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. Deria Carr was one of two 2Utes selected as the winners of the Give a Damn award.
In so many ways, being part of a team with a higher purpose is its own reward. Contributing to the greater good and positioning yourself in service to others can also help you crystallize your own personal passions and goals for the future.
Just ask Deria Carr, who, before joining 2U in May 2019, worked at The Conference Board, a business membership and research nonprofit headquartered in New York City. While at the organization, Deria managed six councils composed of C-suite executives in corporate governance roles, led international training programs, and conducted vital research on her clients’ behalf.
In her role at The Conference Board, Deria was given the opportunity to provide useful insights, perspectives, and solutions to members on key issues at the intersection of law, business, ethics, and society—all of which are skills learned that she applies to her job today. And with experience operating under the Chatham House Rule—a global policy allowing official meeting participants to use information from the discussion, as long as all sources remain anonymous—at The Conference Board, Deria came to 2U with knowledge of the real challenges facing today’s leaders. Deria’s experiences, along with her education, helped cement her desire to work in privacy and compliance, and she found her career home in 2U.
Read on to learn about Deria’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 was drawn to 2U by the greater mission of improving lives through equitable access to education. As the daughter of West Indian immigrants, I come from a culture that emphasizes the power of higher education to enable upward mobility. The company’s mission resonated with me on a personal level; I firmly support our goal to provide all students with the same opportunities to learn, especially those in marginalized communities.
How would you describe your role as senior privacy manager at 2U?
The 2U Privacy team is accountable for ensuring that the company properly collects and uses people’s personal information in compliance with law. We work across the business to implement sound data protection safeguards, such as processes, policies, and procedures that instruct 2U’s use of this information.
As a senior privacy manager, I am responsible for creating and executing the privacy strategy on an enterprise level. A big component of this work involves understanding how data flows within the company—including our use, collection, storage, and processing of personal information—so that we can be proactive and take a privacy-by-design approach to our data protection strategies.
Examples of some of my day-to-day tasks include managing 2U’s data subject request process, responding to inquiries submitted to our Compliance & Privacy Service Desk, reviewing Privacy Threshold and Impact Assessments, conducting data inventory exercises, and creating internal resources such as guidance documents, company training, and internal blog content. I also lead 2U’s annual Cybersecurity & Privacy Month campaign.
What do you find most rewarding and challenging about your job?
The most rewarding aspect of my job is the ability to build cross-functional relationships and learn new parts of the business to which I normally wouldn’t be exposed. Because privacy has such a broad reach, I’ve had the opportunity to work with and learn from many amazing 2Utes.
The most challenging, but also exciting, part is keeping up with the pace of technological change within the business. The company is doing phenomenal work, and things move so quickly. The silver lining is that there is always something new to learn.
Out of everything you’ve done at 2U so far, what gives you the most pride?
Transforming Cybersecurity & Privacy Month from a small event to a global, company-wide awareness campaign has been one of my biggest successes. This past October, the Privacy team was featured on a weekly basis during 2U’s internal, company-wide Daily Dose of Team Time (DDOTT) calls. We led a number of educational (and fun!) sessions with 2U Co-Founder and CEO Chip Paucek on a variety of privacy and cybersecurity topics. I loved receiving feedback and seeing the engagement from 2Utes across the business as they learned about data protection.
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 am humbled to be recognized for this honor alongside so many other talented No Back Row Award recipients and nominees. Upon joining 2U, my goal has always been to add value to my team and to the organization at large. The company has empowered me to take risks, tackle new challenges, and grow as a leader.
At 2U, we continue to push the boundaries for excellence, so it’s no wonder the company was recently certified as a Great Place to Work for the third year in a row. Our mission is evident and the culture is palpable; I’m grateful to work for a company that regularly celebrates the contributions and passion of its employees.
In your own words, how would you describe the guiding principle you epitomize: Give a Damn?
To me, giving a damn means genuinely caring about not only the work but also the people you work with, being committed to the greater good of the company, and being your authentic self each and every day.
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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.