Welcome to our September edition of Diversity at The Dude. With this series, we aim to amplify diverse voices within our company by sharing personal stories, experiences and perspectives, while championing diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging.
This month, meet Laurie Amagan, Associate Product Manager.
I am Laurie Amagan,Associate Product Manager for Asset EssentialsTM, one of our work and asset management solutions. I served in the Army following college, then joined civilian employment in a few different capacities. In 2011, a friend of mine found SchoolDude in the Triangle Business Journal’s Best Places to Work feature. I was intrigued by the culture I found at SchoolDude and applied immediately. Since joining The Dude, I have taken on a variety of roles in Support, Implementation, Solutions Consulting and am now part of the team that shapes Asset Essentials. I celebrated my nine-year anniversary at The Dude in August!
What I’ve come to love about The Dude are the numerous opportunities to get involved and make a difference. I am a member of the Diversity and Inclusion (D&I) committee, Good Dude, the Veterans Employee Resource Group and assisted with Holiday for Heroes last year. Good Dude focuses on supporting communities through volunteering and fundraising for nonprofits. It is also an amazing way to build relationships with other employees and members of the community. The D&I committee focuses and acts on fostering a safe environment for all, through events, Lunch & Learns and educational programs.
To borrow from Verna Myers, “Diversity is being invited to a party; inclusion is being asked to dance.” Every year at Dude University (when it is in person), there is a client appreciation dinner, which is followed by a dance party. Our hope is that everyone attending gets the feeling that no matter who you are, where you come from or what you do, we want you to feel like you are part of Dude Nation and you can be out on the dance floor without reservation, doing your best Wobble of course. This is why I love being part of a community that strives to create a welcoming and inclusive environment for all.
I joined the D&I committee earlier this year and have seen the impact they, and the various ERGs, have on the community and culture at The Dude. Since I am a veteran, I want to create a new arm of the D&I committee focused on this group and their families. While we are still in the beginning stages, I look forward to this group being a source of community for those it serves and an educating tool for everyone else. Some of our members, including myself, volunteer with the Hire Heroes USA organization to help veterans and those transitioning out of the military with things like career counseling and mock interviews.
I’ve learned that it’s extremely important to continuously and consistently understand your own privilege and that allyship is using your privilege for good. As a tenured employee, a veteran and an Asian woman, I want to use my knowledge and experience to aid others in any way possible.
I really enjoyed the last Hues of Dude Lunch & Learn with Erin Miller. She gave so many applicable ways to be an ally, as well as resources to continue educating ourselves. Education and acting on what you learn is the most important aspect in continuing your growth as a true ally.
For veterans' transitioning to civilian employment, think of all the skill sets you have acquired and how they can be utilized in your new environment. Translate qualities you have learned —flexibility, working under pressure, remote work environments, pivoting to handle and finish a variety of tasks — to what you can bring to the table.
For everyone: network, network, network! Get an insider's view and opinions on work culture and environment to make informed decisions on your next steps. Finally, support everyone in their different capacities and have a servant's heart.
Strive to assist and encourage others to do their best work.