The gods of career timing had not been kind to Sienzhi Kouemo ’20 before he met fellow Babson College alumnus Kevin Bryant ’82, CEO and co-founder of social media company Educated Change.
Kouemo graduated in the early turbulence of the pandemic, when uncertainty was high and layoffs and hiring freezes were even higher. Kouemo had considered graduate school, but the program he was contemplating required a job.
So, it seems fitting that Kouemo was behind the wheel when a highly anticipated call from Bryant lit up his cell phone.
“I pulled over to the side of the road and took the call,” said Kouemo, now the digital brand associate at Educated Change. After a brief chat on the side of the road, he and Bryant agreed to reconnect a few hours later.
“I got home and I looked up everything I could about Educated Change, and by the time he called back, I was well prepared. ET&A at its best, I guess” said Kouemo, referring to Babson’s famous Entrepreneurial Thought & Action® (ET&A™) methodology.
Once Bryant and Kouemo connected, they spoke for more than an hour and a half about Kouemo’s life, interests, and talents.
“He had this amazing energy, and you could see that he had a lot going for him,” said Bryant, whose 40th graduation anniversary is this year. The two-time NCAA men’s soccer champion (1979 and 1980) said he recently got back in touch with some teammates, and he’s always made an effort to reach out to Babson students of all ages.
“I don’t just connect with the high fliers, I like to connect with people who are students because you never know,” Bryant said. “Kouemo has this very diverse background, and he just has this great soul.”
Commitment to Connection
Bryant’s commitment to connections of all kinds is a philosophy that’s also prominent at his London-based company, Educated Change. The company teaches and advises businesses and institutions how to use social media to connect with the people who matter in their work life, growing not just their customer base but potential new team members.
Bryant already had a stellar career in banking—serving as a regional president of BankBoston and then as general manager of Fleet Bank in Europe—when his friend, Peter Klein, contacted him in 2010. Social media, argued Klein, also CEO and founder of Educated Change, would eventually be a necessity for businesses.
“I wasn’t convinced at the time,” Bryant said. But he found the concept interesting, and soon he decided to join Peter.
“We started by doing a lot of advisory work and a lot of training work, providing education about social media. Slowly but surely, businesses hired us to come in and do hourlong talks to their board or partners,” Bryant said.
“Eventually they asked us to be their arms and legs, so now the majority of our work is in providing a managed service so that senior executive leaders don’t have to waste time looking for content and engagement opportunities. We do that and more, aided by some nifty proprietary software that allows us to ‘listen’ to thousands of conversations generated by ‘the people that matter.’ My partner and I both enjoy teaching and change, hence the name of the company,” he said.
His education at Babson was a key part of Bryant’s success in several careers, including opening two tai chi clubs in England.
“Babson’s education was a wonderful foundation for all of the work I’m doing,” he said. “From the other students, to the professors, and obviously the coursework, it’s the combination that makes us well-rounded human beings. I think that’s so important, so critical.”
Pass It on
Kouemo said he’s relying on much of his Babson education at Bryant’s company, but he’s also eager to absorb everything he can in his first job out of college.
“It’s been a learning experience, because the way the company is built is just so innovative,” he said. “I get to work with clients in all sorts of industries and different sectors, and because of my working background from Babson, I literally used what I learned and applied it to real concepts within this company.”
Part of Kouemo’s job is working with C-Suite-level executives to increase their social media presence, and helping to bulk up their posts.
“I get to work with clients in all sorts of industries and different sectors, and because of my working background from Babson, I literally used what I learned and applied it to real concepts within this company.”
Seinzhi Kouemo '20, digital brand associate at Educated Change
Kouemo would encourage students to keep their eyes peeled for fellow Babson alumni on LinkedIn and at any events.
“I never would have thought that I would be working for a global company based out of London for my first job,” Kouemo said. “It started with a LinkedIn connection, and it led me to a whole new level that I could never have imagined.”
Bryant said the connections usually bring benefits for everyone involved, especially if those connections are from Babson.
“We feel we’re quite lucky to have him with us, because he’s definitely going places,” Bryant said. “As you get older, you become more reflective, and you think a lot about how you got here. I look at some of my old soccer mates and other graduates, and I just marvel at how successful the student body is.”
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