What does it take to be an IXL Membership Specialist? Find out in our latest Q&A as Ray Dequina reveals the secrets of the trade, his acting past, and how he still manages to stay center stage.
Name and title: Ray Dequina, Membership Specialist
Has been at IXL for: 1 year
Hometown and current city: Grew up in Union City, Calif. Currently lives in San Mateo, Calif.
Life at IXL
What did you do prior to coming to IXL?
I originally went to school to become an actor. I studied theater at the University of California, San Diego. This happened smack in the middle of the 2008 recession though. So a combination of factors led me to leave school for three years. In between that period and getting my bachelor’s degree, I was working all sorts of jobs: manual labor, retail, and also tutoring. Immediately before I came to IXL, I went back to college and earned my Bachelors of Arts in political science with an emphasis on political theory and American politics.
What drew you to IXL?
I was tutoring in school districts both in the San Francisco Bay Area and San Diego, and many of my tutoring clients came from impoverished situations. But a lot of my clients were basically born knowing how to use technology much better than I do. I thought, “This is how you get them.” Because these kids were struggling: reading well below grade level and not able to do basic arithmetic. My personal view is that the traditional classroom will always have a place in the educational landscape, but educational technology permits us to reach people that haven’t traditionally been able to obtain a solid education.
What do you do at IXL? Give us a taste of what a typical day at work is like for you.
I’m a member of the Classrooms team. The Membership Specialist role serves as the front line when it comes to our school and district-wide accounts. We’re basically the face of the company because people are speaking to us first. We talk to teachers, field price quotes, and answer emails for general inquiries, integration into the curriculum, and pricing.
What do you like about working at IXL?
Growing up I always wanted to change the world. I think all of us do. I believe that each of us have a social responsibility to help others. So I come into work every day and I get to hang out with my friends and help people. And that’s the greatest feeling in the world.
Life beyond IXL
I love to read; I’m part of the office book club. I hang out with friends and play video games. I love karaoke. I love, love, love hamming it up on stage. Here’s the thing about karaoke: you don’t have to be good at singing—and I’m not. You just have to have fun doing it. [See photo left]
How would your best friend describe you?
Insane. [laughs] But more to the point, I think my best friends in the world would say that there are a few core aspects of my character. I’m fair. I’m honest. I like to be a little verbose sometimes, but they would say that I’m able to get my point across and explain myself well. But more than anything else, I care. And I really do.
I wanted to be the captain of the starship Enterprise [from Star Trek]. I’m a huge Trekkie. I’ve seen all 700 episodes and all 12 movies, even the really stupid animated one. I actually bought a Captain Kirk costume for Halloween here at the office. [See photo right]
Just for Fun
If there were a movie about your life, what actor would play you?
I think John Cho could pull off Ray. But I think only Ray could actually pull off Ray.
My favorite production was when I played Hamlet. I mean, it’s Hamlet. You can’t not be enthusiastic for what is the longest single role in the English canon. Period. There are so many lines. [See photo left]
Want to join Ray’s team? We have openings for Membership Specialists! Apply here.