Name: Meredith Dean
Family: : Laura (mother and UGA ’86 grad), Walter (father), and Harrison Dean (brother)
Hometown: Alpharetta, GA
Current Town: Charlotte, NC
What Years at UGA:School/Degree: Grady College, Digital & Broadcast Journalism
Profession: Ryan Seacrest Studios Coordinator at Levine Children’s Hospital and Founder of The Dean’s List, a digital branding and career consulting company
Accolades: Charlotte’s 30 Under 30, Nominated for Bulldog 100 Fastest Growing Businesses, UGA Charlotte Chapter Young Alumni Board Chair, McGill Medal Fellow, Peabody Awards Student Judge, Nominated for UGA’s 40 Under 40, and previously was on the Grady Young Alumni Council in NYC.
What life lessons did you learn while at UGA?
“Learn something about everything. Take every single opportunity thrown at you. Do one thing per day that takes you out of your comfort zone. You never know who you might meet, where you might go, or what you might do. UGA is full of unbelievably accomplished alumni and the Bulldawg family ties are strong across the world. “
What professor did you most admire (and why)?
“There were so many at Grady that shaped who I am today. Dean Davis helped jumpstart my career with Deborah Norville at CBS’s Inside Edition, Professors Shumway, Castengera, Hazinski, and Smith taught me everything I know about video editing, writing, and reporting in Newsource, Herndon made complicated financial topics easier to understand from a journalist’s perspective, Clay and Shamp from the New Media Institute equipped me with all the web/ graphic design skills I needed for my company, and Hollifield gave me life advice that sticks with me to this day.”
What do you consider your greatest achievement?
“Through The Dean’s List, I have made it my work’s mission to uplift young professionals and help provide an education to all girls around the world so they too can fulfill their dreams — having a lasting impact on their lives, their family, their communities, and our world. Without a doubt, using the profits from TDL to fund a women’s dormitory at Khwisero Girls School in Western Kenya is without a doubt my greatest achievement. “
Which historical figure do you most identify with?
“Does Daenerys Targaryen from Game of Thrones count? Just kidding, but as for a real historical figure, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, an abolitionist and social activist who fought tirelessly for women’s rights. Without her, I would not be able to vote, have a choice in my own healthcare, or even run my own business.”
Who are your heroes in real life?
“Both sets of my grandparents — they did the right things and fiercely defended their values, even if it wasn’t the popular thing at the time. They have also adapted beautifully to the dramatic changes in technology and lifestyle over the years.”
Quote to live by:
” ‘Our prime purpose in this life is to help others.’ – Dalai Lama”
What is your idea of perfect happiness?
“Knowing that I am able to say I played at least a small part in empowering others — professionally and personally — to find their purpose and achieve their dreams. Less realistically, the idea of traveling every single day to a new country for the rest of my life.”
What is your most marked characteristic?
“I’m an encourager. Also, one of the biggest extroverts you’ll ever meet.”
What do you most value in your friends?
“Unwavering empathy and loyalty.”
If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?
“I would speak every major language fluently! Or have the voice of an angel like Adele.”
Who are your favorite writers (and why)?
“Sheryl Sandberg, the COO of Facebook, inspires me to no end. You won’t regret reading her book, Lean In! I’d also choose J.K. Rowling not just because of the enthralling worldwide sensation that is Harry Potter, but because of her humble beginnings. She was broke and was constantly being turned away by publishers during one of the most difficult times of her life, but nevertheless, she persisted and became one of the most beloved authors of all time.”
Fave social media and who to follow (and why)?
“Instagram: @merenator . You should follow @mydeanslist and our blog at www.thedeanslist.me! We give great career advice and highlight women every Wednesday who are doing big things in their career/industry!