Graduate Stories

Meet Leslie, Analytics Manager at UNC-CH

From Project Manager to Reporting and Analytics Manager

For Leslie, “[Momen­tum] offered two things— a net­work [and] an oppor­tu­ni­ty to learn.” Pri­or to com­mit­ting to code school, Leslie spent over a decade putting her doc­tor­ate in vocal per­for­mance to good use.

She per­formed and taught at uni­ver­si­ties and in her own pri­vate stu­dio before mov­ing to North Car­oli­na. She became intrigued with the active tech­nol­o­gy scene in NC and got involved in var­i­ous tech groups. How­ev­er, Leslie did not imme­di­ate­ly piv­ot to tech. 

While she had inter­est in the field ear­ly on, she end­ed up shift­ing her pro­fes­sion­al focus and work­ing a 9‑to‑5 role as a Project Man­ag­er at UNC Chapel Hill. There, she was exposed to a lot of things that she found inter­est­ing, but she wasn’t real­ly con­vinced that being a Project Man­ag­er was some­thing that she want­ed to pur­sue. Real­iz­ing her desire to expand her net­work and to push her­self to learn some­thing new that she could apply in the work­place, Leslie com­mit­ted to Momentum.

Now, she’s back at UNC Chapel Hill as their Finan­cial Report­ing and Ana­lyt­ics Man­ag­er. Her work is more focused now, and allows her to uti­lize her under­stand­ing of insti­tu­tion­al finan­cials while apply­ing her cod­ing skills to struc­ture data to cre­ate visu­al­iza­tions and more. ​“I feel like I am doing some­thing that I want to do,” she says.

There’s just a big difference when you are going to work and you actually feel like you’re learning. For me, that’s a big component.

Leslie Heal Ray

Financial Reporting and Analytics Manager

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For Leslie, Momen­tum equipped her with the skills she need­ed to con­tin­ue to learn in what­ev­er role she’s in. ​“Now I do feel like the skills I’m learn­ing and what I am focus­ing on can trans­late onto anoth­er role and that is huge […] That to me is so empow­er­ing. I don’t think I had that before I went to Momentum.”

But, it’s not just about what she’s learned and what she’s con­tin­u­ing to learn. Leslie also says, ​“I feel like with Momen­tum, I can reach out to the staff know­ing that they have my best inter­ests in mind.”

“Momen­tum is there if I need to be con­nect­ed,” she says.

Mov­ing for­ward? Leslie’s aim­ing to con­tin­ue to learn. For her, learn­ing shapes all oth­er things, so she’s made plans to join mee­tups, and to work with peo­ple to learn what she wants to learn. ​“If I always have that kind of objec­tive of ​‘what do I need to learn’, and ​‘how much time do I think is rea­son­able to learn it’, then that cre­ates oppor­tu­ni­ties […] because it gives [me] momentum.”

“Hence,” she says, ​“The name, ​‘Momen­tum.’ That’s what we need — momen­tum.” We couldn’t agree more.

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