Regional General Manager Lauren Davis has built her career in education from helping individual high school students learn about college opportunities to working with top tier universities strategically planning out their online program portfolios. Adopted at the age of three and moved to the United States, she experienced first hand the life changing benefits of education. She has a BA in English from Dickinson College in Pennsylvania and a MA in Educational Leadership from Loyola University of Maryland.
Meet Regional General Manager, Lauren Davis
There wasn’t one exact moment that was the catalyst for my desire to work in education but rather the love of learning had been ever present in my life, a passion instilled in me by my mother. The opportunities I had to learn and expand my skills through education transformed my life and when I graduated college I wanted to give that experience back to others.
Where are you originally from, and where were you raised?
I was born in Asuncion, Paraguay, and was very fortunate in that at the age of three was adopted by a terrific woman who lived in Maryland. I moved to the United States with my mother and younger sister, adopted from India, and grew up in the suburbs of Baltimore.
Where did you receive your education and do you recall a specific moment when you decided to make education the focus of your life’s work?
Growing up in Baltimore, when someone asks you where you went to school you respond with the name of your high school; I went to McDonogh and lived on campus for four years. I went on to receive a BA in English from Dickinson College inPennsylvania and then received a MA in Educational Leadership from Loyola University in Maryland. There wasn’t one exact moment that was the catalyst for my desire to work in education but rather the love of learning had been ever present in my life, a passion instilled in me by my mother. The opportunities I had to learn and expand my skills through education transformed my life and when I graduated college I wanted to give that experience back to others.
Describe how your career has been enhanced by exposure to diverse people, places or experiences. Please provide a specific example.
My first job out of college was as an admissions counselor for a university in Maryland and my territory was New York and New Jersey. The diversity in the students I met and counseled along with the places I traveled opened my eyes to the privileges and disparities within our educational system. Several students I worked with exhibited a limiting belief system leading them to think that college or any formal learning after high school was not an option for them. It was heartbreaking to see but also incredible to witness those same students getting admitted into college. This propelled my career to work with graduate students, through the delivery of top tier online programs, to become influential teachers, supportive social workers, and effective public health professionals from communities all over the US.
What makes a leader great?
A great leader is an attentive listener. As a leader I don’t always have to come up with the answer but rather listen to the experiences and expertise of my team to inform the best course of action.
When you think of great leadership, who comes to mind? Why?
Both Michelle Obama and Brene Brown, to me, exemplify female empowerment and leadership that are authentic. Mrs. Obama is the epitome of grace, intelligence, and is relatable in her experiences with dealing with equality and success, which has been an inspiration in my career. Additionally, Brene Brown’s TED talks, research, and books on vulnerability being the crux of creativity, disruption and innovation has transformed my leadership and communication style.
How has your personal leadership style evolved?
Through various job opportunities, levels of responsibility, experiences in managing people and projects my leadership style has evolved from being an individual contributor to a collaborative connector. I like to collaborate with my team and connect with them to highlight or build their skill sets and expertise. I believe in the mantra my team’s success is my success.
What is it about your background or career experiences that successfully positioned you for your role at Noodle? Describe that role.
My experience in admissions and enrollment management for traditional brick and mortar and online programs has helped my work with universities to understand the critical milestones and data points to track along a student’s educational journey. Also, witnessing the evolution of online education and the OPM space has allowed me to help universities to customize the development of their online programs. Thus, as a Regional General Manager, my role is to be a strategic thought partner with a university to help them launch, grow and expand their online portfolio while ensuring our dedicated Noodle team is delivering desired results.
How do you support the success of your team?
I focus on what skills each team member brings to the table and how to remove obstacles so they can do their best work. I am also continuously listening to them in order to better understand how I can best support them whether it’s pitching in and helping myself or bringing in resources.
What are some of the most effective tools in your leadership arsenal?
Be human and authentic; show up and support team members early and often, don’t be stingy with praise; above all, listen for understanding.
Please tell us something about yourself that people would be surprised to learn.
I love country music and being creative. My inspiration for creativity comes from practicing nature and landscape photography and the occasional street photos in and around the city of New Orleans.