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UT Dallas Alumna Merges Art and Business to Create Successful Brand

Shy Amos BA’09, MS’11, MBA’17

At a young age, Shy Amos BA’09, MS’11, MBA’17 knew she had a gift for singing, rapping and reciting poetry. As a member of a musical family, she was able to cultivate her craft growing up, often competing in oratorical contests and showcasing her skills to classmates on the playground.

Her artistic talent was such an integral part of her that when it came time to make a crucial decision about her future, she chose an unexpected path.

“I was so familiar with my gifts that by the time I graduated high school, I only knew myself by them,” Amos said. “So, I decided that when I went to college, I would focus on growing professionally and spiritually and I would set my talents to the side.”

After graduating from Sam Houston High School in Arlington in 2005, Amos set her sights on a bachelor’s degree in business administration from UT Dallas.

“I came to UTD because I really wanted to go to a school that was all about academics,” Amos said. “I wanted to be among the elite thinkers of the world.”

Shy Amos BA’09, MS’11, MBA’17

After graduating with her master’s degree in 2011, Amos went back to UTD to earn her MBA in innovation and entrepreneurship in 2017.

In addition to her classwork, Amos was engaged in campus life as a member of the Black Student Alliance, the National Society of Black Engineers, the University Choir and AROC, a bible study.

“When you’re a part of something at UTD, you get to make history,” Amos said. “The University is still experiencing firsts, so even when you’re a student, you get to be part of the future.”

After graduating with her master’s degree in supply chain management in 2011, Amos was hired at UT Southwestern Medical Center as a buyer and accountant. That same year, she decided to return to her musical roots and began performing as ShySpeaks, a hip-hop and spoken-word artist.

In 2015, when her career as ShySpeaks began to take up more and more of her time, Amos made the decision to become a full-time entrepreneur.

“It freed up my time to be able to say yes to more creative opportunities,” Amos said. “A lot of times I had to say no because I had a corporate job and an office with my name on it.”

Leaving her office job meant the door was open for new experiences, such as traveling to San Francisco with a delegation from the city of Dallas to work with lawmakers on lowering the rate of recidivism. For that trip, Amos was hired as a “culture maker” to create songs and poems that could reach the kids of incarcerated parents.

“I wouldn’t have been able to do that if I had still been working my full-time job,” Amos said.

Seven years after launching ShySpeaks, Amos is a celebrated artist who most recently collaborated with hip-hop artist Lecrae and producer Zaytoven on the song “Switch” from their joint album “Let the Trap Say Amen,” released this summer. She credits her MBA in innovation and entrepreneurship from the Jindal School with giving her the tools to create and maintain a successful brand.

“That’s what I learned in the entrepreneurship program — how your business can partner with other businesses and create something dynamic that’s mutually beneficial,” Amos said. “That was so eye-opening to me.”

Shy Amos BA’09, MS’11, MBA’17

Amos will return to campus on Oct. 21 to release her new mixtape, "Dear Everybody," at the SSA Theater.

Now, students and alumni can be a part of Amos’ journey at the live release celebration of her new mixtape, “Dear Everybody,” on Oct. 21 in the Student Services Building Addition auditorium.

For Amos, her return to UT Dallas is a homecoming in its own right, as well as a chance to show how art and business can combine to create a more impactful future.

“Dallas is known for its economy and business,” Amos said. “But a lot of other major cities, they’re also known for their arts. In Dallas, and especially at UTD, you can be on the cutting edge of what’s about to emerge. You have to press into places to see those two worlds combine, so we can be known for business and the economy as well as arts and entertainment.”

— Melissa Graham


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