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Conversations with Doreen Lorenzo

Today we’d like to introduce you to Doreen Lorenzo.

Alright, so thank you so much for sharing your story and insight with our readers. To kick things off, can you tell us a bit about how you got started?
I started in film and video many years ago. At some point, I became fascinated with this new thing called the internet. That lead me to learn more about it. I worked for a company that was one of the first to sell computers online. I was leading marketing. There was no e-commerce, we worked with a group of talented young designers that has some experience in software UI design. The site became a huge hit and shortly thereafter I was recruited to the world-renowned frog design to start their digital practice. I went on to grow that practice, become COO and eventually president of frog growing the company exponentially. After frog, I became president of Quirky and then in 2016, I totally pivoted and went into academia. After interviewing and hiring thousands of creatives, I knew we could improve their education. That is what we set out to do at the University of Texas, School of Design and Creative Technologies…by the way, it’s working. We have 650 students and they are getting excellent jobs right out of college.

 We all face challenges, but looking back would you describe it as a relatively smooth road?
It’s never a smooth road. There are always bumps and roadblocks. You have to constantly analyze what the blockages are and figure out how to keep moving forward. When you are doing something new, people will always tell you the reasons why you cannot do something. That alone is not a reason to stop you from doing what you set out to do. Change is hard but often worthwhile. As humans, we will accept dysfunction before we will move on to change. Sometimes that seems simpler than the unknown.

 Alright, so let’s switch gears a bit and talk business. What should we know about your work?
I grow and lead creative teams which means people are the most important aspect of my business. I believe that empathy is the greatest leadership skill you can have when managing people. If you understand people at a deep insight level, you understand what motivates them. I have invested a lot of time perfecting this skill and it has proven to be very successful.

 We’d love to hear about how you think about risk taking?
Honestly, I hate using terms like risk or failure. It instills fear in someone and makes them hesitant to try something new. I instead like to coin it as continuous learning. We learn by doing. If we don’t expose ourselves to new things, we will grow stagnant. Learning gives you a sense of accomplishment and courage. We need to encourage that behavior and toss the concept of risk away.

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Image Credits
Photo credits: SDCT

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