Meet our team: a spotlight on Admissions Lead, Daphne Ellis

We had a sit-down with Daphne, a Pathrise Admissions Lead with a bevy of creative pursuits on the side. Get to know this multi-talented member of our sales team!  

About Daphne

Full Name: Daphne Ellis

Current Role: Admissions Lead

Location: Maine

Time at Pathrise: 2.5 years

The 411: In a nutshell, what do you do here at Pathrise? 

I’m an Admissions Lead, where I oversee seven account executives. I consider myself an on-call resource for them. My role is similar to an inside sales manager, with a focus on the admissions process.  

I handle sales enablement and ops for Admissions, including learning and development, training new hires, and creating sales materials. I wear many hats ⛑️👒🎩

Walk me through a typical day as an Admissions Lead. 

My days are filled with team interaction and content creation. When I’m training a new hire, my focus is onboarding them– have specific modules for onboarding our new hires. 

Every week, I hold one-on-one meetings with my direct reports and I’m constantly involved in projects to support their specific needs. I also handle ad hoc requests and collaborate with various teams like customer ops, RevOps, and other Leads. 

Are there any projects you’re working on in your role? Or any professional development goals? 

Last quarter, I took a course called ‘Better Manager’ to improve my emotional support and leadership skills. This year, my focus continues to be on self-improvement and management education to better assist others. 

Lately I’ve been more involved than ever with Customer Ops, bridging the gap between their insights and the Admissions team. 

I also designed a new free trial guide that helped potential fellows better understand our program and have clear expectations.I’m working on creating a more visually appealing version of the terms of service to ensure fellows can easily read and understand it. 

My role is to simplify complex information, making it easily digestible and accessible for everyone. 🙂

What’s the most rewarding part of your role?

My role allows me to both quantify and qualify the impact of my work. Onboarding new hires is rewarding, especially when I eventually get to manage them. As a manager and L&D lead, this continuous growth is fulfilling.

Hearing fellow success stories and placements that result from our efforts is also incredibly rewarding. It’s a reminder that our jobs change lives for the better.

What’s the hardest part? 

Adapting to constant change can be challenging, but it’s also become a superpower for me. I’ve developed the ability to adapt to anything that comes our way.

I’ve realized the importance of creating a space for “unlearning” too. New ways of doing things are critical to stay effective. Sometimes, forgetting the old way of doing things is the best way to learn a new, and more effective method. 

What motivates you to tackle each day? 

I strongly believe in having a purpose beyond my day job. My family is a major source of motivation.

I’m also an artist—this job provides me the freedom to work on creative projects like music and writing, and pursue my dreams. I’m motivated by the support I receive from my colleagues, many of whom are hobbyists themselves. 

What is your favorite Pathrise Cultural Value and what does that look like in your day-to-day? 

’Act with intention’ because it’s something I had to consciously work on. 

I’m naturally a highly productive person, but sometimes move too quickly. Learning how to communicate effectively has been essential to stay on the same page as my team. 

I’ve also learned to identify the best times to share information, ensuring I’m not reaching out when someone is in survival mode. 

This is crucial for preventing mistakes and has improved my personal life too.

Your Sales Journey

What inspired you to join the team here at Pathrise? What keeps you here? 

When I joined the admissions team, it was just Rachel, Maggie, Kyle and me. But even with just three of us, we were able to help successfully scale the company.t was hard work, but it was worth it. 

The Admissions team is now the most organized it’s ever been.I have so much faith in our team’s ability to solve problems and adapt to any situation. Everyone here is incredibly cooperative and open-minded. That’s what keeps me here, no challenge feels insurmountable. 

What’s something you wish you knew at the beginning of your sales career that you know now? 

Fear-based motivation doesn’t work. Sales relies heavily on energy so when you enter a sales call, your tone, enthusiasm, energy and “vibe” make all the difference.

If you approach a prospect with fear-based language or low energy, you won’t be nearly as effective at reaching them compared to a more positive approach. Even when connecting with a prospect’s pain points, a positive compelling vision to solve their problem works better than negativity. . It’s not about toxic positivity; it’s about performing your best for the customer.

I wish I had known earlier that my emotions and attitude during the sales cycle are within my mental control. It takes practice and sometimes it’s necessary to step outside for a few minutes, take a breath, and reset.

What’s one piece of advice you’d like to share with a fellow new hire? 

It’s important to have faith in yourself and the situation. Understand that the first time you face a new challenge is often the toughest.

Go with the flow–but don’t hesitate to speak up if you’re uncomfortable. You’re probably not alone in what you’re feeling. We’re all in this together, learning in real-time, and sometimes, a good laugh can be the best remedy when things go wrong.

It seems that sometimes people “stumble” into a sales career but then find that it resonates with them. Do you see yourself staying in sales indefinitely or do you plan to eventually pursue career opportunities in a different field.

While I may not see myself in sales long-term, I have a passion for Organizational Psychology. I’m applying and developing that passion within the sales space. I can envision transitioning into an operations or strategic role eventually. 

Creatively, I prefer to keep my source of income separate from my art, unless the opportunity arises to make a living solely from my art.

For now, pursuing both my career and art simultaneously brings me peace and is a good balance.

You talked about when you get on a sales call, you have to perform. Coincidentally, you also have a background in theater and the creative arts. How does that translate into your sales career? 

Maggie, the former head of Admissions, and I truly connected over our shared background as theater kids. The fearlessness and communication skills that theater teaches you translates well into building connections quickly in sales.

Theater is all about being in the present moment and recognizing humanity in unexpected places. One of the first things I emphasize when training new hires is the importance of making the most of our time because it’s our one life. 

Encouraging genuine connections is a practice I’ve carried over from my theater days, and it’s incredibly relevant in what we do.

Tell me more about your pastimes outside of work. 

One of my ongoing pursuits is modeling, where I have an agent. It’s competitive and I receive requests for self-tapes every few days. 

Currently, I’m heavily focused on music as well. I mostly record in the evenings and on weekends. I also play live shows every two or three months, like one I did recently in NYC. 

Do you make your own beats too? 🎹🎶🥁

I play the piano, drums, and produce all of the music. I do everything.

You also travel a lot. I know you mentioned a while back that you were in London and before that, Iceland. Any big trips on the horizon?

My trip to Dallas [for the company offsite].I’m also attending the Batsford Finnerty wedding in Indianapolis. My New York City lease ended in May, and my partner and I traveled for a while.

Surprisingly, I found myself even more focused on work while traveling because I didn’t have my usual distractions. Plus, I enjoyed the ability to step out in the morning and explore something new.

Anything else you’d like to share?

I just released my newest song “Not a Word” on September 21 – check it out on Spotify!

 

 

Erica Holloway

Erica Holloway is a recruiter with close to a decade of talent acquisition experience in the ed-tech and startup space. She currently leads Pathrise's recruiting efforts, touching on roles in career coaching, operations, engineering, sales, marketing and more. She resides in the San Francisco Bay Area.

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