The key to alumni success is connection to a strong community, says MBA alumnus Dave Yorita
Seattle-based enterprise software executive Dave Yorita (MBA ’84) focuses on guiding customers through their digital transformation to meet key strategic initiatives and outcomes. Throughout his career, and especially during the COVID-19 pandemic, he has been committed to helping companies drive operational efficiency and productivity that leads to positive outcomes during challenging times.
Seattle-based enterprise software executive Dave Yorita (MBA ’84 ) focuses on guiding customers through their digital transformation to meet key strategic initiatives and outcomes. Throughout his career, and especially during the COVID-19 pandemic, he has been committed to helping companies drive operational efficiency and productivity that leads to positive outcomes during challenging times.
The W. P. Carey School of Business interviewed Dave to find out why he enjoys being a part of the alumni community.
How has W. P. Carey influenced your journey?
W. P. Carey has helped me to be able to understand the bigger picture, so I can express and provide strategic business insights to clients instead of tactical ones. When I was a student, I learned how to understand business in a holistic context.
If we focus on one element of business, this can lead to suboptimization for the company. In my role, understanding business goals, objectives, and timelines are critical in achieving results. As an MBA graduate, my overall level of business knowledge (and exposure to relevant situations) was elevated.
What’s something you learned while at W. P. Carey that surprised you or changed your perspective?
During my career, I have been in various sales and sales management roles. Based on my understanding of business operations in different markets, I emphasized the strategic outcomes for my client. I learned about the SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats) analysis method while at the W. P. Carey School of Business, and the method has stuck with me during my career.
Within the SWOT analysis, I have discovered that threats are the most difficult to overcome in business. The COVID-19 pandemic has been a once-a-lifetime example of that.
In the last year, I have questioned if my clients will transition to permanent remote work. With remote work comes the need for enhanced consumer privacy, as they continue to access consumer information outside the firewalls of their company’s infrastructure.
The pandemic has permanently shifted the dynamics of business, and innovation is key. Unfortunately, with all the changes happening, I am seeing many brick and mortar companies disappear because they didn’t evolve. I have to help companies capitalize on opportunities and prepare to respond to threats.
Do you have any essential business tools or insight to share with fellow alumni? From pencils and apps to leadership tips, anything goes.
Some advice that I have for students is to develop your soft skills, as it’s critical for success. Working as a team, being accountable, and striving towards a goal or objective is a crucial part of belonging to a successful team.
I have always been a fan of team sports and believe that the skills you learn in sports can be translated to the business arena. In order to win a game, players must be accountable. Your teammates are depending on you to perform.
The only way to grow personally and professionally is to be uncomfortable. Volunteer to do new and challenging things. Learn, evolve into a leader, and share your wisdom with others by being a coach or mentor.
Two years ago, I became a chapter advisor for Alpha Kappa Psi - Iota Xi at the W. P. Carey School of Business. I missed the community, as I had moved to the Seattle area from Phoenix. The opportunity gave me the chance to help students become more involved, and ultimately help them to become more effective business leaders.
What does being a part of the Sun Devil and W. P. Carey community mean to you?
It’s very important to me. One of my favorite things is to see students, and people in general, build and grow. Besides being a chapter advisor, I have chaired the W. P. Carey Alumni Golf Tournament to raise money for scholarships I am also a member of the Dean’s Council and a part of the MBA Council.
I am passionate about helping W. P. Carey improve its overall rankings nationally, and have enjoyed seeing the school become more established over the years.
Being involved in the mentorship program has been very rewarding. We are constantly evaluating how we can make the school better for students: How can we help students find relevant scholarships, get them hired, and provide them with a competitive salary after graduation?
Why do you attend alumni events and what do you gain through your involvement with alumni events?
Attending alumni events is a great way to stay involved in the community, network, and be exposed to current business topics. I believe knowledge is crucial, and I appreciate the information being shared at alumni events.
I have attended four virtual Back to Class sessions during the pandemic. During the events, alumni are split into breakout sessions, and are able to network and ultimately, dive into various topics. It is rare to leave a session without gaining a connection, or a valuable business insight. These virtual sessions open up the dialogue around the keys to business success.
How do you believe we can continue to celebrate our alumni/community best through virtual events?
The best way to celebrate alumni through virtual events is to ask them what they need and to make them feel that business is personal.
In order for alumni to be engaged within the community, I believe it is important for the school to be in touch with various alumni groups and demographics. I am happy to participate in the alumni community and find the Back to Class events enjoyable, and engaging.
Currently working with OpenText, Dave Yorita (MBA ’84) has over 37 years of experience in technology sales and sales management in areas such as CRM, AI/Analytics, Business Process Management, Enterprise Content Management, and business applications.
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