In April, David Deem joined the strategy group of Xqsite, Inc., a startup web design company that is part of the Internet incubator Divine InterVentures, Inc.
“I chose international relations (IR, now international studies) as a major due to a long-time interest I had, and continue to have, toward international issues. I particularly enjoyed the holistic approach the interdisciplinary education afforded me,” said Deem. “Specifically, Professors Richard Jackson and Chad Emmett enriched my experience with geography. Similarly, Professor Valerie Hudson’s national security class was great.”
Deem worked on the Journal of International and Area Studies staff, culminating as co- editor. The journal played a significant role in his Kennedy Center experience, creating friendships and providing experience that continue to serve him well to this day.
After graduation, Deem accepted an offer as business manager with Kennedy Center Publications, where he managed the financial, marketing, and fulfillment areas. In 1994, David redesigned the fulfillment and inventory processes and created the office’s first web site.
“Another memorable event came after I graduated, but while still working for the center,” Deem explained. “David M. Kennedy had passed away and we were able to attend his funeral. There were several general authorities in attendance, including President Hinckley, and others from the Quorum of the Twelve. I gained an even greater appreciation of his life and couldn’t help but be impressed by that incredible tribute to him.”
After three years, Deem returned to the familiar surroundings of Chicago to pursue a career in information technology (IT) with Electronic Data Systems (EDS), and shortly thereafter went to work for one of its subsidiaries, A.T. Kearney. While with Kearney, he managed several global IT projects that afforded him the opportunity to travel to South America, Europe, Asia, and Australia.
“While I’ve been working within IT, I’ve frequently used the skills gained from my undergraduate education. It has been extremely important to identify and be sensitive to potential issues when designing systems that will be used by people of different culture and ethnicity. Also, when working with committees made up of people from around the world to gain consensus, I was able to utilize important principles learned while a student at the Kennedy Center,” Deem articulated.
“I’m fortunate that even though I don’t have a “hard skill” like engineering or computer science, my employers have valued my IR degree as indicative of a well-rounded education,” he added.
Deem graduated from BYU in 1993 with a BA in international relations and a Portuguese minor. He and his wife, Julia, celebrated their tenth wedding anniversary this year and have three sons: Trevor (6), Zachary (4), and Benjamin (18 months).