Women Who Reign: Camille Mbayo

What’s so cool about my generation is that being socially aware is ingrained in who we are. It’s almost as though we were born with a debt to society to do our part, to be a part of this peer group that understands pretty immediately the idea that whatever we do has to benefit the greater good of humanity. – Yara Shahidi

Tell us about yourself along with a fun fact!
One of my favorite books is the little prince and my favorite quote is “Grown-ups like numbers. When you tell them about a new friend, they never ask questions about what really matters. They never ask: ‘What does their voice sound like?’… They ask: ‘How old are they?’ ‘How many siblings do they have?’”

So ever since I try to introduce myself without numbers. Blue is my favorite color, I like talking to people and figuring them out. I also really like numbers but only as a way of figuring out the world around me, not as a way of getting to know people. I like art and food. I’m the kind of person to take a fluid class and then try to relate it to every aspect of my life.

On the more technical side I studied Mechanical Engineering and Computer Science because I like the idea of understanding the world and creating something out of my understanding. However, I don’t like technology as much as one would expect. I think they take away from meaningful interactions people could have.

What # would define your life journey?

Favorite website / app:
I try to avoid surfing the internet or being on my phone for too long but I really like stumbledupon.

Someone who inspires you and knowledge they have imparted:
There isn’t one person who has inspired me. I like to look at people and when there is something that resonates with me or if there is an aspect about someone that I really admire I will work on myself to try and get there. 

For example, I met a person who was obviously very smart but also very goofy. He did not take himself seriously and that really resonated with me because as a hugely goofy person many a time I’ve felt like that part of me should not be seen otherwise my intelligence would be question. But this person showed me that they don’t have to be mutually exclusive.

Another example of someone inspiring me was when I met someone who is incredibly knowledgeable and also really good at explaining concepts to people, without insulting other people’s intelligence. And I’ve been working really hard on my ability to explain concepts to people.

And the third group of people who inspire me are people who question the institution. People who are aware that there is something very wrong with the way things are right now and are fighting for something better in their own way.

Song that makes you want to dance:
* Anything by Janelle Monae
* I wanna dance with somebody Whitney Houston

Challenge you’ve faced and how you overcame it:
My favorite story to tell about a challenge was summer of 2016. I can for surely say that this was a turning point in my career. I was thrown into a new country, Singapore, and was asked to be a web developer having never taken a web programming class. When I had interviewed for the position I was led to believe that it was a software development position. I had to learn a new programming language, a new type of programing while also navigating cultural differences.

After a week of trying and failing to absorb all the knowledge I felt defeated. I went to my supervisor feeling overwhelmed and after a few encouragement words from him “It’s ok Camille, we are all learning here”. Those words still echo in my mind. Because that’s when I realized that everyone is still learning and I can’t expect myself to be good at something as soon as I start.

After his words I put my fears of failing aside knowing that everyone has to start from somewhere and that everyone is still always learning I gave myself the time to learn. Within two weeks I was ready to start programing. By the end of the summer I had made a website for a client and helped manage multiple websites.  

That summer was an incredible confidence booster. I went from feeling like an imposter to knowing that I can do it if I’m given space and time.

Ideal Job:
I don’t know, I think that 10 years is too far ahead to plan. I can’t even begin to know what kind of person I will be let alone my job. But I see myself traveling, hopefully, talking to people, engineering (either as a career or just as a lifestyle) and living my life to the fullest.

What knowledge would you impart to women in order for them to REIGN their lives?
I’m still at the beginning of my journey but a few things that I am still learning:

– Confidence is key, men have a surplus of it. Believe you are a queen, because you are one!

– Being gentle with yourself, I often have high expectations for myself and feel disappointed when I don’t achieve. Putting things into perspective by asking “what is at stake?” really helps me

– Having a good community and people who support you is also essential

One thought on “Women Who Reign: Camille Mbayo

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s