Samuel Dewey, loves to discover new things – whether while out running or with his camera, avoids conflict but is competitive, finds his inspiration in street art, from the Midwest, motivated by success, likes to travel alone as it makes him meet new people, Chief Corporate Development Officer, Relias Learning, Chicago.

Samuel Dewey

Knowledge gives you the power to help people to do what’s right – for themselves, their families and others,

says Samuel Dewey, who has worked for Relias Learning for the past four years. That’s exactly why I love working for a company in the education sector – because of the impact education has on each and every one of us.

Relias Learning develops high quality online education courses in healthcare and was acquired by Bertelsmann in 2014. Our overriding aim is to improve the quality of care. To achieve this, we first have to understand where the problems are in order to then be able to teach the right things to the right people. Samuel has worked in many different areas of the company since he joined Relias Learning, initially in the internal consulting and then in the finance department.

After that, he headed the customer service team, around 90 people strong. That’s been my biggest professional success so far – during those two years, I built a team that’s still extremely successful today. You achieve that by letting the right people work in the roles that are perfect for them. Today – in what is now his fourth position at Relias Learning – the 33-year-old leads the M&A department.

I enjoy making things grow. That’s why I find contributing to the growth of our company is so satisfying.

Samuel himself grew up in Columbus, Ohio. He went to college in South Carolina and finally ended up back in the Midwest, in Chicago, via Washington and New York. I really like this part of the US. Traveling around the world is great, but this is my home. I moved to Chicago to be closer to my family and my friends. It’s great to watch my niece and my nephew growing up, and to spend time with my parents and my siblings.

What he likes most about Chicago is the buzz of life in a big city: I love living in Chicago – so many different people live here with different personalities, cultural backgrounds and personal histories. Which is also the reason why he’s such a globetrotter. The 34-year-old has already been to thirty different countries. My holidays are always a mix of traveling and photography. Street art is his favorite subject. I’ve got pictures of fantastic street art from all over the world. He likes to travel alone as he reckons that’s the best way to meet new people. I think it’s incredibly exciting to talk to lots of people with totally different personalities only to come to the conclusion that ultimately, we’re all the same. Even if we don’t speak the same language, we all laugh and we all cry. It’s great to be reminded of that when you’re far away from home.

He’s also always on the move at work: I enjoy finding solutions, getting things done, getting ahead. Everyone has this intrinsic motivation that drives them. Mine is to be successful, to make things better and to make a contribution to society. He believes this may be down to the fact that when he was a kid, he was the class clown who was never particularly successful academically and now feels that he has to make up for it.

I think my colleagues would describe me as very hard-working, as a driving force and as honest. I work really hard to achieve my goals. And I expect my team to do the same. I drive them and set them ambitious goals which are, hopefully, always achievable, Samuel says.

I think it’s important to push my team members beyond their comfort zones. Usually, that’s the way they find out they can actually achieve much more than they ever thought they could.

Moreover, in terms of cooperation, honesty plays a major role for him. I always give direct feedback and lead a transparent dialog about where we are at the moment. He thinks working well together towards a common goal is much more important than the individual performance. Maybe that’s also why he’s such a team sports fan: I’ve played soccer all my life, as well as basketball and football. The team spirit is really important to me – but also the competition.

As much as he likes his team and his job with Bertelsmann, Samuel still dreams of starting his own business one day. To set up and manage my very own company, that would truly fulfil me. I don’t know whether I’ll be doing that in five, ten or twenty years’ time. But that’s definitely something I think about a lot. However, he also knows that he has a lot more to learn before branching out on his own. I’m learning so much here, and I think as long as that’s the case and I have such great colleagues, I’m happy to stay put.

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