We had the good fortune of connecting with M’benda N’dour and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi M’benda, is there something that you feel is most responsible for your success?
I really believe the most important factor is my content. I only create videos that I would’ve needed to see when I was navigating the space of Tech

Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I have a YouTube channel where my ultimate goal is to create content that I needed to see when I was in college! I’ve noticed that sometimes people can sell you dreams, or we romanticize what working in Tech will be like; the reality can be a little different. So I hope to answer as many questions as I can for people on what it’s actually be a software developer, especially as a Black woman. When I uploaded my first video, I didn’t expect it to blow up! I got 10,000 subscribers in a month and couldn’t believe how rapid my growth was; it didn’t give me a chance to really practice and set a schedule for myself, so I felt a lot of pressure to produce a lot of content. But I’ve since realized that I need to just go at a pace that best serves me, especially when juggling so much. I think what sets me apart and made me grow quickly is that I am definitely in the minority when it comes to my field of choice. 3% of engineers are black women. I love that I can inspire people of color to join an industry that they would otherwise feel they don’t belong in. I also want to show people that you could be multi faceted! I compete in pageants and I am Miss Washington US 2020; people are always surprised by that fact!

If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Day 1 – we’re going to relax in a day spa! Koreatown has the best spas (and food) in LA! After we’ve soaked off the bestie’s travel fatigue we’d dress up and go to Perch, a trendy bar in DTLA Day 2 – we’d have to go to the Getty Villa, which has great views of the city and beautiful art displays and then go to the best Indian food in down: Star of India
Day 3 – after we’ve taken a hike at the Griffith Park observatory, we’d have to eat at HoHo Chicken in Koreatown to replenish our calorie loss and tastebuds
Day 4 – I’d skip Hollywood Blvd (unless it’s the Museum of Death) and go to Olvera Street, where the street food is great and the art is amazing. Great spot to soak in culture and get souvenirs
Day 5 – We have to go to Korean BBQ at least 3 times this week, so this will be the 3rd, Quarters is great, but it’s hard to find a bad KBBQ joint in Koreatown
Day 6 – we’d spend the day in Santa Monica, where there’s lots to do and see. Definitely Lonzo’s Restaurant (great Peruvian food) for dinner
Day 7 – I just have to take her to a Roscoe’s Chicken and Waffles before she leaves

Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
Aside from my amazing family and friends, I’d love to shoutout Meta+Lab. They were a CSUN funded startup, created by Steve Fitzgerald; it that gave students paid real-world experience by training and mentoring them on how to do the job. You could either be a Web Developer, work in Operations or even Marketing. We completed big projects for established clients (like a police department and researchers), which made my resume really stand out; it helped me land a Full-Time Developer position 3 days after graduation. If it wasn’t for the mentorship of Professor Fitzgerald, I (and many of the students there) wouldn’t be where I am today. Unfortunately, the program was defunded, but I’m hoping that it will be pushed to the forefront and expand to other Universities in the future

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