Pilon School of Business
Degree: Business Administration
Year of graduation: 1990
The security field has changed in unprecedented and unexpected ways since business administration alumnus Dean Correia graduated from Sheridan over two decades ago, but to him, the main focus has always remained the same: people.
“The great thing about this business is that it's ever evolving and I really think I'm able to help people make differences in how they interact day-to-day at home and at work,” says Correia, who founded his company Correia Security Resources in 2011. “With my clients, I try to focus on the human aspect, because I always say you're a person first and an employee of a company second.”
As someone who has worked with some of the biggest brands in Canada – Gap Canada Inc., Starbucks Coffee International Inc. and Walmart Canada Corp. – while carving out his own niche in a crowded security industry, Correia’s path towards solo entrepreneurship started at Sheridan. Correia was attracted to the breadth and depth of the business administration program. “I didn't necessarily want to go into one specific field, whether that be marketing or accounting or finance, but I loved the fact that it was a three-year program and it allowed me to touch and engage with each one of those specific disciplines,” he says. Correia originally planned to parlay his studies into a career in banking, but a campus job fair connected him with an operations manager position at the Gap the day after he graduated.
At Gap, Correia started developing a passion for protecting people and assets, asking the loss prevention manager for Canada if he could shadow him when he was touring or in town. “I started getting some real-world experience with loss prevention and security and that just really stoked my passion beyond the job,” he says.
When Starbucks came calling, Correia took on a larger role in the retail sphere as regional manager, partner and asset protection, working within Canada and Latin America and finding success during his 13 years at the company. The lure of continuing further in the security world beckoned, however, and Correia started at Walmart in 2008 as director of corporate security, learning and developing security protocols around business continuity, supply chain, fraud and other branches of the brand.
Today, Correia brings these experiences to his work with industries such as retail, restaurants, financial and supply chain that typically don't have a dedicated security function. Conscious of the people that helped him learn about his chosen field throughout his career, Correia gives back with pro bono workshops on Internet safety and bullying awareness to students from grade six to eight, as well as returning to Sheridan to speak. He also shares his story as a successful solo entrepreneur with people in transition in the workforce at integrated human capital solutions company Knightsbridge.
“I was put on this earth to serve, and I thought from a self-actualization point of view, that was a terrific way for me to impact more people and leave a positive legacy,” he says. “I've been through some very serious situations from workplace murders, theft, hurricanes, fires, floods, etc. My personal and professional goal is to help ensure that workplaces are safe today and in the future.”