ALUMNI PROFILE DAN SAAVEDRA (JD/MBA ’09)
A nontraditional career arc
Even before he earned his Loyola dual JD and MBA in 2009, Dan Saavedra says, “I knew I’d end up at some intersection of business, technology, and the law.”
After graduation, Saavedra focused on further building Betadac Media, a successful digital marketing company he founded years earlier. With his new legal education, his services were uniquely valuable to law firms and law-related organizations such as the Federal Bar Association and the Chicago Bar Association.
“My clients were about 75 percent law-related at that time,” he says, “and I enjoyed the chance to bring my new legal knowledge to my business.”
“The Loyola community has afforded me a lot of opportunities that really shaped my background.”
Then an association of high school counselors and college admission officers asked Saavedra to create an app that quickly scans and organizes the contact and academic information of prospective students at college fair and recruiting events. Three years later, StriveScan is used by 1,500 colleges and universities at recruiting events across the country and in more than 43 countries around the world. Even Loyola's undergraduate admissions office has used the technology in places from Chicago Public Schools to Asia and the Middle East.
With risk of data breaches, requirements of the General Data Protection Regulation in Europe, and varying international privacy laws, companies like StriveScan “work in a continuously evolving environment, and we have to protect the data that’s been entrusted to us," says Saavedra. “My law background makes me much more confident as a business owner. While I still rely on outside counsel, my law degree allows me to better navigate new legal developments in the field.”
At Loyola, Saavedra had several experiences that helped pave his unconventional career path. His participation in the Business Law Clinic “was really rewarding; it provided a lot of autonomy and the faculty were great mentors,” he says. As part of his externships with the Circuit Court of Cook County and a federal magistrate judge, a Loyola alum introduced Saavedra to the federal and local bar associations that would later hire him as a consultant.
“I’m a product of the Loyola network,” he says. “The Loyola community has afforded me a lot of opportunities that really shaped my background.”
As constantly evolving technology opens door after door, Saavedra can’t predict how his résumé will continue to change—but he sees unlimited opportunity in his chosen field.
“You can find the things you’re interested in and create the opportunities around it,” he says. “There are always problems to be solved, always ways to improve our lives or our businesses. Technology is a very exciting way to make people’s lives easier or more productive or more fun.”