Route Shout-out: Ahseanté Hicks
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Apr 2, 2021
This shout-out is all about one of our all-star customer success managers Ahseanté Hicks! With his infectious positivity, rad vibes, and unending know-how for helping customers, we’re not quite sure where we’d be without him.
All of that—and much more—is exactly why this shout-out goes to Ahseanté. Read more about the legend himself and why Route is where he chose to call home (how lucky are we!).
All About Ahseanté
I’m from the great state of Texas! I was born in Bedford, smack dab in the middle of the Dallas-Ft. Worth metro. I grew up playing just about every sport there is. OK, not really, but I did a lot. My main ones were gymnastics, swimming, and baseball.
I went to Utah State University where I competed in gymnastics and graduated with a bachelor’s degree in communications and a minor in mathematics. A few fun facts about me are:
- I have been a pilot since I was 16.
(I knew how to fly before I knew how to drive, and I was a pilot in the Navy.)
- I love to sing, play piano, and write music.
- Traveling is a huge passion of mine.
- I still rock the same clothes I wore in junior and high school.
Interpret that as you wish!
- I’m also a collegiate gymnastics coach.
How Did Route Catch Your Eye?
My friend (dating back to Junior High) and Route co-worker Michaela Bond (low-key shout-out 🙌) reached out to me after she left a previous job that we also both worked at together. She truly felt I needed to be here and that I would make a big impact. I did some research through LinkedIn and Glassdoor, and the more I read, the more I felt this was the job and company for me.
Finding the Fit
Pretty much every review I read prior to being hired raved about the culture and inclusion at Route. I remember taking a tour in the old office after the first time I interviewed (that’s right, I didn’t get the job the first time. Perseverance and determination, baby!), and seeing everyone look genuinely extremely happy to be at work. On top of that, it was preached heavily that there is a lot of autonomy. Of course the thought of unlimited PTO and some sick SWAG didn’t hurt my decision, either.
The Biggest Surprise up Route’s Sleeve
The biggest surprise since joining Route has been the amount of love and respect I receive from my co-workers. I came from the financial industry where it’s very brutal and cutthroat, so I didn’t really think that companies like Route truly existed. Also, I was surprised by the action that was taken during the Black Lives Matter movement. As a black male, seeing this company support something that means so much to me was unreal and I am forever grateful.
Carving a Career at Route
In the 9 months I’ve been here, I can say without a doubt that Route has helped me on my career journey. The autonomy I have been given to make decisions for myself, along with the opportunities to get a taste of leadership through heading up projects that have a major impact, have been amazing in my growth.
My favorite project so far is the creation of the Merchant Issues dashboard in Salesforce. This was a project I lead from start to finish that streamlined the process of identifying merchants who had duplicated Route’s efforts and or left to competitors.
The ultimate goal behind this project was to bring back those merchants who had left. I loved this project because it’s something that everyone, including the executive team, uses and is a crucial process in the long-term for increased revenue and Route’s continued success.
What’s Your Team Like?
Well, I can’t say it’s like family because I argue with my family! HAH! The relationship I have with my team is strong, though. We all recognize that our role can’t be done without teamwork and it shows day in and day out. I’d be willing to bet the camaraderie on our team is probably one of, if not the strongest in the tech industry. We have fun together, we joke, we break Slack thread records on the number of messages in one thread—all the good stuff. Most importantly, when one of us is down, everyone else steps in to pick that person up.
How Do You Tackle the Challenges You Face?
I would say there are two challenges:
1. The merchants
2. The vast amount of knowledge that I need to know.
For the first one, I combat this by ensuring everyone is aligned with proper expectations. I actively listen to their frustrations and concerns, and I express empathy with an ultimate goal of having a conversation that yields an amicable resolution for both parties.
For the second challenge, I first realize it’s literally impossible to know everything about the product, front to back. With information changing on a weekly basis, it’s best for me to not try to know everything. Then, I take notes on specific items I feel I’m going to need in the future. I also ask a lot of questions. When I have a little free time, I’ll just scroll through channels and read other questions being asked along with responses. I’ve been able to help quite a few co-workers resolve their questions because of this.
Which Route Values Align with Your Own?
The culture here is inclusive, and there are no walls between teams and individuals here. I have seen everyone helping each other.
Authenticity and team over ego sit heavy with me. My parents instilled in me to always be true to yourself and never forget what you stand for. I feel that being your whole self allows people to see You, and oftentimes, it can draw them in like a magnet.
I was raised to be humble and always strive for the team success first ,because when the team succeeds, I also succeed. I love seeing the wins come from my team and my team will tell you I’m not one to bolster up the things I do (ironic because I’m talking about myself right now! HAH!). When the workplace puts ego at the top, it creates an environment that is detrimental to a person’s emotional and mental psyche. I’ve seen it firsthand and I will never go back to that. All the more reasons why I absolutely love this company and what it represents!