Finding a job in today’s economy is like jumping through hoops of fire. As companies start to loosen their pocketbooks, they’re realizing they have their pick of the lot among the countless professionals who remain unemployed. The best candidates become the knight in shining armor every hiring manager needs for the sustainability of its business.

David Sobie, vice president of marketing and business development, HauteLook (photo courtesy of David Sobie)

David Sobie, vice president of marketing and business development, HauteLook (photo courtesy of David Sobie)

As the use of flash sale sites by online shoppers falls in decline, sustainability becomes the biggest issue at large. As vice president of marketing and business development for HauteLook, the leading online shopping site offering daily deals on major brands for men and women, David Sobie is responsible for partner relationships and member acquisitions, both of which are essential to the sustainability of the company and its future.

Higher education fills knowledge gaps

After earning a bachelor of arts in English from Dartmouth, Sobie decided to go back to school to earn his M.B.A. in general management from Dartmouth and fill in some knowledge gaps he would not have likely received in his career, like the fundamental aspects of business development. “I pursued general management as it seemed like the MBA-equivalent of liberal arts, but with more foundational learning to apply to the next stage of my career,” he says. Thanks to his education, Sobie has built himself a history of success that has followed him from LeadPoint where he led the company’s product, marketing and analytics team, to eBay’s Motors division where he led its automotive dealer business to FreeMarkets where he served as general manager of its European operations.

Benefits of education in general management

Sobie attributes much of his entrepreneurial success to higher education, which has propelled his career forward through all of his previous roles. The most important things he learned in business school included business basics, strategic problem solving and the power of networking, all of which he believes are key success factors for any job. He also acknowledges that sometimes it’s better to bring in experts, which is what makes the networks developed through the M.B.A. program so important. “The cliché ‘it’s not about what you know, but who you know’ is 100 percent true,” says the entrepreneur. “Every job I’ve had since business school has come through a personal connection.” Opportunities certainly abound with a big network.

Must-take classes in business school

The single most useful course Sobie has ever taken turned out to be a management communication class where he learned that most successful people also happen to the best communicators. Another class Sobie mentioned as being one that made the biggest impact on his success in his current role was decision science where he gained the knowledge and skills necessary to predict the future, essentially. “Thank you, Excel!” says Sobie.

At the end of the day, success in management is all about finding the right people and building a team of people you enjoy working with on a daily basis.

Niki Payne is a freelance writer covering all things Entertainment in Los Angeles. Her work can be found on


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