Pathrise Connections: Getting to Know Admissions Manager Maurcus Dunson

About Maurcus

Full Name: Maurcus Dunson

Current Role: Admissions Manager

Location: Georgia

Time at Pathrise: 2 years

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

I’m an Admissions Manager at Pathrise–I connect with candidates, share fellowship information, and answer questions to help prospective fellows understand our program. Our journey begins with an initial conversation and progresses through trial phases. One of my favorite parts of my role is connecting with people on both a personal and professional level–I really enjoy listening to their unique experiences and perspectives..”          

Walk me through a typical day as an Admissions Manager.

“I start my day with admin tasks like email checks and calendar prep for upcoming calls. Then I have one-on-one sessions with prospective fellows, answering their questions and helping to clarify our program. I also help fellows navigate our free trial, troubleshooting and helping them make the most of their time in our program..”

What’s the most rewarding part of your role?

“Witnessing fellows’ genuine excitement when they learn about Pathrise and the opportunities it provides. Many start with limited knowledge about our program– seeing their enthusiasm and confidence grow as they explore new career paths is incredibly fulfilling.”

You get to hear a lot of different stories from fellows in your admissions role. Are there any that really stuck with you over time? Why?

“Conversations with fellows are almost always exciting, even if they initially decide not to move forward immediately. One fellow initially chose not to proceed but returned after nine months, saying, ‘Hey, I’m ready.’ Those are always special moments.”

“Recently, I discovered a surprising connection with a fellow. Before coming to Pathrise, I worked for a nonprofit that partnered with businesses to offer internship opportunities to underserved communities. It turned out that the fellow was also involved with the same nonprofit! She managed interns from the company side, while I managed them from the program side.When we got on video call to discuss Pathrise, I immediately recognized her. It was quite an unexpected reunion, considering we had worked together a few years ago.”

What motivates you to tackle each day?

“My primary motivation is engaging conversations with people who are genuinely excited to join our program. For instance, I had a fantastic talk with a video game designer–I found his job and experiences incredibly interesting. Those moments when I connect with strangers are my main motivation.

Recently, I chatted with someone from Conde Nast–it turns out we’d collaborated on a project earlier this year. When she mentioned going to London, I asked if she knew a friend of mine who also lives there. To my surprise, they knew each other already! It was mind-blowing that I, out of all the Admissions Managers, happened to be randomly assigned to someone who knew someone I know in London.”

What is your favorite cultural value and what does that look like in your day-to-day?

“My favorite cultural value is ‘putting fellows first.’ I strive to live this value by being readily available, answering fellows’ questions, and connecting fellows with the right person for their needs. I believe in always providing a positive experience, whether the prospective fellow decides to work with us or not. This value lays the foundation for people to circle back and engage with us, so it’s a top priority for me.”

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

“What initially drew me is Pathrise is our shared  passion for working with underserved communities. Helping people discover jobs they’re excited about resonated with me and aligned with my personal goals.

What keeps me here is the joy of connecting with people. The startup culture has been a great experience, and I’ve seen how change can happen rapidly. I had to adapt to the pace, but now that I’m fully immersed, it’s comfortable and exciting.”

What do you think makes you most successful as an Admissions Manager?

“My success stems from my ability to connect on a human level. I want people to feel like they’ve connected with a person, not just conducted business. I actively engage with the personal aspects of their lives, sometimes even sharing my own experiences. These genuine human connections are key to my success.”

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

“In a startup environment, it’s crucial to be vocal about your ideas since they actively seek your input. It’s different from larger organizations where change is slower and you don’t have as much of a say. 

At the same time, don’t hesitate to ask for help when things become overwhelming – it’s a fundamental aspect of navigating startup life.”

You have a background in psychology plus previous experience in Real Estate. Tell me a little about your journey to sales.

“I took a a somewhat unconventional path. Before Pathrise, my role focused on account management and post-sales activities. However, the role put more emphasis on maintaining relationships than actively selling. I eventually transitioned into real estate, since I’d always had a passion for beautiful homes and architecture. My wife is a realtor, so we got to work as a team.

Sales was an adjustment for me initially. I gravitate towards building long-lasting relationships, and sales can sometimes be more transactional and shorter-term. So, it took me some time to get into the groove.”

What’s your favorite pastime outside of work?

“I enjoy yard work and landscaping. I’m based in, where it’s hot and humid, but I still enjoy being outside and working with my hands. Last weekend, I spruced up my backyard shed – the shed isn’t fancy, but it holds sentimental value. I gave it a fresh coat of white paint and added some plants. I’ve also been collaborating with my neighbor to build a new fence. Georgia is hot and humid, but I still enjoy being outside.”

You did some home flipping too, right?

“When we moved from Los Angeles to Georgia, we had the chance to create a whole TV show documenting our house flip and renovation journey. It was vlog-style, and we received cameras and equipment to capture the entire process. But back in LA, we were more focused on commercial acting due to the opportunities there.

We’ve also had the opportunity to do some commercial acting in Georgia, more than I initially anticipated. A memorable partnership was with Sandals Resorts through Conde Nast–we shot a commercial with them as well.”

Magnolia Network’s First Time Fixer: Season 4, Episode 3 – Bold Style Meets Classic Charm

Are we going to lose you to Hollywood?

“Hollywood is exciting, but wildly inconsistent. You could have gigs and then go for months without one. In LA, I did a lot of auditions because that’s the hub for commercials, film, and TV. However, here in Georgia, there has been a decent amount of acting work. I’ve done around four projects in the past year since moving here.”

Georgia has a lot of movie sets, if I recall correctly. Lots of filming takes place out there, right?

“Atlanta is well-known for TV and film, but Savannah, where we live, has also seen its share of productions, mostly movies. Recently, Clint Eastwood filmed a movie in my neighborhood, just a few blocks away. It’s weird and wild to see all of this happening here because in LA, you’re used to seeing it all the time.”

What do you think is next for you?

“I enjoy sales, but I can see my career evolving into something that focuses more on relationship-building. I can also see myself pursuing a creative role. I have a passion for interior design, so I could see myself pursuing a career in that area.While I’m still passionate about acting, I’m interested in the other side of TV and commercials, perhaps working behind the scenes with productions.”

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

“I think sales is a combination of science and art. The art side involves building relationships and understanding people, while the science of sales side involves understanding analytics, sending effective follow-ups, and having in-depth product knowledge. I naturally lean towards the art side, but both are critical. I wish I had realized earlier how to effectively combine both the human and analytical element of sales–that is the recipe for success.”

The End

 

 

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.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *