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Dana Ray

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'11 English | Communications Consultant and Owner, Dana Ray Consulting | Washington, D.C.
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Dana Ray

Liberal Arts Major: English

Liberal Arts Minors: Creative Writing and Disability Studies

Hometown: Hershey, PA

Current Location: Washington, D.C.

What enrichment activities did you participate in as a student?

I studied abroad in Andhra Pradesh, India, with the Schreyer Honors College during the summer of 2010 and served as a resident assistant in Simmons Hall from 20082010.

What was your first job after graduating from Penn State?

After graduation, my first position was Community Design and Leadership Mentor for College Students for Calvary Church in Boalsburg, Pennsylvania, just outside of State College.

What was your favorite class and/or who was your favorite faculty member?

In the required Intro to Literature course, Judith McKelvey made ideas and texts come alive through discussion and embodied experiences. I took as many of her classes as I could.

How did your liberal arts education and skills prepare you for life after graduation?

I understood that who I was and how I thought was as much a part of success as technical or domain knowledge, which is rapidly changing and timebound. It was important to become a flexible person rooted in skills like communication, language, and contribution, and then adapt those skills into any opportunity that presented itself.

What networking advice would you share with current students?

I love to make friends and I've made that my central goal in "networking." I just love people and I love finding out what they care about, regardless of industry. It has served me well.

What role have mentors played in your career progression?

I seek mentorship not in individual relationships, but in conversations. With this perspective, everyone I meet has insight to offer, and I gladly welcome it no matter where it comes from! It makes every connection one of possibility and presents an opportunity to learn. That said, I make a point to try to be around people I consider wise, who have made it a goal to be better humans in their lives. I want, more than anything else, to be surrounded by those values!

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