Boundless Curiosity: Sheweet Yohannes Goes Back to School for a Business Analytics Degree

A D.C. native, Sheweet Yohannes headed for Spain without knowing the language or anyone there. Adapting quickly, and knowing no one in the country, she taught English and learned to get by in Spanish. Her cultural curiosity struck again, this time taking her to Moscow, where she also was a stranger, for two years. She describes her passions for travel and learning as, “always wanting to visit random places and see what people from other cultures do.”

Before these explorations, Sheweet worked as a broadcast engineer in the U.S. Military, both in South Korea and the Pentagon, as well as in D.C in the civilian sector. A natural aptitude in math and stats dovetailed with her broadcasting work. Her undergraduate degree was in International Business (’13), but for an advanced degree, she says: “I wanted to leave graduate school with a hard skill set, and I chose business analytics because it’s a booming profession with in-demand skills.”

My instructors will say ‘Send your resume, and I will send it out to my network!

Business Analytics Degree

Sheweet decided to pursue the Master of Science in Business Analytics (MSBA) at GGU as her next site of discovery. She describes her professors as currently working in their technical fields which gives her real-time experience. It is also ideal for networking: “My instructors will say ‘Send your resume, and I will send it out to my network!” The MSBA also offers a Capstone Project that sends students to companies to see business analytics in practice and learn from top data managers.

Sheweet says that companies want to make data translate to profits, which “means that the profession is lucrative for those who can do it right.” In the MSBA program, Sheweet is using R, Python, and SQL along with text analytics software. “I lean towards Python, which is the main language for statistical analysis these days,” she says. “Using Python, we code based on the statistical concepts we’ve learned and what kind of analysis we want to perform.”

The MSBA program challenges students not only analyze the data, but also to make presentations to colleagues and managers effectively. “You need to present findings in such a way that any layman or busy executive can understand in seconds,” she says. Also, you want to ‘tell a story’ with the data so that decision-makers can understand what has happened in the past and what needs to happen in the future to sustain and advance the business.”

Supporting International Students

Sheweet’s curiosity has resulted in an uncommon ability to understand and communicate with people of various cultures and settings. Having lived abroad for so long as a Corporate English as a Second Language (ESL) teacher, she is not shy about approaching international students at GGU. “Picture having a room ESL students. They were strangers who were looking to me for guidance but did not speak English yet. This experience helps me speak more freely in any learning environment. Now, I have no problem improving the business communication skills of international students here and they are happy to learn something new!”

More about SheweetAs of August 2018, Sheweet has taken on the role at GGU as Academic Program Manager for the Business Analytics, Project Management, & Information Technology Management programs. She is approaching the job as a student who knows what students need and can act a liaison between faculty and her peers.

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