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Women’s Month Feature: Daphne North

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Dalhousie chapter.

I have had the opportunity to work closely with and get to know Daphne North ever since I joined the Product Marketing team at Dash Hudson for my second co-op term. I quickly learned that Daphne wears many hats: Director of Product Marketing, DH hype woman, acting as the liaison between the marketing team and the other teams at Dash Hudson, pug mom, and major foodie (if you’re looking for good food in Halifax, Daphne North is your go to!) Daphne has been at Dash Hudson for just over a year now and has been working in the software space for about 8 years. Upon joining the team, my first interaction with Daphne was not what I had expected. Any encounters I previously had with women in more senior levels had been extremely intimidating and nerve wracking, but with Daphne I did not feel that way at all – I immediately felt at ease. I immediately admired her ability to be herself through and through, as well as her ability to act on feedback right away and make decisions for the teams. I found myself constantly wondering how she could possibly know what to do and what needed to be done all the time. 

I had the pleasure of sitting down with Daphne last semester and earlier this month to talk about her career and any advice she has for students starting out in theirs. I was extremely grateful to be able to listen to her speak about all that she has accomplished thus far in her career and the mindset that she has adopted. One thing Daphne and I focused on was imposter syndrome. Imposter syndrome can be defined as the psychological experience in which an individual doubts their skills, accomplishments and abilities. It is something that everyone seems to experience at one point or another, but our conversation focused primarily on the effect it has on women who work in predominantly male spaces. 

“I had my mentor in marketing and she was a copywriter. She pushed me to think of writing differently and really try to think about coming at angles more strategically. She was just so smart and successful in her career in a very male dominated industry, and managed to develop her career and be successful. It was really interesting that I’ve always had female mentors in these industries that have been predominantly male… and they are just very inspiring women who have just done amazing things, and really were hard workers. I learned by their work ethic and their empathy, knowing they had a lot of things that they had to overcome. Coming to Dash Hudson, it’s just been so wonderful to just be working with so many smart, passionate, hard working women, and to see a leadership team that is predominantly women. I think every boss or mentor that you have along the way really does shape you into the type of person you either want to be or want to aspire to be. And so you kind of find you take something from everybody along the way. It is really nice to think about it in that way, that all the different qualities and things that you kind of learn from each of your mentors.” 

Daphne’s insight on imposter syndrome was quite eye-opening because while it requires a personal shift in mindset, something that helped her to better deal with it was all the wonderful mentors in her life who believed in her and from whom she could learn. These various leaders showed her that it is your work ethic and ability that matters and you should just trust yourself. 

“I don’t think you can ever be a full expert on anything… a lot of it is just a learning curve, but it’s a fun one. I love when I kind of question my confidence a little bit and then having that validation when I figure it out, or sometimes when you do something and you might not be as familiar with it and getting the feedback on how to make it better, I find that’s the best way to learn… I don’t take anything as a failure, I take it as a learning opportunity.”

While building your career it is so easy to get caught up in everything – networking, resume building, internships, a job itself – and you forget to take time for yourself. While all of these things are important, it is also important to have balance and to work towards your own definition of success.

“For me, success is knowing that I give my best effort and that I’m happy. My quality of work is something that I’ve always held myself really accountable for, and I feel good knowing that I’m putting my best foot forward with everything I do. I think I’m my hardest critic in a lot of ways, so knowing that I’m just at least doing the best I can do and delivering work that I can be proud of helps me measure my success… I feel the best when other folks succeed, and then I know that I did my best job helping them and that I succeeded.” 

Daphne’s definition of success is one that I admire and is very true to who she is. It encouraged me think about how I am most proud of myself when I know that I have tried my best. To end off my conversation with Daphne, I was curious to know what advice she would offer her twenty year old self. If she would do anything differently now being further in her career.

“I would tell my twenty year old self so many things. I think don’t be so hard on yourself. You don’t need to know everything, and you really don’t. And you won’t, you won’t all the way through. And that’s really just how it is… you’re going to learn as you go, and that’s where your confidence comes from. And just being willing to try new things. But I think being hard on yourself definitely is good sometimes, you know, questioning yourself, it allows you to learn. You get more confident from being in tricky situations and figuring out and solving problems. The biggest thing I was lacking, at least, was confidence, and that that’s OK. Just try not to be so hard on yourself, because it’s all going to figure itself out one way or another… have trust in yourself and your ability.” 

I feel incredibly lucky to be able to work with and learn from someone so incredibly kind and talented. Daphne has shown me that you don’t have to be someone else to be a successful leader or successful in your career. I admire Daphne’s empathy and desire to help those around her, and at every Monday meeting I can’t help but smile when she asks us to let her know if we need anything throughout the week. Coming in as an intern, I didn’t expect to be treated as an equal (I expected more of a Devil Wears Prada experience) but I am so grateful to have leaders who see me as such. 

Daphne has shown me that it is always best to be yourself, through and through. To be confident in the work that you do and to view challenges and criticism as an opportunity to learn. Oh, and to never be afraid to put too many exclamation marks in an email.

Jasmine Rana

Dalhousie '24

Jasmine is a Campus Correspondent and the President of Her Campus at Dalhousie University. Majoring in marketing, she is extremely interested in content creation and story telling, as interpersonal connection and relatability is extremely important in today’s world. When she isn’t working on creating content she can be found making brunch, planning her dream home via Pinterest, or making extremely specific Spotify playlists.