2020 graduating employee

By Life@TheU

2020 graduating employee

By Life@TheU

Ivette Diago

What is your current role and department at UM?
Director, Development Initiatives, Campaign, Division of Development and Alumni Relations

What degree will you be receiving this coming graduation? 
Master of Science in Leadership from the Miami Herbert Business School

How long have you been in service at UM? 
In September, I will have been at the U for seven years.

What were some highlights of your time as a student and employee? 
Highlights as an employee:

  • Being the primary events contact person for President Donna Shalala’s farewell celebration in April 2015 at the Shalala Student Center. And then a few months later, being the primary events contact for the inaugural ’Cane Talks event during President Frenk’s inauguration week in January of 2016. These were huge milestone moments for the institution, and I was so proud to play an important role in making them happen.

Highlights as a student:

  • Would it be weird if I said our cohort’s WhatsApp chat group? I remember the very first day of class, when a classmate asked if we wanted to join their WhatsApp group for the program. I said sure, but never thought it would become such an important part of the experience. The chat group was helpful for exchanging notes and confirming deadlines, but most importantly, it helped deepen the relationships within the cohort. We celebrate birthdays and life’s milestones, share opportunities, and generally express gratitude for one another. It really helped enrich the experience.

What is a favorite UM memory? 
I was actually married on campus in 2015 during the December break (December 26 to be exact). Whenever I pass by the Banyan tree next to the U Statue, or whenever I pass through the Arellano Courtyard at the Newman Alumni Center, I am reminded of that special day. This is no longer just the place where I work and study, it is also the place where we celebrated one of life’s biggest moments.

Have you received any awards, honors, or special achievements?
I received straight A’s during the entire program, so I will be graduating with Academic Merit!

In addition, thanks to our newfound connections with other cohort members through the program, Misha Perdue coordinated for a group of us from the class to receive our Lean Six Sigma, Yellow Belt certification in January of 2020. This opportunity would not have been possible without the connections provided to us through the program. Expanding your network is one of the most important parts of continuing your education.

Please share any advice that you might have for employees looking to go back to school.
Do it! One of the best reasons to work at the U is the opportunity to work in an environment of higher education, where education is celebrated and colleagues are always looking to better themselves. To have the opportunity to receive a high-quality education at a discounted price is something that should be greatly appreciated. I have volunteered at every single Commencement Ceremony since I began working here in 2013 (spring and fall commencements). Watching students graduate again and again was a source of inspiration, but I always hesitated, and I worried about the workload and time commitment. Now that I am on the other side, I am so glad I took the leap. Yes, there were some late nights trying to juggle both school and work, but in the grand scheme of things, those were temporary, fleeting moments. Now, two years later, I have a degree from a top research university and an entire new network of friends and colleagues who were part of the journey.  

Learn about other 2020 graduating employees.