Erica Dean ‘05, lawyer and Global Ops + Product Launch Strategist, sat down with The Hurt Hub@Davidson to talk about her path from Davidson College student to successful business woman.
Dean began her success by taking on many leadership roles. During her time at Davidson College she was the President of the BSC, head resident advisor, and a Senior Admissions Fellow.
The liberal arts education inspired Dean to pursue a career in which she could use her Hispanic Studies major, communication skills, and interest in technology. She says, “I wanted to be able to use both sides of my brain.”
This passion, along with an outreach from a recruiter on LinkedIn, lead Dean to start working at OutBrain (a multicultural advertising company) as a Go-to-Market Strategist Leader. Now, she uses her Spanish skills and technological experience to build strategies for tech companies to better create products that meet the actual needs of multicultural markets. She then makes sure those products are successful when they launch.
“My job is to be the bridge—I’m Switzerland, the quarterback, or the composer of the Go-to-Market strategy.” Dean further explains, “I may not know how to do everyone’s job, but I know when to pull in people to get the job done.” Davidson College helped Dean be successful in her career by giving her the opportunity to take on responsibility. She learned how to better negotiate and make sure that everyone left a conversation feeling as though it was a win-win. She also describes how important a liberal arts education is in helping students become educated and experienced in a wide variety of topics. When Davidson students enter the professional world they have a broad repertoire of information to use to connect with others. “Companies are not able to operate in a silo,” Dean goes on to say, “so if you find that commonality between yourself and another company it can help you to pull them out of their shells and get the products to launch more successfully.”
Her biggest challenge during her career was learning speak up. Not only was Dean balancing intercultural communication but she also discovered her own tendency to be quiet. Dean explains that it took her some time figuring out that her introversion holds power in the business world. She learned, “There is power in who I am. I learned how to navigate that and not see my introversion as a weakness.”
Dean’s love of technology, communication, and entrepreneurship has culminated in her vibrant career and her new position on The Hurt Hub@Davidson Board of Trustees. Now, Dean helps other Davidson students become successful as well. Her main piece of wisdom for students is to “know yourself, and figure out how you can grow from there.”
By Lucy Fasano ’21, Resident Storyteller at The Hurt Hub.