What is your story? Or in other words, what made you your awesome self you are today?
To make a long story short: three things. Hard-working, open-mindedness, and having a support system.
I have always been very determined, hardworking, and eager to do things for myself - even from a very young age. I believed If I put in the hard work, then God would make me flourish. So wherever I found myself, I gave it a 101%, regardless of what it was.
Here's an example: when I finished my MBA, I interviewed for a job as a company's Head of Marketing. During the interview process, my interviewer made it known that I did not have the level of experience they needed for the role, but he could see how passionate and motivated I was. So: he was willing to take me on in a three-month internship period, and if I did well, I could be promoted to the Head of Growth. I would be given a stipend, not even close to a quarter of what I was expecting to earn after my MBA. Some people told me not to take the job because it was a cheat and underpayment for my effort and education.
But I was honest with myself — I did not have the requisite experience, but I wanted to learn and grow in that space, and this was the best company to learn at. So I took the internship role, worked as hard as I could. After three months, I became the Head of Marketing, skipping the growth role entirely! And that job is the reason I'm currently the Head of Marketing at this awesome company I now work for, Supplied.
The entire journey, I've had a wonderful support system: my six siblings, my parents, and close friends. They have always supported every decision I made and given me the boost I needed to succeed.
What message do you promote?
In life, everything comes full circle. So wherever you find yourself, strive to be humble, empathetic, work hard. Be intentional about learning: open your mind, your heart, and your ear and learn from the people, situations, and everything around you. Those lessons always come in handy at some point in life.
In what capacity do you LEAD UP in your community?
I always spread positivity anytime I get the chance: in my family, with my friends, and with people I mentor. When I get comments from people about some of my posts being just what they needed, it inspires me to keep going. Sometimes, I admit, I am not in a good mood myself — but I show up to make someone’s day. I recently started a page called “self-love inspirations” on Instagram because I wanted people to know they were not alone in the struggle to find themselves and their purpose; that we should learn to love ourselves and be the best version of ourselves, regardless. And by doing my best work in my job, I am showing others that women can be in leadership positions. I like to think I am leading UP by example.
In business and/or in life, share a struggle you overcame that other women can relate to
In life, I have struggled to be seen and heard and taken seriously for my talents — and not just my looks as a woman. I am hardworking and smart (If I do say so myself), but I'm jovial, and I like to have fun. People usually misinterpreted that to mean something different, treating me by the clothes I wore or the parties I attended.
But then I read a quote that proposed that you will never know how amazing you are if you always try to be normal. So I decided to embrace myself fully. My fun side and my smart side could coexist, and no one had the right to look at me as one or the other. When that changed, I started demanding more from people, making sure I was being seen for my smartness and intelligence. And soon, people started to adapt.
In business, my biggest struggle has been imposter syndrome. When I first got my job as a Head of Marketing, I was the only woman in a team of over ten men. I was new to this role, new to the industry, with no experience in the field. It was a tough deal to break through the brotherhood that had formed against me. This aggravated my worries of “what if I am not good enough for this role? What if I get fired because I am not performing?” et cetera. But I soon realized that I got the job because I deserved it, and I worked hard for it. Then I started to show up with more confidence, demanding more from my team. The men began to adapt.
I realized, if you don’t see yourself in a way, you can never convince others to see you that way.
What is the most rewarding aspect of what you do?
Knowing that I am part of a mission and vision at Supplied that will help small business owners and entrepreneurs, especially minority women like myself — and knowing that every decision I make today brings us a step closer to reaching that goal.
How do you SHOW UP?
Open-minded, ready to give my all, be humble and learn learn learn! from everyone and every situation.
If you could give one piece of advice for women who are entering the workforce or launching their own business what would that be?
Know that you are made to succeed; you have it all in you. You may have doubts sometimes, but you need to believe that the hard work you are putting in will pay off. Find like-minded people who can support you and encourage you. At work and in business, find other women with who you can share ideas and who can also give you constructive criticism.
Contact Marie-Reine Seshie