Five Questions with Deytia Lima Rojas

Deytia Lima Rojas uses data to shape the future.

 

Name: Deytia Lima Rojas (It’s pronounced “Date-see-uh”!)
Position: Business intelligence and performance measurement associate, Strategic Analysis and Business Intelligence Unit
Time at the Gillings School: 1.5 years

 

Deytia visits the Arecibo radio telescope in Puerto Rico with friends.

Deytia (center, in yellow) visits the Arecibo radio telescope in Puerto Rico with friends. (Contributed photo)

What I do at UNC Gillings (and why I love it): In my unit, we assess and measure everything that is happening at the Gillings School. This includes information like the number of current students and faculty, how our finances are doing, metrics for accreditation, etc. We use data analysis and statistical modeling to assess and predict what the future might look like for the School. This is key when making decisions and plans that involve budgeting and changing major processes. In general, we make sure we’re on track as an organization.

What I love about my job is that I’m helping shape the future, since the School’s leadership depends on our data when making strategic decisions. I also enjoy that I get to use programming to automate reports that need to be run on a regular basis. This has greatly improved our unit’s efficiency.

 

I’m originally from: Mexico City. After completing my undergraduate degree in engineering, I worked for the Research Electrical Institute in Mexico and used data to help optimize how energy was used countrywide. I was very proud of this work! Part of my job was to run a model for all the different energy sources in the entire country – natural gas, oil and power – and this model was taken into account when the government chose when and where to build new power plants so they could stay ahead of the growing need for energy resources. Eventually, I left that job to attend graduate school at the University of Tennessee.

 

Something people might not know about me: is that I love to sing! I have been singing since I was a teenager, mostly in church. I once had the chance to direct a choir, which involved coming up with my own hand movements since I did not have formal training. That was really fun! At the moment, I’m helping a group of women at my church who are trying to learn how to sing a very challenging song. Because of this, I spend a lot of time studying the music to sort out the parts for each corresponding voice. We don’t have sheet music, so I need to find the harmonies on my own.

 

When I was little, I dreamed of being: a medical doctor. One day, however, after watching a movie about a man who was studying to become a doctor, I realized how much work is required to learn the names of every muscle, bone and organ… this made me change my mind. It was too much memorization! So, since I’d always been strong in math (which didn’t require too much memorization), I moved to a more scientific and data-driven path. In the end, I like that I still ended up in a field where my contributions link back to health in some small ways.

 

One thing on my bucket list: is to find a way to share a pro-education message with children and young adults. I would like to have a forum for passing on life lessons, especially with the Hispanic population. I may not be famous, but I’m an example of someone who had to overcome difficult situations and learn to live in a country that is not my first home, and I was able to find success and happiness in adversity. At my church, I work to help young people in the Latino community complete their GED so they can access better job opportunities. My dream would be to create a venue where people like myself could share our success stories and inspire young people to keep learning.


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