From Rady to the White House
Lt. Commander and Military Social Aide to the President RoDeece Dean talks success and perseverance after Rady
Rady School alum Lt. Commander RoDeece Dean (MBA ’13), who currently serves as Deputy Director of Strategy and Future Requirements at Naval District Washington and as a Military Social Aide to President Barak Obama, recently spoke with current MBA students at a professional seminar about how his Rady School MBA impacted his life and career post-graduation at a professional seminar.
Dean graduated from the United States Naval Academy with a Bachelor’s in Computer Science in 2001, after which he began his career in the military. Dean chose to pursue an MBA at the Rady School because of the quality and reputation of the Rady School, and because of its location in Southern California. After graduation, Dean moved to Washington, D.C. Although Dean is now very successful in his career, he explained that success did not come easily. After being rejected from his dream jobs on three separate occasions, Dean says he used skills he learned at the Rady School to persevere.
“One of the things I learned while I was at the Rady School was from the Israel Immersion Class that I took,” said Dean. “One of the valuable lessons that I learned from that experience was that failure does not carry the same stigma in Israel as it does in the United States. Learning how to fail and how to transition from failure was a very important lesson that I got from my time at the Rady School.”
Dean also cites his Professional Communication course at the Rady School as a major influence on his career. As a Military Social Aide, Dean assists the President and First Lady at White House functions, and interacts with guests including celebrities, professional athletes and foreign diplomats. The communication skills Dean gained at the Rady School were instrumental in helping him not only secure the job, but also carry out his responsibilities.
In addition to his extensive military career, Dean directly applied the practical business knowledge he learned at the Rady School to start his own small business. The business has been running for two years and is already successful and profitable.
Since moving to D.C., Dean and other local alums have established an informal alumni network. The alums participate in Rady School recruitment events in the area, as well as host networking events.
Ultimately, Dean attributes much of his success to both the practical knowledge and the versatile skills he learned at the Rady School. He encourages current MBA students to take risks and to learn from their failures.
“Every person who has ever done anything of value has failed at something at some point along the way,” said Dean. “That’s okay, but if you leave yourself down you won’t be able to achieve whatever it is that you want to achieve. So embrace failure, learn from it and move on to success.”