We had the good fortune of connecting with Mikayle Lowery and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Mikayle, what role has risk played in your life or career?
When I assess risk, considering gender and race as social advantages and disadvantages allows me to foresee opportunities or failures within that individual’s life.
Because of these two social constructs, any risks I take will hurt more when I fail; it could also give me more fulfillment and confidence when I prosper.
I’m the youngest of eight children, making me the baby of the family. My parents got married at nineteen and had six girls and two boys. Watching my older sisters and brothers set and achieve goals with such uncertainty about outcomes made me question my strengths and weaknesses. What would I be brave enough to do? What risks would I be willing to take? I decided that like my siblings, I also would become a risk-taker.
My first step would be to attend college; like many students, I had my difficulties but with time I was able to become comfortable being uncomfortable. Stepping out of my box is what helped me elevate against the challenges against me in higher academia.
I flourished and earned my Communication degree from the University of California San Diego (UCSD). Throughout these processes, I reevaluate my decision-making to lessen the chances of self-doubt or biases from negatively affecting my assessment so I can guesstimate the best plausible outcomes.
Furthermore, regardless of failing or succeeding, taking risks grants me the confidence to achieve more and reach higher. Soon after, setting out for Bloomberg was on the horizon. I decided to fly out to Northern California to participate in the business arena. When learning about business reporting, I discovered how diverse perspectives and diverse minds contributed to innovative and creative business development. When Bloomberg came to an end,
I challenged myself to move internationally for the first time, and London, England, became my new home. While stuffing my face with scones, beignets, and tea, I learned about European culture, norms, and behavior throughout my educational experience at the Queen Mary University of London. By this time, I knew taking a risk was heavily embedded within my lifestyle.
The journey that fueled a new passion was my journey to Washington, D.C. While working for the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation and other congressional offices, I educated myself in community development to further understand the importance of equitable healthcare, workforce opportunities, and education. This experience sparked me to think beyond my expectations for my personal life and my professional goals.
I soon earned my way to Vanderbilt University and am currently apart of their Community Development and Action Master’s program. Conveniently, Vanderbilt University allowed me to study remotely in my home state, California. Looking back on my journey and reflecting on the choices that I have made helps me realize how risk-taking is essential for human development and producing meaningful contributions within local and global communities.
If I hadn’t taken the risks that I did, I wouldn’t be the confident and driven adult I am today. For anyone afraid to come out of their shell, I am proof that faith and the willingness to succeed can lead you toward your dreams and beyond.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I currently attend Vanderbilt University and study Community Development & Action while working for a community congressional office as a Field Representative. While being apart of the Vandy community, I learn a lot about complex social issues and how to alleviate problematic problems that perpetuate in vulnerable communities locally and globally. I’m proud of the fact that I’m being taught invaluable theoretical knowledge and skills to improve social conditions in the workforce, education system and, health care industry.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
The Warehouse Restaurant on Admiralty Way in Marina Del Rey is one of my favorite places to eat. I enjoy seeing boats and looking out to sea while enjoying a peaceful delicious meal. I’m an avid reader so if you’re looking for a good place to find a book, I enjoy Barnes & Noble on Commons Way in Calabasas because you can purchase a hot coffee while searching for a good read. Music is also a great interest of mine so if you enjoy live music, Downtown LA has great jazz and r&b spaces.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
My familys’ perspective has played a significant role in how I assess risks and think about my capabilities. I owe a lot of my success stories to them because without them I don’t think I would have challenged myself the way I do now.