Meet Sequetta Sweet: Consultant and DreamerSeptember 12, 2012
Our tough economy has kept many individuals from pursuing career goals that in previous years would have been considered attainable. Sequetta Sweet, a 2006–07 Career Development Grantee, chose to continue chasing her dreams despite the current risks. After working in information technology for more than 20 years, Sweet began to realize that she was dissatisfied with her career. She tried other ventures, including starting a tutoring center and taking an adjunct teaching job. However, she still felt unfulfilled. “I just felt like there was something more to life,” she says. Frustrated, Sweet quit her IT job in hopes of figuring out what she really wanted to do when she “grew up.”
Sweet first recognized her passion for and strong ability with computers after taking her first computer course in 10th grade. She originally wanted to be a math teacher but settled into a career as a systems analyst after learning more about teachers’ starting salaries. Sweet thought she would be pursuing this career “forever,” but to her surprise, it was just the beginning. Sweet found a way to combine her strong interest in teaching and training with her technical background. To fulfill this passion and also change careers, she decided to go back to school. An AAUW Career Development Grant helped fund her first year of graduate school as she pursued her master’s degree in human resources. “I am very grateful for AAUW’s help,” she says.
In 2005, Sweet founded Atteuq Potential Unlimited, which offers training, development, and facilitation to people who are interested in starting consulting businesses. Atteuq provides tools that help improve performance and provides coaching services to help individuals find themselves. Sweet admits that running a business is very difficult, especially when it is her main source of income. She is constantly trying to find new ways to promote and improve her business. Nonetheless, being in the classroom makes the struggle worth it: “I love seeing the lightbulb effect people get when they learn something new or understand a new concept,” she says. This motivates her to keep moving forward.
Sweet has accomplished a lot over the last year. Upon finishing her dissertation, she earned her doctoral degree in education and executive leadership from St. John Fisher College. Sweet is currently running Atteuq’s trainings on her own but hopes to bring in more trainers. In addition, she would like to teach higher education courses at a college or university.
Sweet says she has learned a lot in her journey — and she has plenty of advice and wisdom to share. She believes that we tend to stay stagnant due to hardships that are beyond our control but that it is important that we continue to pursue what we love. It is vital that you not only have goals but that you also do all that you can to accomplish them. “There is such a thing as creating opportunity for yourself,” she says. “Go for it! Figure them out, devise a plan, and work toward it.” Sweet reminded me that I am in control of my own destiny. “Don’t let life rule you. You rule life.”
Sweet’s Career Development Grant was made possible by seven grants: the AAUW Auburn (CA) Branch Research and Projects Grant, the AAUW Eugene (OR) Branch/Mary Brockelbank Research and Projects Grant, the Dawn Gordner/AAUW Livermore-Pleasanton (CA) Branch Research and Projects Grant, the Shirley Melchor Mainwaring/AAUW Menlo-Atherton (CA) Branch Research and Projects Grant, the Mary F. Plath Research and Projects Grant, the Helen Putnam/AAUW Petaluma (CA) Branch/AAUW Santa Rosa (CA) Branch 50th Anniversary Research and Projects Grant, and the AAUW Tustin (CA) Branch Research and Projects Grant.
This post was written by AAUW Fellowships and Grants Intern Bianca Rhule.