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Spotlight On … Steve Dean ’11

Steve Dean ’11, a dating consultant & matchmaker at, is doing many cool things in the Big Apple, including hosting a live dating show, a podcast called Modern Connection, a biweekly speaker series (, and monthly gatherings for New Yorkers looking to make friends (

1. What do you love most about what you do?

Creating genuine, heartfelt, lifelong connection is what I do. It’s what I live for. I host salons, dinners, meetups, and coworking sessions nearly every night of the week across multiple cities in order to bring people together from all over the world to share their stories and build new friendships. My greatest joy comes when I can connect people so perfectly that their newfound interactions send positive ripples into the world.

2. How has Swarthmore shaped your career—and your life?

Swarthmore cultivated a community and a social environment where I could challenge myself to dive beneath the surface and expose myself to radically new perspectives. After Swarthmore, I set my sights upon the depths and nuances of interpersonal relationships ranging from interpersonal to romantic to professional. It's undeniable that my deep, insightful 4am conversations with classmates and my epic hours-long debates during senior seminars imbused me with a hunger to go beneath the surface, explore the liminal space and its nitty gritty nuances, and to gleefully draw parallels between all these types of human relationships — and even begin to innovate entirely new relationship paradigms!

3. What advice would you give current Swarthmoreans hoping to follow in your path?

At Swarthmore, I had resolved to only pursue the classes that genuinely interested me most, and were taught by professors that the Swarthmore student body collectively adored. This process resulted in me genuinely loving class and looking forward to it every day. However, focusing so heavily on events and affairs on campus led me to neglect the world outside the bubble. My top piece of advice is to take some time at Swat to hang out with more alumni, and be creative about how you do that. Intern for them. Bring them to campus to speak. Host dinners for them. Ask to stay with them when you're traveling through their cities. Swatties love hanging out with other Swatties, and being an alumnus doesn't stop you from enjoying every moment spent with existing students.

4. Anything else you’d like to say?

As an undergrad, I often felt as though I had nothing of value to offer alumni, so I rarely reached out to them. In light of my post-Swat experience, this couldn't have been further from the truth. My colleagues at dozens of companies love getting referrals of Swatties as interns, coworkers, roommates, summer travel buds, and more. The more you pursue your interests, however eclectic, the more Swat alumni will love connecting with you. Just remember that they, like you, are typically super busy, so sometimes you need to follow up a few times to make those critical connections happen!