Magazine - Summer 2021

Q: We believe that our personal expressions should translate into how we navigate as business and community leaders. We call it “Bringing Our Whole Self” into any situation. How do you ensure that you are authentic to yourself and your work? It’s so important for me that I choose to work on projects that complement my interests and values. I am authentic when I am truly passionate about the work and impact that I am making. I refuse to involve myself in anything that doesn’t align, even if I lose out on making money. It is also my responsibility to bring my best self to work, so I don’t beat myself up for taking a necessary break or going on a fun trip to clear my head. Q: What advice would you give to young professionals or students? You should be able to enjoy the process just as much as the success. If I were to go back, I would have probably taken things a little more slowly to avoid burnout. I’m so passionate about goals I set, and get immersed in whatever I’m working on to the point that my health, friendships, and relationships have T R E N D I N G L E A D E R S

set up workstations for new employees. I remember being one of only six women out of over one hundred employees (we each had our own bathroom stall), but I am so glad I didn’t quit or decline the opportunity based on my initial knowledge and assumptions of the role. I am so proud of myself for taking the time to learn because I knew I was capable of achieving anything I set my mind to. I was eventually promoted from my summer internship to a part-time job throughout the school year. Q: What keeps you up at night? (Although I do value a good night's rest) I have many thoughts that are consistently on top of mind. One being generational wealth. I have always admired my parent’s work ethic and dedication to supporting their children. My mom has been the biggest support system in my life. She made sure I had the equipment and resources needed to be successful, and most importantly, the encouragement to keep going. I will forever be grateful for that. I frequently think of my future kids and ways that I can position them to thrive in the best way. ▪ Photography by Berto "TPG" Horne

Q: A recent survey of ours identified that the #1 reason why there is a decline in minority representation in STEM is related to Imposter Syndrome. Have you experienced this barrier and if so, how did you overcome it? I have overcome many obstacles while working in STEM as a black woman, but some of the biggest battles I’ve faced have been mentally, with myself. Dealing with imposter syndrome is challenging and there is a constant feeling of too much competition, and the need to stay on top of fast-changing trends. It involves plenty of over-thinking as well as second guessing yourself and your potential. For example, my first internship was for a software development company that created technology for truck maintenance. I had no clue what I was getting into – I’m surprised I even passed the interview because I didn’t have answers to any of the questions the team was asking me. But, I was honest with them and told them I was willing to learn. They hired me. I prepared by watching YouTube videos and absorbing as much information as possible. The first day on the job, I was instructed to create cat5 cables, rewire server rooms and suffered. Now, I approach life differently and am intentional with balancing self care and hard work. Celebrate your wins along the way no matter how small.

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