Danielle Rubio

OpenSesame Employee Spotlight: Danielle Rubio

Danielle Rubio
Product Operations Team Lead – Portland, Oregon


After a global pandemic, Danielle Rubio knows exactly what it takes to make change happen fast for OpenSesame clients. Danielle expertly leads the product operations team for customers. During the lockdown height, her team worked cross-functionally to quickly launch an unprecedented catalog of public courses focused on “Wellness” and “COVID Preparedness” — available to anyone, for free. “Things don’t usually change that rapidly. Not in eLearning,” she said. “We were dealing with shifting priorities and trying to do the right thing for our community and the world.”


Briefly describe your role.

I am the team lead of the product operations team, which currently includes our support engineers, implementation specialists, and product operations specialists. I’m responsible for the technical onboarding of new customers, order fulfillment, and supporting our sales team with any pre-sales needs.

How did you get into the field you’re in?

I’m passionate about teaching folks to get the most of the product they’re using, and it turns out that translates pretty well into many other disciplines. 

What has been the best part of working in your role? 

I get to work with almost every department. I’m able to help those departments or have them help me. When you’re in support, things are always changing — but with the resources to support us. This job keeps you busy learning and growing in a way that has to be targeted and intentional. 

In what ways have you been supported by the OpenSesame team or culture?

OpenSesame allows you to grow into what you’re capable of. There is always more to learn if you’re looking for it. I’m always supported in taking on more responsibility and growing my skills.

What is your favorite course in the OpenSesame catalog?

Fostering Mutual Understanding: Identify Biased Filters in Hiring | Valerie Purdie-Vaughns Greenaway: This course spoke to me personally. It’s all about how we can be better and do better. I’m currently hiring, and it helped me understand where my leadership team is at, where I’m at, and where my candidates are at. 

How has life changed for your role since the pandemic? 

OpenSesame decided early on to do whatever we could to allow the public to access content around “COVID Preparedness” and “Wellness” — for free. That was huge. Things don’t usually change that rapidly. Not in eLearning. We were dealing with shifting priorities and trying to do the right thing for our community and the world. 

Where do you get your energy, or what do you enjoy? 

Pre-pandemic, I played soccer a couple of times a week, but lately, I’ve been relegated to juggling (poorly) in my living room. Otherwise, I enjoy reading YA, outdoor activities, puttering around my house, growing succulents, and driving my truck.

What makes working with OpenSesame rewarding?

Work-wise, I love the ability to choose your own adventure. I’ve learned from every department by working on cross-functional projects in so many different business areas. Community-wise, there is a lot of attention to helping employees learn about other business areas not related to their specific job. 

How has your OpenSesame team maintained a sense of community through the pandemic era?

We’ve got several things that help take away the isolation. We have regular Friday meetings with interactive activities. There’s also a virtual coffee break and a virtual lunch room. The company is really open about how we don’t know when we will return to the office and what it might look like when we do. There’s a sense of trust in the communication. Trust is crucial to a community. 

What’s something people may not know about you?

I was born in Sweden and just became a U.S. citizen in 2015. My dad still lives in Sweden. He was a political refugee from Chile, and my mom was born in England and grew up in the U.S. She met my dad in Sweden. They met in Swedish class because neither of them spoke Swedish. 

How has OpenSesame changed since you’ve joined?

We’ve almost doubled in size, and we’ve gone fully remote due to the pandemic. The company and leadership have also become more open to new ideas as we grow and the world changes.

What advice would you give to new Open Sesame hires?

Take your time. Soak it all in. Focus on whatever you were hired to do, but look around and keep an open eye for things that are interesting to you. You’ll have a chance to pursue other things. We don’t expect people to stay in one place forever. Don’t be shy, don’t be afraid to ask questions.

What makes a team member successful at OpenSesame?

Things are changing rapidly, and you have to interface with a lot of departments. An openness to interfacing with people different from you is critical. People who are successful here are open to learning and interacting with other teams. 

What enneagram type are you? 

I am an enneagram type seven. I like to think of my brain as the real seven; it’s always trying to get to the next adventure, which often means getting into a specific subject or work project and learning a little too much.