Felisters Khaikwa Wamayuyi, who resides in Newark, is pursuing a dual MBA and M.S. in business analytics and information management (BAIM) degrees, while serving as a data analyst for the Christiana Care Health System. She’s expected to graduate in Spring 2023 and she’s shared why she pursued her graduate degrees with UD’s Lerner College.
Lerner: Why did you go back to pursue your graduate degree? Why did you choose the Lerner College for your studies?
Khaikwa Wamayuyi: While executing my duties as an auditor in my previous role, I realized I did not have sufficient data analysis skills and it seemed to take a lot of time for me to make meaning out of the data and to complete tasks, so I thought this was a great opportunity for me learn these skills alongside my MBA and that is when my search for the graduate school began. As I was navigating through various school websites, Lerner College stood out because of its flagship programs, the Lerner Executive Mentorship Program and Graduate Internship Program, which made me quite interested to be a part of them.
Lerner: What did you learn through this opportunity that you wouldn’t have learned anywhere else?
Khaikwa Wamayuyi: I have been able to learn practical applications of business concepts and techniques to real-world problems through class projects and case studies. I also had an opportunity to hone my leadership skills through holding various positions with student organizations such as vice president of LISA (Lerner International Student Association) and coordinator for BAIM Graduate Student Association.
Lerner: Please share an example of a course or concept that you were able to apply directly to your life and/or career.
Khaikwa Wamayuyi: The skills and tools I learned from the database design and implementation course and applied database management course have really been helpful in working with massive data using SQL and SAS in order to generate and automate reports that aided in the decision-making process.
Lerner: Describe an important connection you have made through your graduate program.
Khaikwa Wamayuyi: I have made many important connections over my period at UD. The ones that stand out for me most are my academic advisors Andrea Hartman, MBA program advisor, and Dr. Andrea Everard, professor of MIS, whose advice helped me choose course combinations that are tailored to my career goals that have opened a lot of opportunities for me. In addition, through the program, I connected with my mentor by participating in the Lerner Executive Mentorship program, and not forgetting my colleagues at Christiana Care Health System and my classmates who have been resourceful throughout the program.
Lerner: If you were to describe your classmates in one word, what would that be and why?
Khaikwa Wamayuyi: Collaborative.
They have been cooperative in working on projects by leveraging each other’s professional and academic backgrounds to deliver the tasks that have been assigned to us during the classes we have taken.
Lerner: How do you balance your career with your studies?
Khaikwa Wamayuyi: As an international student, settling and adapting to a new environment can be a bit challenging. Combining it with work is even more daunting. But I have employed effective time management to be my friend in this journey and this has helped me combine work with school in a manner that has made life much easier.
Lerner: Fill in this sentence: “My graduate program helped me become…”
Khaikwa Wamayuyi: A smart thinker and a good communicator.
Lerner: What was the most impactful hands-on project or case competition that you were able to participate in?
Khaikwa Wamayuyi: I participated in one case competition that was quite exciting as we played the roles of consultants. This was about a gym in Wilmington called Moore Than Fitness. In this competition, we suggested creative ideas that could impact the operations of the gym, like the type of people that would serve on the board of directors and the nature of the board to be constituted. We also crafted a marketing strategy and suggested creative ways of raising funds that would enhance the fortunes of the gym. This team activity involved a lot of brainstorming sessions which impacted on my problem-solving skills. Even though my team did not come up top, I am happy our ideas received positive feedback from the panel.
Lerner: What are your plans or next steps for the future?
Khaikwa Wamayuyi: As I complete my programs this spring, I hope to start a career that will help me practice and integrate all the skill sets I have acquired in graduate school.