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As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up? Years ago, Clay Dickey dreamt of becoming a professional athlete. He adored the competitive nature of sports paired with the sense of camaraderie. However, his dreams did not stop there. After dabbling in sports, Clay eventually became an Information Technology (IT) director. His time in that field solidified the importance of forming close, personal relationships and not being afraid to step up as a leader. Today, being a businessman and owner of Dynasty Sportswear USA, those skills often come in handy. As my father, he has instilled those same values into me.

Her Campus (HC): What made you want to become an IT Director?

Clay Dickey (CD): I took electronics as an elective in high school and fell in love with computers. In college, I majored in Electronic Engineering. 

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HC: What was your favorite part about being an IT director?

CD: I most enjoyed the success of projects coming together. 

HC: What was the most difficult part about being an IT director?

CD: Deadlines and working for the legislature. The legislature session lasts two months out of the year, so deadlines were of the utmost importance.

HC: Do you think the deadlines negatively impacted your experience as an IT director?

CD: No, it had a positive impact because it made me realize how important teamwork was. I worked on a lot of projects, and we had to build teams to get things done. 

HC: What does a typical IT team project look like?

CD: We build projects to enhance the workability of employees. We make their jobs easier. 

HC: What made you decide to leave your job as an IT director?

CD: I wanted to pursue my business career.

HC: What do you think stopped you from opening a business in the first place?

CD: It took me a while because I had to get funding for start-up costs. 

HC: How did being an IT director prepare you to be a small business owner, and how was the transition? 

CD: Being an IT director prepared me by allowing me to work with so many different entities on different projects. As a small business owner, you have to work with many different types of people. Again, forming relationships is a unique, important skill to have in both fields. The biggest transition was that there’s no clocking out with a business. You’re basically working 24 hours a day, especially when you’re starting up.

HC: So, you went from having deadlines to setting up your own schedule. Which one do you prefer?

CD: I definitely prefer setting up my own schedule because it allows me to work around my family time, as opposed to working my family time around my schedule. 

HC: How would you describe the Dynasty Sportswear USA brand?

CD: Dynasty Sportswear USA is not just a brand; it’s a concept. The concept behind it is: “Don’t just build a team, build a dynasty.” In other words, don’t build a team to win one championship, build a team to win multiple championships.

HC: What advice do you have for anyone who wants to open up their own small business?

CD: Very important: Do your research first. Don’t go heavily into debt when starting your business. Also, build relationships. Whatever business you start, make sure it’s something that you love to do and not something that you think is going to make money. If it’s something you love to do, you’ll have a passion for it. If you don’t have a passion for it, don’t do it. 

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HC: What advice would you give to your younger self?

CD: Pursue your dreams earlier than you pursue your career. Focus on your dreams and not your career at a young age.

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A senior at Florida State University pursuing a degree in Media Communication Studies with a minor in English.
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