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Nyasha Stone Sheppard: Business is personal comes full circle

Staff Sketch

Business is personal is more than a motto to Nyasha Stone Sheppard. As an undergraduate student at W. P. Carey, Nyasha experienced the philosophy first hand. Jennifer Shick (Assistant Director, Student Engagement) helped her register for classes her first semester — and is her supervisor today. Those long-term relationships matter to Nyasha, who says “I think the connections that you can make in W. P. Carey are such a huge thing for me. The people I met when I was 18 are still my mentors today.”

After Nyasha graduated from W. P. Carey, she first worked in sales at a big company. While she loved her coworkers and the company, she missed ASU and the chance to be a part of such an important chapter in students’ lives. Due to her involvement as an undergraduate, Nyasha was a great fit for a job in the Undergraduate Programs Office. From there, she transitioned from alumni to staff with ease.

In her current role, Nyasha is the senior coordinator for Camp Carey — the first days someone spends as a W. P. Carey student are with her and her camp team. She loves being a part of those early connections and helping first year students establish themselves. Nyasha also oversees the business student organizations, like the Business School Council, where she is able to stay in contact with students and play the mentoring role she was so grateful to have as a student. “I don't think I would be where I am today if I didn't feel as if I had that support behind me. So being able to work and help develop these students today is something that gives me a lot of joy,” she explains.

“Plus,” she laughed, “they keep me cool. Maybe someday I won’t understand their slang, but for now, working with students is my favorite part of my job. They're the whole reason why I went into higher education and what keeps me excited on the day to day — to come to work and interact with them.”

What is your favorite W. P. Carey event?

Well, Camp Carey! But other than that, I would say convocation. Being able to see students in such a big moment. You know, sometimes when you're supervising them and you know they’re frustrated with a situation or nervous they won’t make it, and being able to still see them at the end of the day succeeding, and so excited with their friends and their families — just the feeling is like nothing else.

Have you received any good advice you want to share?

It's hard for me to take it, but I would say honestly the thing that I hear the most as a very type-A person is just “it'll all work out.” Especially this past year, I had to really take that to heart because running eight sets of Camp Carey was a ton of work, and at times I didn’t know how I was going to get it all done. But not panicking and trusting that it would come together is what actually helped me accomplish it.

Are there any classes, conferences, or professional development opportunities you would recommend?

I would say everything with the Commission for the Status of Women (CSW). I have found some really great people to connect with through that. Plus, it gives really great opportunities to learn more about the university and all the different units and people connecting across it. Just being able to be a part of that program and see such strong women at the university. I think it's been awesome.

What’s your favorite lunch spot on campus?

I am lucky because I have this nice little area near my office where I can sit in the shade at a table and have lunch. Especially once it cools down, that is a really great break for me.

What is something you learned in your first job that you use today?

Well, I did not want to do sales, and I learned that quickly! But I also learned that you have to ask questions and be your own advocate. When I was leaving that job, my boss was like, “I wish you would have asked the question. I wish you would have said I'm not happy in sales, but I love this company. What other opportunities are there out there for me?” So that was a big lesson.

What’s the most adventurous thing you’ve ever done?

I really do not like heights. I am ok like, sitting in a plane, but hiking or anything where I’m near an edge is not my thing — until I went to visit my friend in Utah and he convinced me to do a 10-mile hike. He said, “It’s this gorgeous lake, and it’s a beautiful hike, and it’s easy,” on and on. So I thought, I might as well try this, and I’m so happy I did. It really was gorgeous.

If you could visit anywhere in the world, where would you go and why?

I've been to lots of places both in the US and in Europe, but my dad used to travel to Japan so I really like Asian cultures and I think that is a place I want to visit. I think being able to go to South America would be incredible, too. I love the food and I love the culture there. I'm also a huge history buff, so being able to see things that I've read about in history books is fun to me.

Have you participated in any fads growing up?

Oh gosh, yes. Think Avril Lavigne. I wanted to be so like grungy and punk. My parents were kind of strict, so it was more like punk with a cardigan.

Sweet or salty? Sweet

Coffee or tea? Coffee

Cat or dog? Reptiles. I think they’re fun and they don’t take as much work.

Book or movie? Book

Hot or cold? Hot

On time or late? On time. It took me a long time to not show up 15 minutes early for everything. Again, Type A!