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Catchin' Up With...Dani Hart

Dani Hart
Dani Hart

At Salisbury there was always opportunity around every corner, as well as support and safety to make taking daunting risks much more achievable. It was a place I could push my limits and find out what I enjoyed doing most – working with awesome people, doing awesome stuff.

After graduation, I moved home to my parents’ basement. While it wasn’t the dream we all think about, moving home allowed me to save money; pay off student debt; eat free, delicious, home-cooked meals; and get to know my parents as roommates and friends. I wouldn’t trade that experience for anything.

During this time, I helped various nonprofits raise money and awareness as an account manager at The Engage Group. I spent my first two years out of college with a passionate team, developing skills in email marketing, project management and web development, all while helping environmental and human rights nonprofits. Working with awesome people, doing awesome stuff.

Then it hit me, "I want to move to California." So I did. I moved to Orange County, CA, in September 2014 and worked remotely from a home office. After six months of "me" time, I figured out that working from home was not in my cards. I took a trip to Payoff and quickly found my new home. Payoff is a financial tech startup, designing products that helps people spend and save smarter so they can reduce their debt, grow their wealth and achieve their dreams. I’m a marketing project manager and I spend my time, alongside a brilliant and humble team, helping people get out of credit card debt to improve their finances. Again, working with awesome people, doing awesome stuff.

Throughout this journey, I’ve started to realize that while my marketing and environmental studies degrees were important, the interpersonal skills I developed throughout participating in extracurricular activities at Salisbury are what shaped who I am and the work ethic I embody today.

Looking back, I think that nervously presenting business case analyses to the dean of the Perdue School helped improve my speaking confidence. Recruiting and building a team to launch a campus organization helped improve my team-building skills. Planning and promoting events helped improve my organization and persuading skills. And keeping it all together certainly helped improve my project management skills.

If I have one bit of advice to my fellow Salisbury students, it’s don’t stop. Don’t stop believing in yourself; don’t stop finding new challenges to overcome; and don’t stop providing value to others. You may be surprised at what awesome stuff you can do with the awesome people you meet!