Redefining the "Non-Traditional Journey"
Updated: Nov 17
Ethena's SDR team introduces themselves and the career paths that led them to working at a startup
Is the new traditional route into Tech and Sales non-traditional? After being a part of Listen, Learn, and Leverage, a team activity that opened a space for Ethena’s Sales Development Representatives to share the multi-faceted experiences before Sales, I’d say YES.
The idea for us to share our journeys came from our Head of Sales, Dwight Lawson, and the experience with his fraternity sharing their non-traditional career paths. (In fact, this isn’t the first time our Sales reps have shared their non-traditional path to Ethena’s team.) With this event (and this blog post), we wanted to show that there is more than one way to find a path to success and give a new understanding to the many ways to break into tech. While Ethena is actively and rapidly growing, we currently have a team of three SDR’s: Makda Yohannes, Jeremy Mitchell, and me, Raya Reza.
Curious to know what paths we all took to get here?
Makda–the globetrotter, working in aviation at Southwest Airlines–learned a lesson in making the most out of the opportunities a job can give you, which meant traveling and talking in all things worldly. Getting her first tech job in biotech eventually led her to the DEI in tech platform, Us in Technology.
Jeremy, Mr. Multi-potentiality, earning his MBA in Business Admin and Management (and a brief moment in law school) led him to his first experience with Sales through appliances. He broke into tech through a fellowship with nextplay, a Talent company founded by a handful of LinkedIn alumni specifically made for non-traditional entry into tech, which is exactly what Jeremy used it for by joining Ethena.
As for myself, coming from a background in the law enforcement field, I also found my break into tech through Us In Tech.
Us In Technology is a free DEI platform that helps under-represented groups get connected to tech companies by providing training, mentorship, and prep to ultimately diversify the tech space. They work to shine a light on the transferable skills of their members, and they are on a mission to help the world's top technology companies attract, retain and develop diverse talent.
It was at Us in Tech that both Makda and I were introduced to Ethena, and, once we did our own research, we came to the same conclusion: “this is where I want to be.” Ethena’s team spoke on topics they could follow through with, like speaking about the importance of diversity while being welcomed into a very diverse group of SDR’s, all with different, often non-traditional, backgrounds.
Whether the motivation came from welcoming a child into the family, coming from a low income household or needing a liveable income while wanting to truly enjoy what you do everyday, we have learned the importance of the economic opportunity the tech industry can provide, and which Ethena has extended to us. What’s next for our team? Turning the spotlight to the rest of our team, even in this fast-paced industry, we’re hoping to have more Listen, Learn and Leverage activities to highlight how other teams have gotten where they are today.