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Kevin Ssonko '20

Kevin Ssonko

Donor Q&A

Tell us about your career. What does a typical workday look like for you?

I have just gotten started working as an entry-level consultant at Frederic W. Cook & Co. where I have the opportunity to work with companies ranging from S&P 500 listed to rising companies just getting ready to IPO on their compensation packages for their top executives. As a new hire I spend a typical day having the opportunity to both shadow more experienced consultants working on projects as well as take on challenging projects as I lean on my fellow coworkers for support. As I move through training, I am excited to learn more about the practice of compensation consulting as I get ready to leave my own mark on this industry. 

Can you speak to how Dickinson’s useful liberal-arts education helped you in your life?

The liberal-arts experience at Dickinson helped prepare me in several ways. First and foremost, it presented me with the opportunity to challenge myself intellectually across a broad range of subjects, which led me to pursue opportunities in business post-grad although I studied political science. Second, Dickinson placed me in an environment that presented many challenges for a first-generation black student. These experiences taught me more about myself and strengthened my commitment to my community and those who come from similar struggles as I have. Dickinson emboldened and encouraged me to use my skills to engage in the critical practice of making the world a more equitable place. Finally, Dickinson challenged me to recognize the contradiction within myself and the ways in which I need to always be more aware and conscious of my place in the world and my responsibility to try to empathize and understand the experiences of others. 

Why do you feel that it is important to give back to Dickinson?

I think it is important to give to Dickinson because ultimately, because of the ways in which I have benefited from my college education, it is my responsibility to give back in a way that helps someone who came from similar struggles as I did have a smoother journey. Any contribution I make to the college is done in hopes that Dickinson will become a more inclusive and equitable place for Black and Brown students and all who are marginalized in the United States. 

As the remote spring [2020] semester began to wind down, the members of my class of Scroll and Key felt the need to try and find a way to help alleviate the problems that had struck so many members of our global community with the onset of the pandemic. With all the economic suffering that was taking place, the best way we thought we could do this was by encouraging the Dickinson community to make contributions to the Emergency Response Fund over the course of one day in what we called a "One for One" drive. Every contribution to the fund meant one more person who could receive the help that they need in these troubling times. We got together with the advancement office to find the best way that this could be done, and we organized it for the last Friday of finals week. The drive was a success with over $2,000 raised to help members of our community get through this time. It was truly an honor for Scroll and Key to work in concert with the advancement office to get this done.

What is your favorite memory from your time at Dickinson?

One of the greatest honors of my time at Dickinson was becoming a member of The Order of Scroll and Key. The brotherhood that I share with the six other members of my class and all those who carried the key before me is something that I know I will cherish for the rest of my days. On a similar note, I am deeply grateful for the brotherhood that I have with my fraternity Kappa Alpha Psi. The lessons learned in my days on the yard will remain with me for a lifetime.

What is one piece of advice you would give to today’s students?

If I could give advice to a Dickinson student right now, it would be to cast a wide net during your time in college. From classes, jobs, internships and extracurricular activities, you are bound by nothing. Embrace the wide range of opportunities that are available to you, love the process and love community no matter how challenging. Dickinson truly is a microcosm, and while my journey beyond the limestones is just beginning, I know that my commitment to do these things has served me well and will serve me well going forward.


Published July 1, 2020