Keeping the Gaucho Spirit Alive

Stephen Dunne

Stephen Dunne ’75 put his degree in Business Administration to good use in the field of telecommunications, his area of interest since childhood.

In his current role as Senior Emerging Technology Consultant at Verizon Enterprise Solutions he has witnessed the rapid evolution of the industry firsthand.

Dunne shares how he made the most of his time at UCSB and how he’s kept the Gaucho spirit alive as an alumnus, even when his busy lifestyle keeps him away from our beachside paradise. 

Why did you choose to study at UC Santa Barbara?

I grew up in an academic environment in Palo Alto and began considering my college choices early. I have family who attended UC Berkeley and UC Davis so I was extremely interested and motivated to attend a UC campus. I considered the courses of study available and focused on UCSB early on. And, of course, when I came down for the campus tour, that was it! 

Describe your job. 

I already had an interest in telecommunications since I was 11 years old and knew that was the industry I wanted to work in. I am in technical sales, helping account teams and customers put together complex solutions for their contact centers.

What do you enjoy most about your work? 

I like developing a true understanding of the customers’ work environment vis-à-vis technical feasibilities, drafting executive level presentations and working with account teams to guide them toward closing the deal.

What are some of your biggest challenges?

I wish I had more time to pursue my interests (sailing, skiing, music, real estate projects, travel, community responsibilities, alumni activities, telecommunications history and family).

What is one career or personal milestone that you are most proud of?

Knowing when to make a beneficial career move at the right time. Because of my excellent education in Business Economics at UCSB, I have been able to anticipate trends in my industry and make significant career changes at the exact right time including being at one company that was acquired by a large technology firm at the height of the dot.com period. I even wrote a paper in my Business Econ Investments class on the impending breakup of the Bell System 10 years before it happened. Just imagine what the telecommunications industry has gone through since 1975 and you can imagine that I have seen a lot of changes.

What advice do you have for current UCSB students?

Well, of course, enjoy the time you have at UCSB. It will pass so quickly that you will not believe it when you are standing up there for graduation.

What are some of your student life experiences at UCSB?

I was primarily involved with my fraternity, Phi Delta Theta. I was also involved as Activities Director in the Community Affairs Board (CAB). 

You’ve played a large role in Phi Delta Theta’s return to UCSB. How would you describe the role played by Phi Delt in your time as a student? 

I was very involved within my fraternity, Phi Delta Theta, having held various jobs within the house. This taught me a lot of skills that I use today in working with people, being realistic about expectations of others, the challenges of long term relationships and being there for each other through thick and thin. 

Anything else you would like to highlight?

We have resettled part time in Santa Barbara with a second residence there and we are so glad to be back in the area. Through All Gaucho Reunion (including GreekFest), Student Scholarships and projects associated with our condo association, I feel welcomed back to UCSB and Santa Barbara and I encourage everyone to come visit at All Gaucho Reunion GreekFest at the end of April or any time that works in your travel schedule. I especially invite my Phi alumni to be sure to visit the new members whenever they are in town.

Reasons We're Proud to be Gauchos

No. 13

I like the balance in life that being a Gaucho has taught me. With so many activities at your disposal at UCSB, you learn how to balance hard work and good play. This becomes a very important asset to you in life. You will surely have career and personal challenges but at UCSB, you learn to stay focused with work and yet release the pressure with healthy interests.