As far as we know, it’s not a common practice to publish interviews with employees who have quit working at your company. But we do things a little differently here at Sseko, and we are excited to share this story!
Adrienne Del Monte was a core member of team Sseko at our headquarters in Portland, Oregon for two years. She interviewed nearly a thousand women who were starting their journeys as Sseko Fellows and helped shape our community into the vibrant and welcoming place that it is. She recently quit her job at Sseko and we’re sharing an interview with her to dish all the details!
Describe your role at Sseko Designs Headquarters
My role at Sseko developed over the course of my time with HQ! I joined the team as our Online Marketing Assistant in 2016, just a few months after the Fellows Program started. I dabbled in some online marketing campaigns, managed the Sseko Brave Collective (show some love in the comments if you were a #ssekobrave!) and helped facilitate new Fellows interviews for a bit before we moved all our energy to provided support for our Sseko Fellows! With that shift, my role changed to be much more of a Community Manager — specifically for our amazing NEW Fellows! I was the person that new Fellows talked to on the phone during their interview before joining the team, created training for new Fellows, and helped support our rockstar Mentors building their teams and supporting their new team members.
What was your favorite part about your job working with Sseko Fellows?
Every Sseko Fellow is ‘interviewed’ before joining the team. I did close to 1,000 of those phone interviews and let me tell you, THE SSEKO FELLOWS ARE LITERAL SUPERWOMEN. One question I’d ask is ‘Why did you apply for the Sseko Fellows Program?’. And the answer to THAT question…that’s where the real magic is. No two women had the exact same story or reasons they wanted to be part of the Sseko story. I was privy to hearing SO many of our team’s stories. It was such an honor.
Alright, the question we know everyone wants to be answered: why did you step out of your role at Sseko?!
Wow! Such a good question. My full answer is probably a little too long for this blog post. It was, without question, the hardest decision I’ve made to date! It’s really hard to leave a good thing. Ya know? Because it was such a big decision I’m going to give you the ‘medium’ length answer.
Here’s the deal. Sseko HQ is based here in Portland, Oregon. The city I’ve called home for almost three years now. Portland (and really the entire state of Oregon) has a really high number of children in the foster care system and with that, a lot of kids that age out of the system to face the world without much support. We also have a really high rate of teen homelessness. My dad was homeless as a teen and his story has been the driving force behind really every major life decision I’ve made since high school. It played a HUGE part in why I wanted to work at Sseko from the beginning. This correlation between the foster care system + teen homelessness in Portland has really gripped me over the past year and a half. I did a lot of research in my free time (NERD ALERT) met with quite a few people serving our youth in Portland… and I had a lot of questions that weren’t getting answered.
Long story longer, I left Sseko to move towards pursuing a law degree so I can work in public interest policy development here in Oregon, with the hopes of creating brighter futures for youth here in Portland.
Woah, that is amazing! When did you decide to be a Sseko Fellow?
I’d been thinking about it for months before I pulled the trigger. I decided to become a Sseko Fellow my last month working at Sseko HQ. As someone who’s been on the ‘inside’ for the past two and a half years, I knew that it was exactly the role I wanted to play leaving HQ. Plus, my friends all love Sseko. If they’re going to buy Sseko they might as well do it through me and help me pay off my soon to be VERY large student loans. 😉
Having been on the “inside” of Sseko, what gets you most excited about being a Sseko Fellow in this next season of life?
The flexibility! I can sell Sseko products and continue creating impact with Sseko AND earn an extra income for myself while pursuing my other goals. I get to create GLOBAL change while also creating local change. It’s literally the best ever win-win.
What do you think makes the Sseko Fellows program so unique?
The culture of Sseko is unlike anything you’ll see anywhere else. The leadership of our HQ team, the leadership of our Mentors, the inclusivity and optimism… all of it. It’s not common to find.
Just ask us about our leadership principles and you’ll get a little taste for what Sseko is all about. I grew immensely as a human being, a working professional, a citizen, a daughter, and ultimately as a leader because of the culture and leadership at Sseko. I’m so grateful for my time at HQ and getting to continue the journey as a Sseko Fellow…that’s the stuff that dreams are made of.
If you would like to become a Sseko Fellow just like Adrienne has, we would love to talk to you!
As a Sseko Fellow, you’ll be part of an incredibly supportive group of women, you’ll get to style and sell stunning fashionable products that make a difference in the lives of women across the globe, and you’ll earn an income for yourself and your family.