Felisters Khaikwa Wamayuyi is a member of the University of Delaware’s Alfred Lerner College of Business and Economics Class of 2023. She earned a dual graduate degree, MBA and masters of science in business analytics and information management (M.S. BAIM) Wamayuyi is from Bungoma, Kenya.
Wamayuyi was nominated for this series by UD Graduate Coordinator Sarah Dix, who said, “Felisters is an outstanding student and human being. She has a 3.9 GPA while completing a dual graduate program AND has a full-time internship. Felisters was also the treasurer of Lerner International Students Association (LISA) in 2021-2022, is currently the BAIM GSA Coordinator, and is a current iBuddy Mentor at UD. Our M.S. BAIM program had many incoming students this spring. We found out during this semester that Felisters had helped secure housing for a group of incoming international students who had reached out to her.
“Felisters picked them up from the airport, grocery shopped for them, and spent time acclimating them with UD, our program, and campus all while managing her studies and full-time internship at Christiana Care. During our orientation nights in Fall 22 and Spring 23, Felisters showed up to welcome new students and be a resource for them. Felisters is clearly a future leader who takes joy from giving back to her community and leads with kindness and intelligence.”
In her profile, Wamayuyi shared her favorite UD memories, how she has changed during her time at UD and her plans following graduation.
Lerner: How do you think you have changed from your first semester at UD to now?
Wamayuyi: I have gained more insights, skills, and perspectives about life and how I view the world at large which has been very instrumental in becoming acclimatized to the new culture and environment. Through the MBA and M.S. BAIM programs, I have had the chance to network and build relationships that will undoubtedly be beneficial to my career development and future endeavors beyond my time at UD. I am grateful for the opportunities that these programs have provided me and look forward to utilizing the knowledge and skills gained to make meaningful contributions in my professional and personal life.
Lerner: What have been some of the challenges you have faced during your college experience and how did you overcome them?
Wamayuyi: Time management. Grad school coursework demands more time and focus. It is quite challenging to find a balance between coursework, extracurricular activities, and personal/ social life. I had to create a schedule that works best for me by employing the Urgent-Important Matrix. This helped me sort and prioritize tasks by their urgency and importance to less urgent and less important. My sense of belonging as well. Relocating to a new place can be thrilling, but it can also be daunting and stressful, particularly when one is trying to adjust to a new country, culture, weather, and environment all at once while being away from family and friends.
This made it very difficult in forming new connections, especially at the beginning of my program. At some point, I experienced feelings of isolation and loneliness but gradually, I began to socialize with other students and attended campus events such as coffee hours. As I navigated this experience, I became increasingly motivated to foster a sense of community and belonging for new students, something that was lacking in my own experience as a new student. As a result, I brought together a group of Kenyan students at UD to form a community where we could share ideas and support each other. This initiative has been tremendously rewarding and has allowed me to make a positive impact on the lives of my fellow students.
Lerner: What was your favorite signature UD experience and why?
Wamayuyi: Joining Lerner graduate student organizations was one of my favorite experiences I had while at UD. As the Vice President of LISA, Coordinator of BAIM GSA, and a member of MBASA, I had the opportunity to participate in a range of activities and social events organized by these groups. The involvement provided me with opportunities to connect with new people, enhance my leadership skills and explore interests beyond the classroom which have left a lasting impact on my personal and professional growth.
Lerner: What does being a “Lifelong Lerner” mean to you?
Wamayuyi: For me, being a Lifelong Lerner is a mindset and a way of life that allows me to continually evolve and thrive in an ever-changing world by adopting a growth mindset and acknowledging that there is always room for improvement, regardless of one’s age or experience. It is the willingness to make mistakes, ask questions, and engage in constructive feedback in order to continuously improve and develop my knowledge and skills by actively seeking out new experiences and challenges that enable personal and intellectual growth.
Lerner: What advice would you give to incoming graduate students to make the most out of their experience?
Wamayuyi: First, effectively managing your time in college is crucial as you juggle coursework, social activities, and other responsibilities. One way to stay organized and make the most of your time is to utilize a planner to prioritize your tasks and activities. This can help you stay on top of deadlines, avoid procrastination, and ensure that you have enough time for all of your commitments.
Also, getting involved in clubs, student organizations and extracurricular activities is an excellent way to broaden your horizons, acquire new skills and discover your place on campus. By joining these groups, you can meet new people who share your interests, pursue your passions and enhance your overall college experience. Getting involved is also an excellent way to build your resume, develop leadership skills and demonstrate your commitment to your community
Lastly, college campuses are richly diverse, with individuals from varying backgrounds, cultures and perspectives. To fully benefit from this diversity, it’s important to engage in conversations and activities that foster an understanding and appreciation of different viewpoints. Embracing diversity means being open-minded and curious, actively seeking out opportunities to learn from and connect with people from different walks of life. By doing so, you’ll expand your horizons, challenge your assumptions and become a more informed and empathetic individual.
Lerner: Did you have a Lerner professor or staff member that had a big impact on your UD experience?
Wamayuyi: My experience at UD was greatly shaped by the impactful guidance and mentorship I received from both Lerner professors and staff members, and for that, I am forever grateful. At the start of my program, I was fortunate to be assigned as graduate assistant to Ryan Rodalunas, whose mentorship opened the door for me to meet Dr. Andrea Everard. Dr. Everard’s valuable advice and guidance sparked my interest in pursuing a dual degree program, which aligned with my career aspirations. Throughout my program, both Ryan and Dr. Everard have consistently provided me with unwavering support and networking opportunities that have been instrumental in keeping me motivated and focused both inside and outside the classroom.
Lerner: What are your plans following graduation?
Wamayuyi: After graduation, my plan is to seek out an organization that will enable me to utilize the skills and knowledge that I have acquired throughout my academic journey. My goal is to secure a role that aligns with my interests and values, while also providing opportunities for professional growth and development. I am committed to making a positive impact in my chosen field and contributing to the growth and success of the organization that I ultimately join.