For quite some time now people have been asking me what it is I’ve been up to. Am I working somewhere? Am I still freelancing? Well, the answer to both questions is yes! And so for today’s blog post, I’m going to take the time to finally answer one of those questions. If the title has not given it away already, I work at a digital communication agency known as The Alliance Labs.

The Alliance Labs

What is The Alliance Labs?

In short, we are a production agency that specializes in brand communication.

We work with advertising, marketing and communication professionals to provide cost-effective solutions to their digital production needs.

Now, I’m pretty positive any organization or company can give you the same response as above with more glitter. So I’m going to save you the trouble and leave it at that. As my boss likes to say:

You can’t swing a dead cat in this town and not hit a *insert some kind of digital production role here*. – Jon Schickedanz

But what makes The Alliance Labs so unique?

What makes The Alliance Labs a unique agency that separates itself from all of the creative agencies out there is that we have a school attached to our business. Yup, you’ve read that correctly. We have a school attached to our business. One of the biggest things we believe in here at The Alliance Labs is giving back to the community. And for those of you who’ve been wondering where I’ve been teaching, you now know!

How does this model work?

Unfortunately, like many of you are already aware, getting an entry level job nowadays seems impossible. Entry level positions require you to have at least a couple years of experience. But how do we get experience for a job that requires experience? This is where our model fits in.

We are a group of creative professionals in our trade. Simply put, we are expert that specializes in whatever it is each one of us is doing. By taking the time to teach these skills to our residents, people who’ve joined our program, we are able to provide them with the knowledge and at the same time pay them to utilize this knowledge on real client-based projects. So not only are they learning, but they are given a chance to farther push their skills by working on real paid client projects. It’s a win-win situation and the best practice space to fail and be mentored until they have the experience to do it on their own.

What do I do?

About roughly 2 years ago I had joined The Alliance Labs as just your typical freelance web developer. I honestly didn’t know much about the mission and business model. Quite frankly I didn’t care all too much. I was a college graduate who was floating around picking up gig after gig just trying to make a decent income.

My interest ranges from not only developing and designing website or games but teaching was also one of my biggest passions. As I became more and more aware of the agency’s mission and business model I started becoming more involved. Eventually, I had become the lead developer, now technical director, leading day to day operations on the development end of things and I also teach workshops to our residents.

How do I honestly feel?

Everyone who knows me knows I absolutely hate working with agencies except this is one of the few that I’ve come to enjoy and love. It honestly doesn’t feel like I’m working for an agency at all. Teaching has been one of my biggest passions ever since I’ve started developing. The idea of being able to help someone understand or do something that I once had trouble doing is absolutely amazing and The Alliance Labs is truly one of the very first places I’ve been able to do that it. Not only am I teaching but I’m being put in situations almost every day that requires me to creatively think and it keeps me on my feet.

Coming from a background where I picked up gig after gig just to make it on by puts my perspective in a very different place. I’m able to get a lot more accomplished by being here with this agency and a lot of my goals align up with their’s too. Not only that, but everyone here at The Alliance Labs has their own goals. We’ve just unified to help each other achieve what it is we want to do in life and to me, that is something that is very rare.

This isn’t just a blog post shamelessly pointing at how awesome The Alliance Labs is but rather I truly think we are doing something right and to me, this is something worth highlighting and talking about. Being able to teach a group of young adults and give them the chance to have hands-on experience will break the norm and change many lives. This is the future.

Shameless Plug

Yeah… you all knew this was coming. This video will actually explain things a lot better than I had and unfortunately, you won’t see me because I was in class when this was being filmed. Oh well!