A Month of Panels in The Milky Way!

Panels, Panels, and more Panels!

This month I had the opportunity to moderate and speak on several panels. I picked up some amazing gems along the way that I had to share!

Toward the beginning of the month I had the pleasure of being on a panel hosted by Northwestern Mutual’s African American Employee Resource Group!  It was such an honor to sit along side amazing women to discuss  navigating tech careers and sharing the importance of representation in tech! I was super thrilled to be sitting next to Keisha Howard founder of Sugar gamers. She’s a true gem ! 

Key takeaways from this panel: 

  • Communities that want to help address the racial and gender disparities in STEM fields should commit to giving time, money and resources.
  • When exploring career paths— educate yourself as much as possible on the industry and all it has to offer.
  • Technology is democratizing entrepreneurship.— Create what you want!

This month I also moderated a panel for Northwestern Mutuals Girls in Tech day!  This panel was geared toward young girls in middle school! We talked about the power of standing out! Knowing that these brilliant young women are interested in a career in STEM gives me hope for the future! 

Key takeaways: 

  • Leverage what makes you unique.
  • Ask questions early and often.
  • YouTube University is a great way to pick up a new skill!
  • It’s possible to be artsy/creative and have a passion for STEM at the same time!

Lastly, yesterday I sat on a panel hosted by Panther Hacks. Again, it was an incredible honor to sit alongside amazing leaders in Milwaukee. We had a candid conversation about Milwaukee’s entrepreneurial capabilities and the need to address Milwaukee’s segregation issues in order to ensure Milwaukee reaches its full potential. 

Key take aways:

  • Take risks!
  • It’s better to fail big than to fail small because of the level of learning along the way.
  • Don’t allow people to project their limitations on you! 
  • Never underestimate your ability to make change!
  • Keep a solid support system.. but believe in yourself enough to fly solo if you have to. 

I ‘m grateful for the community leaders in the city that made all of these amazing events possible. I especially am grateful for the amazing folks at Northwestern Mutual that continue pour their time and resources into the community to empower Milwaukee’s tech hub!

Good stuff!

Check out my new podcast – https://anchor.fm/downtomarsmke

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