.

Can you tell us what you find most exciting about your work? 

Everything's a little different every day. When I started here as branch manager, I was definitely a bit nervous when I realized that not only am I in charge of an entire team, but I'm also in charge of the whole building, the logistics, the trucks, and everything from maintenance to our sales and dealing directly with customers.

Every day is a little bit different, every challenge is a little different, and it makes it exciting. You never get bored.

How would you describe the culture at Sonepar?

Sonepar has a really unique culture. What I love about Sonepar is that we've got an international backing and a really strong executive team at the top. And on the ground level, it really feels like a local business. You get the opportunity to come to work and work hands-on with the local economy and small businesses. You get to come in everyday and be yourself with each other, which is unique when you're working for a large company.

So, we get a little bit of that balance where you don't have the fear that your company is going to do huge layoffs due to financial backing because we have Sonepar as our parent company, but we still get that local feel that Codale built up from the ground. 

What is your favorite thing about Sonepar?

My favorite thing about Sonepar is the people. I have made lifelong friends at Sonepar, such as my best friend who I met the first year that I worked at Sonepar. I asked him to be my mentor, and he's been my mentor ever since. Now, 10 years later, I still call him for everything that I need when it comes to advice about my job and career…

The people that you meet are all genuine and really care about not just the company, but about our customers and about what we do on a day-to-day basis.

What advice do you have for other women looking to work at Sonepar?

Never be intimidated by walking into a room of men. If you can walk in and treat it like you are talking to anybody — no matter what somebody's title is or how long they've been in the industry — it will build your own confidence in who you are and what abilities you bring to the table. Then, everybody's going to see that, and you're gonna emanate that [confidence] throughout.

What I love about Sonepar is that they've just been so encouraging in my career and in getting women into this industry because it's needed. Not just women, but young people are also needed in the electrical industry. The industry took a hit through the years when we were pushing more people to go straight to college or more into tech fields… 

As a whole society, we're going to need trades and people who are hands-on. This is a stable business. And, not only that, it's a lot of fun to work in… You're gonna have a lot of fun at a place like this.



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