Dana Skeels joined Facebook in 2014 and has held several marketing and communications roles at the social media giant.
In this Spotlight, Skeels shares what’s most important in communication and marketing and why she remains active at UC Santa Barbara, where she served on the executive board and as president of the Alpha Chi Omega sorority.
Skeels is spearheading a new endeavor this fall at the university: UCSB Greek Interconnect. This is the first-ever all Greek career focused event for alumni to connect with the larger Greek community and support current students. Highlights include insights into the power of networking, the possibilities the UCSB Greek community can create, and enabling alumni to mentor students as they begin their professional journey.
Describe your job. What do you enjoy most and what are some challenges?
I manage global internal communications and marketing for one of our B2B marketing teams. I enjoy being creative and pioneering new approaches and channels. As is with communication, some of the biggest challenges are ensuring the messaging you craft is consumed by the right audience and at the right time. It’s not what you say, but what they “hear” that’s most important in communication.
How did your major in sociology and music minor help you in your current career?
My emphasis in sociology was along the interethnic relations track and helped me to be more aware of how people interact with each other and how perspective is always crucial in successful collaboration. I’ve always played piano so the music minor was an amazing opportunity to extend beyond theory and I was enthralled with the ethnomusicology emphasis; it aligned well with Sociology but just with a music flare.
What is a challenge you experienced and how did you overcome it?
When I graduated from UCSB, I put a lot of pressure on myself to land a full-time job right away. I was stuck until I realized I was losing sight of opportunities that could be the potential for something bigger. That’s when I took my seasonal marketing internship with Ghirardelli and never looked back.
Who are your role models? How important are mentors in your chosen field?
I’ve been lucky enough to work with managers and peers who have ended up as mentors. They always saw more in me and genuinely wanted to see me thrive. I pride myself in building and maintaining those relationships as these individuals have helped me in every aspect of my career.
What advice do you have for current UCSB students?
There is no straight and narrow path to where you “think” you want to be. Life is ever-changing so when an opportunity reveals itself, take it!
How did being part of Greek life impact your UCSB experience and your life today?
I was very involved with Gaucho Tour Association and Orientation Staff which gave me opportunities to share my love for UCSB with others. Greek life not only shaped my college experience but is still a huge part of my life now. Most of my best friends are from Alpha Chi Omega, my first couple jobs out of college were through Greek connections, and I’m an advisor for our chapter at Stanford University.
Why do you remain involved at UCSB? How did the idea come about for the workshop you are organizing?
I am passionate about giving back to the university that jump-started my young adult life and set me up with an amazing foundation of friends and success. The UCSB Greek Interconnect event in the Fall is the result of realizing our collegians didn’t have a formal opportunity to engage with their successful Greek alumni. This is an all-council inclusive event to ensure students and alumni understand that connections aren’t just within your chapter but across the entire community. We’re hoping to bring Greek alumni home for a fun event to reconnect and mentor as well as let students pick the brains of those who have weathered the industries they’re hoping to pursue.
Anything else we haven’t asked that you would like to highlight.
As a founding member of the Olé SF Young Alumni Group, it was great seeing Gauchos making connections that count at our events. I’ve now moved on to the new exciting opportunity for the first-ever All-Greek professional development event called UCSB Greek Interconnect. This event will be held at Mosher Alumni House on Saturday, November 11th. Learn more and attend our event here! Interested in volunteering? Please reach out to me at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Reasons We're Proud to be Gauchos
Gauchos are the best (obviously) and have a strong bond because we know our college experience was unlike any other – work hard, play hard. OLÉ!