Nimia Amaya ('11) transferred to UNT from the University of Texas at Dallas and became a radio-television-film major in hopes of becoming a news reporter for Spanish-language media.
Fast forward 10 years and now she has taken a different direction in her career as head of marketing for Yooz, a global software company that focuses on providing cloud-based Accounts Payable automation to businesses all over the world.
Amaya's hard work and dedication is now being recognized as she has been named one of the "10 Most Inspiring Women Leaders of 2021" by IndustryEra Magazine.
"I've always aspired to be a leader in my career and being recognized -- not just as a good leader but an inspiring leader -- is such a great satisfaction," Amaya says. "The most important part of my job is making sure that my people are happy, that they're committed and that I treat them like human beings."
Born and raised in Mexico, Amaya has always been proud of her heritage. During her time at UNT, she was involved in many activities and organizations, especially those for Latino students, and took up leadership roles to build her skills.
She served as president of the Association of Latin American Students for three years and vice president for the UNT chapter of the League of United Latin American Citizens. She also created and was executive producer of a Spanish variety TV show that still runs to this day on North Texas Television.
One of her best experiences at UNT was the opportunity to represent the university at the Time Warner Center in New York as a Univision-NAHJ National Scholar, an honor awarded to top students in Spanish-language journalism. She was one of three students in the country to receive the award.
After graduating from college, she took up different paths before landing her current position.
"It's okay to have multiple careers. It's okay to change your mind, to reinvent yourself," Amaya says.
Amaya started off working with at-risk high school and college students as a mentor in the higher education system. She then went on to work for a digital media company called Reflect Systems as a program scheduler and was promoted to the role of marketing program manager.
Since then, Amaya knew that she wanted to pursue marketing as a full-time career.
"It's a perfect combination of my creative skills and business acumen," Amaya says. "I've always had an interest in business as well."
As a single mom and first-generation college student, Amaya has always been determined to work hard to go after what she wanted.
Even though her degree is in radio-television-film (now media arts) and not marketing, she became more knowledgeable about the field and gained numerous skills through online courses, reading books and listening to podcasts, as well as finding mentors.
That commitment to learning, along with her personal drive, led Amaya to her current position as the senior marketing director for Yooz, where she leads the North America and Latin American markets.
Her work ethic and determination shows when leading the marketing team at her company and has paid off with her recent achievement.
"The one thing that has helped me in my career is to keep reminding myself that I am capable, I am smart, I should speak up and I should have an opinion," Amaya says. "It's more about telling myself, 'You can do it!' and if you don't know one thing, go learn it and then go back and try again. Perseverance and being proud of myself and where I came from have been integral in my career success."
Amaya hopes to encourage others with similar backgrounds like herself to pursue new opportunities and to never be afraid of taking risks.
"You don't have to be perfect to be successful -- you can reinvent yourself, you can change your life," Amaya says. "When in doubt, just go for it because you never know what surprises life has in store for you."