Starting at a new company as a young black professional can be intimidating. Not to mention the imposter syndrome, which tends to rise from being one of few minorities within a primarily white industry. However, Archimede Jerome, a 26-year-old trailblazer, saw this as a recipe for success.
Eight months ago, Jerome accepted his role as a Partner Growth Manager for an international payment processing company called Checkout.com. This fresh opportunity with a company that focuses on being a force for positive change has been a pivoting point for Jerome.
Checkout.com believes in celebrating diversity and welcoming the variety of experiences their employees bring each day.
The API-based payment platform company understands the importance of not just hiring minorities but finding ways to retain minorities within the workspace.
BYP sat down with Arch Jerome as he proudly spoke about how his upbringing and work experience has allowed him to thrive at Checkout.com.
BYP: Tell Us About Your Role with Checkout.com
Jerome: At Checkout.com, I sit on the strategic partnerships team. I have a specific focus on our e-commerce platforms and associated technologies. My role is a couple of parts; one is managing the relationships of our existing e-commerce platforms and partners; the second is signing up new partnerships with different players leading the space. As a result, the primary function of the role is to help enable both our existing and new partners to support their ecosystem of merchants and end customers.
BYP: What advice would you give someone interested in taking the same career path as you?
Jerome: One key is finding companies you are really excited about [and] that interest you. In addition, I am a relentless networker, not being afraid to go and find folks that work at these companies and ask for 15 minutes of their time.
I would also add to look within your networks. I have found the second-degree connection, the warm introduction, really yields dividends because this person is coming recommended from a trusted source and is more likely to speak with and advocate for you. If you work hard at it, good things tend to happen.
BYP: What challenges have you faced being a young black professional?
Jerome: I know for myself, that very seldomly have I walked into a new environment and have been the first, second, third, or fourth black person in a company with hundreds, if not thousands of employees. I try to align myself with those within the company who look like me and may have some shared experiences. I also organically find allies that support the initiatives of underrepresented talent in the workplace.
BYP: Are there any Initiatives within Checkout.com that our network members should know about?
Jerome: We have black ERGs that constantly sound off ideas and find answers to the question, how can we make this environment more inclusive? Companies often get caught up in Black History Month. At Checkout.com, I learned in the USA Black History Month is in February, but in different parts of Europe, it’s in October. We know this work can’t be limited to two months out of the year and are actively brainstorming engaging ways to highlight our colleagues and their shared experiences all year-round.
How do we do some of that internal work? Make sure that Black colleagues have an opportunity to be seen and heard. And really coach all employees, regardless of racial identity, on how to drive inclusion and create a comfortable environment where psychological safety is at an all-time high.
To learn more about Checkout.com or apply for their available opportunities, click here.