#WomeninSTEM · #WomeninTech · inspiration · women who reign

Women Who Reign: Mikaela Helene Ocampo Reyes

“The power you have is to be the best version of yourself you can be, so you can create a better world.” – Ashley Rickards

Tell us about yourself along with a fun fact!
I hail from the sunny Philippine islands and am finishing my Economics and Psych double major and data analysis minor at Wesleyan University, studying as a Freeman Asian Scholar. I’m a self-taught designer, front-end web developer and soon-to-be tech product manager. When I graduate, I’ll be joining a technology fellowship program in San Francisco for 3 months.  I believe in the power of tech in uplifting communities and economies. In the future, it is my hope to bring all my learnings about the tech industry back home so I can uplift the economy of the Philippines. I love underwater activities like scuba diving and snorkeling, and strongly dislike the taste and smell of fries. (See picture attached! That’s me on the left.)

What # would define your life journey?
#KeepOnKeepingOn #KOKO

Favorite website / app:
Right now? Zero — intermittent fasting tracking app! #GetFit

Someone who inspires you and knowledge they have imparted:
Bo Ren, Former PM @ Facebook, PM @ Tumblr

Her path to becoming a PM was untraditional, but she made it there any way. With enough hard work and grit, even an Economics and Psychology major (like me!!!) can become a product manager despite what the naysayers might think. She is also a strong advocate of women in tech and wrote a wonderful article about fixing the “broken diversity product” in technology.

Song that makes you want to dance:
Love on Top, Crazy in Love, basically anything Beyonce!

Challenge you’ve faced and how you overcame it:
Last summer, 2 weeks before I was to start my design internship in Silicon Valley, the company I was going to work for had internal problems and so had to drop their entire internship program for 25 of us students. It was a very stressful two weeks! After sulking for a bit, I started hustling to find a position that would fit my goals. I luckily found an opening at a robotics edtech startup that welcomed me as their first UX designer. I had an amazing learning experience, really immersing myself in design and tech, and had an amazing time in Silicon Valley. With enough hustle and grit, things might turn out even better than expected.

Ideal Job:
After I’ve created the company that hopefully augmented the Philippine economy (and other neighboring economies), I hope to continue being an established technology professional and woman leader, mentoring young and future leaders in developing economies.

I also see myself finally fulfilling my dream of skydiving in New Zealand! #dreamz

What knowledge would you impart to women in order for them to REIGN their lives?
My favorite psychologist, Carol Dweck‘s research on growth vs. fixed mindsets helped empower me when I was once a young freshman in college. Fixed mindsets say “your skills and potential are stagnant” while growth mindsets say “keep working on it and you can develop and do better.” I once had this fixed mindset, which made me very reliant on using grades as benchmarks of my self-worth. This fixed mindset stopped me from developing myself and employing hard work and grit in my endeavors. With the growth mindset, anything is possible. I encourage you to think that whatever you set your mind to is within your reach, because it is! It might take a lot of smart and hard work, but you can get there.

In the words of Dweck herself, “Becoming is better than being” and so enjoy the path you take to fulfill your dreams as well!

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