by Tony Moore
When Joanne Adebayo ’21 (international business & management) met L.L.Bean president and CEO Steve Smith ’92 at a 2019 Dickinson Board of Trustees reception, she didn’t see herself sitting across from him two years down the road as a new L.L.Bean employee. Changing the world was on her mind more than working for one of the world’s best-known outdoor brands.
“In my journey of trying to translate my passion for sustainability, social justice and human rights into a position, … I was dead set on going in that direction when a talent manager from Bean reached out to me,” Adebayo explains, noting that she was looking to build a career as a social entrepreneur. “Reminding myself that I needed to stay open to different paths that could lead me to my long-term goals, I applied to a position as a brand engagement planner. Now, after getting a partnership marketing coordinator position, I'm in a perfect place where I can have a hand in expanding existing commercial and nonprofit partnerships while also maximizing the exposure and social impact for all of them.”
L.L.Bean is certainly no stranger to leaving its mark across the U.S. and the world in terms of philanthropy and sustainability efforts, among others. And that setting reminded Adebayo of both her overarching goals and some advice she received along the way from Cheryl Kremer '90, Dickinson’s director of academic and foundation relations.
“She told me it’s … about a work environment that cultivates mentorship and growth, because an environment can either propel or hinder your progress to your career goals,” says the former Presidential Fellow, writing tutor and president of Dickinson Christian Fellowship. “By the end of my final offer interview, I knew that L.L.Bean was the right fit. Thanks, Cheryl!”
Adebayo also thanks a number of Dickinsonians who aided in her job search process, including Rachel Keen Hutchisson ’89, John Thomas ’79, Jeff Cohen ’79, Laura Ives Wilson Colony ’11, Seth Hufford ’96, Sunnie Ko ’11, Makeeba Frances Brown ’05, Danielle Goonan ’07, Michael Birmingham ’13 and Lisi ’18, Kaylee ’16, and Tabetha Mueller P’16, P’18.
“And of course Steve Smith for the insight and help throughout this journey,” she says. “I cannot wait to pay it forward!”
Kenyana Savage '21 (left) and Joanne Adebayo '21 are the newest members of L.L.Bean's marketing team. Photo of Adebayo courtesy of Ernest Entsie ’21.
Another recent alum who adds Smith to her thank-you list is Kenyana Savage ’21 (law & policy), who started her job looking for top companies with a great work and home life balance. Not surprisingly, L.L.Bean showed up. Now the former member of Dickinson’s Black Student Union is a Bean marketing analyst and says Dickinson laid the groundwork for success with the company.
“My Dickinson education has helped to develop my critical thinking and transparency skills,” she says, noting that onboarding in a remote environment has required her to think on her feet. “And Dickinson has prepared me to utilize a variety of resources to advance my professional and personal development.”
After Savage officially joined Bean, she met with Smith, something that stands out to her still.
“I felt extremely honored to have a moment of his time. It’s not every day that you get the opportunity to meet one-on-one with your president and CEO,” Savage says. “We spoke about our Dickinson connection and the initiatives we would like to see in the upcoming years to better support students’ transition into the workplace. Leaving the conversation, I felt very confident that Steve remains closely connected with Dickinson students and staff.”
"I'm so pleased that both Kenyana and Joanne decided to start their careers with us," says Smith, noting that both alums "impressed everybody" during their interviews. "It’s fantastic to have two rock-star Dickinsonians joining the company to start their careers and others thriving in our intern program each summer. Dickinson provides all of them with the confidence, adaptability and critical thinking skills to be successful in whatever endeavor they choose, and I’m just so psyched Kenyana and Joanne chose us."
As for what’s next, Savage looks back to her global experience at Dickinson to help her engage with her new position.
“[At Dickinson] I loved the focus on being and connecting with the world as a global citizen,” she says. “In my industry, I constantly have to think about ways to connect with consumers in an authentic fashion, and I believe Dickinson has taught me the value of global engagement in a digital world.”
Published August 18, 2021