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On Values that Sculpt Careers – Great Learning Blog


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Buried in the marks of memories are questions one often wonders – what is it that made me who I am today? The world we live in is an amalgamation of cultures, languages, people, and their experiences. Hispanic Heritage Month is a celebration of this intricate web of relationships – to acknowledge and honor where we come from and how it shapes us. 

Meet one such wonderer- Yolinda Burns. Yolinda works as an HR Reporting Analyst at Sysco. 

Her professional journey started in Venezuela, after which she moved to London for a year. Her career then took her to Dubai and later Malaysia, before moving to the United States with her partner. As we talk about the impact of identities and roots, Yolinda’s course of life seems to encapsulate exactly how cultures, histories, and traditions affect and change us.

Her career in the US started when she was waiting for her green card as she started supporting an ex-colleague as an HR Representative. She worked in the domain of HR and Data in various profiles before her current role as an HR Reporting Analyst. 

Having grown up in Venezuela, moving to the States for high school posed some challenges for her. One of the most pressing issues was the language barrier- it wasn’t common for people to speak in English in her home country. She overcame this challenge by taking “English for Students of Other Languages”, through which she slowly mastered the language. What also helped were the friends she made who were born and raised in America. The mundane, everyday concepts one grows up learning are often culturally imbibed and difficult to learn for someone new. Her recollections lead us to how important support and kindness are when learning about a new culture. 

A Passion for Service

After completing her educational journey, Yolinda decided to explore the corporate world. Along with her job as a Business Analyst, she started helping an HR Manager in the company. She talks about having enjoyed and undertaken tasks of support and assistance and mentioned how she has always had this drive to help people around her. 

“I’ve always had this (need to) service inside of me…maybe because my dad was a doctor. Even though it wasn’t my job, I was happy to help this HR Manager. There is a saying in my country, “Do good regardless of who you’re doing it for.” 

When the HR Manager Yolinda helped was promoted, she remembered all the help from Yolinda. This opened up new opportunities for her and helped her enter the domain of Human Resources with help and training from the manager.

Service and help seemed to form a set of core values for Yolinda, often coming up in conversations in ways that explained a lot of the moments in life. She talks about how the Human Resources domain in itself exists to be able to support an organization to be successful. 

“My whole job at Sysco is about helping others through the transformation of data into information that would help people make the right decisions and to know what’s going on.”

Learning to grow and persevere

Through the years, she persevered with hard work and eventually started working on International Assignments, taking her all over the world. Her work and expertise led to increased responsibilities and projects. 

Yolinda’s journey into the Human Resources domain was marked by the learning curve she undertook. Going as far ago as her high school experience, there’s a pattern of her commitment to learning more and more. As a highly successful professional in her domain, Yolinda recently decided to learn Machine Learning skills. She noted how learning new skills impacted her career and life transformatively. First, she notes, learning Python has made her current work much more efficient. Second, the ability to make data-driven predictions helps her undertake more and more creative projects that drive productivity. 

“It was the best decision I took in this whole year (undertaking the Data Science and Business Analytics program).”

She also talks about how important she believes it is for people to invest in their educational endeavors. She also thinks of an increased emphasis on education as one of the changes she wishes to see in the world as well as the Hispanic community. Great Learning is honored to have been of help to Yolinda’s learning journey. The infectious joyousness in her life outlook and quest to keep growing and learning is an inspiration to everyone trying to find their way in life and become better versions of themselves every day. 

Find out more about the PGP in Data Science and Business Analytics here.

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