David Petree, CEO of Cloak and Dagger, went back to school after 20 years of sales experience to set up a software startup that specializes in encryption here in Sacramento. “We are trying to get every day people to better protect themselves in the modern world through technology.”

(Photo Courtesy of David Petree)

(Photo Courtesy of David Petree)

Petree describes the transition as “One of the reasons sales was so attractive to me was that it was industry agnostic. IT has become the same. You can secure yourself a very lucrative career and still involve yourself in an industry that you are passionate about, whether that’s non-profit or skateboards.”

What are your formal degrees and where did you obtain them?

“[I am a] Cal State East Bay dropout. [I went to] Colorado Tech [and earned my] bachelors in business and project management. [I graduated magna cum laude. [I received an] advanced diploma in data and systems analysis [from] Oxford University.”

How has your education helped you in your career?

“Knowing how to build a project around an idea is essential for anyone in a leadership position. There are a million good ideas out there, and being able to turn that into something is what I learned in school. As for my graduate degree, I actually had the idea for my current business first, but then encountered the challenge of not knowing much about software development and so I went to school for the knowledge more than the paper, however, the Oxford name opens doors for sure.”

What are your thoughts on what it takes to be successful in this field?

“Creativity and persistence in the marketplace. Tech is a huge, popular sector now so you have to come with a differentiator. The days of just cranking out code in your cubical are coming to an end. Therefore, bring something to the table. It’s better to be really good at something than decent at everything.”

Karen Hansen M.S. Earth Sciences, has been writing about earth and the environmental sciences for Examiner.com since May of 2010 in addition to having been an educator and consultant who has facilitated over 200 courses for a private university. Karen loves to learn and write about clean disruptive technology and policies and the people on the planet too. She lives and works in Sacramento, CA. You can find her work at SF Solar Energy Examiner, SF Environmental News Examiner and Environmental News Examiner