Tag: culture

Meet Navy Veteran and Team Leader, Michael Simmons

Michael Simmons, a Team Leader here at Xcellent ATL, began his career here just moments before a global shutdown. The twenty-two-year-old entrepreneur joined the team in February of this year, and is wrapping up the year with just as much enthusiasm and drive as his first day. The Atlanta native always dreamt of becoming a business owner and professional boxer.

After graduating from high school, Simmons joined the US Navy, an experience to which he credits all of his success. “I am a very proud Navy veteran,” says Simmons, “it was the greatest experience of my life. I earned lifelong friends and the mental resilience that I didn’t have before. As a junior recruit, you have to prove yourself. You have to prove that you have a strong mind, an ability to adapt and be an asset to a team. Active duty taught me to wait, take a breath, take a moment, and think. I learned to do my part on a team and have integrity. I learned that everything comes to light, so do your best today.” It’s no secret that active duty can be one of the most challenging situations mentally, physically, and spiritually. How did he get through it? What is his advice to others in his shoes? “Fight your mind; it will stop you to protect you — that’s survival. Work with what you have until you get more. Don’t overthink but be ready for life’s curveballs. Your actions decide your life.”

Exactly how much of this experience did Michael Simmons bring to his career here at Xcellent ATL? You gain pieces of yourself from experiences like that, and those pieces never leave you. “All of my greatest accomplishments come from my time in the Navy,” says Simmons, “I was able to travel around the world and meet so many new people, and accordingly, those social skills have helped me tremendously in this career. I am only twenty-two, and I have traveled to seven different countries; I’m proud of that.”

The natural extrovert pulls inspiration from all around him: his fellow veterans, colleagues, and mentors. Most of all, Michael Simmons is inspired by his family. “I am inspired by people who came from nothing and made their way in the world,” says Simmons, “I learned that from my parents; they are my greatest inspiration.

They taught me that success is the ability to give. I want to have everything I need, so I can be in the position to give to others.”

Michael Simmons brings so much to the Xcellent ATL team, from his drive to others’ encouragement; every part of him is an asset. “I am an extrememly hard worker and never settle for less,” says Simmons, “I strive to be the best at whatever I do. I have a strong desire to learn and grow. I am also very competitive. I think that comes from my time as a boxer before the Navy. Boxing gives you a strong desire and hunger to win.”

Where will Michael Simmons be in five years? The short answer is, anywhere. “I want to become my own boss; that is my passion,” says Simmons, “I want to be able to give, give, give. I hope to continue boxing, even on a non-competitive level. In five years, I hope to own my own clothing brand, which is something not everyone knows about me! I want to invest in homeless shelters and support small businesses and teams nationwide.” If there’s one thing we’re sure of, it’s that Michael’s going to make a difference.

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Creating a Team During a Crisis: Chatting with HR Recruiter, Alexius High

June 2020 brought a new HR Recruiter to the Xcellent ATL team. Enter twenty-two-year-old business leader, Alexius High. Born and raised in Georgia, High played collegiate basketball on a full-ride scholarship to Lander University. A competitive edge, determination, and a student mentality came together to create this stellar entrepreneur in only twenty-two short years.

How does one turn a childhood dream of being an anesthesiologist into a budding career in business and recruiting? “I had no idea I would end up in this career field,” says High, “but, I love talking to people and helping individuals, so on that front, this career seems like a no brainer.” Tough decisions faced Alexius during her college years, but diamonds are created under pressure. “After my sophomore year of college, I had to transfer to Georgia State University, where I currently attend,” says High, “that experience changed me a lot. It was the first time I had to make a big decision for myself. I had to work twice as hard for everything I wanted in life, and this is no different.”

Alexius High’s goal is simple; to become the top recruiter in the state of Georgia. “I want to take the company to the top,” says High, “my career has grown since becoming a recruiter. I get the chance to interact with so many different people while also bringing in new talent to the company. I won’t lie; it can be challenging. It can be difficult to find consistency in a career where every day is different, but I manage and will excel.”

As a deeply spiritual person, Alexius High knows precisely what force is behind her success. “I am passionate about putting God first because without him nothing would be possible,” says High, “I am also passionate about knowing more about the human mind, so I do a lot of reading on human psychology and the way humans think.”

COVID-19 has brought on specific struggles for recruiters, as recent graduates and aspiring businesspeople search for their place in the industry. “The circumstances of 2020 have taken a toll on the hiring process at Xcellent ATL,” says High, “Many of the applicants reject work due to COVID-19. I am looking forward to the remainder of 2020 because I know as the years continue, the business will grow, and I am excited to keep scouting new personalities and abilities to our team.”

More than any other career, business professionals need their network to succeed. No one achieves anything alone, and early in her career, Alexius High understands the importance of leaning on the people around her. “My favorite thing thus far is the support that I have from my team at Xcellent ATL,” says High, “They motivate me and push me hard so that I can be the best I can be. This is by far the best company that I have ever worked for. I am also motivated by my mother. I watched her struggle as a single mother for so many years, and she taught me that nothing in life is free. If you want something, work for it.”

In the next five years, Alexius High hopes to own her own lash business and manifest her passion for enhancing female beauty and confidence. As her mounting success grows, High reflects on her humble beginnings and encourages future leaders to maintain faith in themselves and determination. “My greatest accomplishment to date is a little different than everyone else’s, but it has been finding myself,” says High, “I reached a point in life where I was lost. I didn’t know what I wanted for myself or my future, and I never knew what tomorrow would bring. I did not want to ask for advice because I didn’t want to show people how I felt. I didn’t want to let my family down, and I was afraid of being a disappointment. I made many decisions with myself and with God. I am much happier now, and I have a set plan for my future.”

Want to keep up with Alexius? Watch out for the future autobiography of her life, self-titled, The Change. “I would never picture the way my life is now. I changed for the better.”

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