Alum utilizes psyche degree in successful business career

As a published author, a startup business consultant, and now a senior vice president at a San Francisco-based software company, Scott Leese ’99 has applied his know-how from his psychology degree to build a successful career in business

“My degree in psychology helps me understand people,” says Scott, Senior Vice President of Sales for Qualia Labs, Inc. “When you understand people you learn how to listen well and how to motivate them.”

At Dominican, Scott was captain for the men’s soccer and tennis teams, leading the latter to its first ever national ranking. He chose Dominican because the University supported his desire to compete in two intercollegiate sports. Dominican stood out, as NCAA Division I schools recruiting Scott were not as flexible.

The people skills and lessons Scott learned on the field and in the classroom at Dominican have translated into his expertise building teams at start-up businesses. After forging a successful sales career in the San Francisco Bay Area, he moved to his new job with Qualia in Austin, Texas, but his ties to San Francisco remain strong. Based in San Francisco, Qualia develops modern title settlement software that integrates with banks, underwriters, and vendors to make the transfer of property a more efficient and effective process.

“I understand the psychology of sales,” he says. “I didn’t know it at the time when I was at Dominican but, that is what I was learning.”

Psychology professors Dr. LeeAnn Bartolini and Dr. Matt Davis believed Scott had the ability and aptitude to pursue a master’s degree in psychology. He did earn a master’s degree at Arizona State University, where his father earned his doctorate, yet it was in Learning and Instructional Technology.

“My master’s focused on the different ways that people learn and how we can apply technology to that,” Scott says. “It didn’t feel like that much of a departure from the psychology techniques I learned at Dominican.”

Following four years of life-threatening and altering health issues, Scott was forced to launch a new career. He was interviewed for a sales position by the founder of a startup.

“I told him `I’m the best undrafted free agent you are ever going to find’,” Scott says. “He gave me a shot and, lucky for me, it turned out I had a gift.”

Scott has chronicled his life and career of building and scaling sales organizations in his new book Addicted to the Process: How to Close Transactional Sales with Confidence and Consistency. He has written guest blogs for online business publications, including victorylap.io, saleshacker.com, and gong.io.

Dominican gave him his start.

“It was a really good experience for me overall. It was what I needed,” Scott says. “I would have been lost at Arizona State if I had gone there directly out of high school. I needed a smaller, more intimate place where I could fit in. Dominican was the right place at the right time.”

 

August 14, 2017