This story is a part of our “A Day in the Life” series that highlights the career journeys of 2U employees across the world. While many of our features showcase 2Utes during heritage months, this article celebrates one of our 2020 No Back Row Award winners—an employee recognized for embracing one of 2U’s nine Guiding Principles. Kiera Davis was one of two 2Utes selected as the winners of the Cherish Each Opportunity award.
“I like saying I’ve spent the entirety of my 20s so far at 2U—I started when I was 20, and I'll be 25 this April!”
With her joyous enthusiasm, Kiera Davis is a shining exemplar of a 2Ute who loves life, loves her work, and embraces every moment—of either good fortune or a formidable challenge—that comes her way.
In August 2016, Kiera left her job at a nonprofit to join 2U as an associate on the Corporate Real Estate and Workplace (CREW) team, which supports all of 2U’s worldwide offices in workplace operations, safety preparedness, construction and expansion, and a whole lot more. Last year, Kiera was promoted to operations specialist, and she continues to excel in her new role while simultaneously working toward her undergraduate degree in strategic public relations and integrated communications.
“I’ve juggled the challenges of both working and being a full-time student this whole time,” she says. “But I’ve needed to opt for online instruction vs. traditional, in-person classes that don’t fit around my work schedule. With online classes, an interactive and engaging learning environment is so important. So, coming across 2U, a disruptor in the industry, immediately inspired me.”
Read on to learn about Kiera’s journey at 2U and what being a No Back Row Award winner means to her.
Why did you join 2U? What is it about the company that sparked your interest?
I wanted to be a part of an organization that made the lives of students like myself a bit easier—and our dreams seem a lot more tangible. The people at 2U were also a huge factor. My first interview with my previous manager went extremely well because it didn’t really feel like an interview. We dove more into 2U’s mission and values, the role, etc., but connected on life experiences as well. I even got to meet some members of the CREW team. It was also cool seeing the diversity of the team, which is something I had never experienced before.
How would you describe your role at 2U?
I would describe my role as fostering the unique characteristics and culture of each 2U office around the world by first ensuring that our CREW teams and systems are working together seamlessly on the backend. This aids us in providing an awesome and valuable experience for every 2Ute, everywhere, to carry out the overall 2U mission.
What do you find most rewarding about your job?
When we implement a new service or process, and when we see the positive feedback from our stakeholders, that’s always a pretty rewarding experience.
Out of everything you’ve done at 2U so far, what gives you the most pride?
There are so many things! But I’d say I’m most proud of how, back in 2017, I helped facilitate the move of 2U’s headquarters in Lanham, Maryland.
I remember the massive crowd of 2Utes waiting outside to enter the new building. A CREW member was stationed in the elevator lobby on each floor to welcome everyone. To see the faces of 2Utes as they stepped off the elevators in awe was priceless. I remember one 2Ute saying, “Wow, THIS is our new office?!” with a huge grin on their face. The CREW team worked incredibly long days packing, organizing, cleaning, purging, etc., to make sure the building was in tip-top shape for the grand opening. That moment made it all feel worth it.
2U recently announced its 2020 No Back Row Award winners, all of whom were recognized for their commitment to one of the company’s nine Guiding Principles. What does this honor mean to you?
I have to say I’m still processing what an honor it is! As a CREW member, I feel there are several ways we contribute to the company’s overall mission that aren’t often noticed—which makes this recognition even more meaningful. I consider this a win not just for myself, but for all of CREW. I also have some really dope colleagues in my corner who have given me tons of wisdom and support during my tenure at 2U. I hold all of that dear to me on a daily basis. I’m grateful for everything that I’ve been able to learn and apply that resulted in being recognized for an award like this.
In your own words, how would you describe the guiding principle you epitomize: Cherish Each Opportunity?
For me, Cherish Each Opportunity means making the most of everything presented in my life—good or bad. I believe that nothing I come across is by happenstance. So I make it my personal duty to show up, be present, and provide a valuable and purposeful contribution to everything that I’m a part of.
Learn more about us.
At 2U, we’re on a mission—to eliminate the back row in higher education and help universities thrive in the digital age. To learn more about who we are and what we do, follow the links below.