#025 – Michaella on Living a Life of Impact

Hello beautiful people! So this is my last episode for Season 1, and I have the privilege of being interviewed by Fabiola from Episode 5.

I felt that it might be appropriate to sit on the other side of the mic for once, so that you can learn more about me! It has been a moment of reflection on my journey growing up abroad and trying to settle down, how I went from a career in retail to tech, and on my attempt to document the stories of Africans in the diaspora and the questions that we ask ourselves. I hope you enjoy it 🙂

03:00 – On why I always center my interviews around the third culture kid (TCK) identity, and whether I identify as a TCK or not

09:00 – On curiosity and the different paths that life takes us on, and how I would have never thought that I would one day work for a tech company – because I wasn’t an engineer

[I don’t really limit myself in what I can explore – Michaella] 

14:00 – On how my failures have taught me to be adaptable, and how I almost moved to Kenya

[I wanted to be part of the decision makers – Michaella] 

27:00 – On how I accepted an entry level job, with the goal of changing roles once I had my foot in the door 

32:15 – On how unconscious bias showed up as I started in my new role, and my attempt to fit in 

37:30 – How I chose a mentor to guide me, give me a different perspective of the workplace, and to help my attempt at moving internally 

45:00 – Why I started the podcast out of feeling isolated in the workplace, even though I’m not making money from it 

[I wanted to find people like me, who are trying to figure it out… We don’t know what we’re doing when we come here – Michaella] 

56:00 – Learnings from running a podcast, and what I will explore going forward 

[At the core of it, it’s a beautiful story of humanity – Michaella ] 

What did you think of the episode? Please share your thoughts with us in the comments, and if you liked it – share it with your friends 🙂

Follow us on Facebook: Jase avec Moi, and where podcasts are found: Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Play, and Stitcher

In the meantime keep striving, keep thriving, and keep shining!

Michaella

#024 – Reflection on Season 1 and Roundup Best Episodes

Hello beautiful people! I wanted to check in this week, and talk to you about the progress of the podcast, as well as give you a roundup of the best episodes based on the feedback that I have received. I hope you’re staying safe, and you and your families are well. ❤ 

01:00 – Thanks to you, my listeners, we have reached more than 1,100 listeners in 29 countries!!! Canada accounts for 40%, the US about 20%, and the remaining 40% are spread around the world. You are all amazing ❤ 

03:00 – Being an adult third-culture kid, how it has influenced the podcast, and why it’s important to rate the podcast and share it with others

[I wanted to see people like me – Michaella

07:35 – What I learned from Season 1 from being a recovering perfectionist to just going for it 

[The challenge with planning is that you can only draw from the information that you have at hand – Michaella

13:00 – Help me find a gender neutral term for “guys/ladies”, and more on how a personal brand can help open opportunities 

16:00 – How I need your help with Season 2, join the Facebook group to give me your insights, and share your thoughts on the topics that are discussed in the group 

21:15 – Roundup of the best episodes 

Identity and self: 

#005 – Fabiola on Recognizing Important Moments and Leveraging Them to Build

#012Sarah Somian on living a slow life where we listen to our intuition…

#019Mo on Cultural Curiosity and Finding Joy in the Unexpected

[There is a need for people to be real again – Mo

Arts/Storytelling: 

#004Kiga on the Art of Mastering Storytelling

#020CQ on Small Wins and How They Push Us to Greatness

[Don’t service today at the expense of tomorrow – CQ]

Policy:

#021 – Zuwa on Embracing Our Agency and The Courage to Act Now

#009 – Moses on How Following Your Heart Continuously Builds into Something Greater

#014 – Imanzi on Becoming a Servant Leader

[We can use what we have, however little, to get a lot of what we don’t have. And along the way we are helping people, we are being happy, we are creating change, inspiring other people and living life to the fullest – Moses]

Technology: 

#001Gisele on How Technology Can Help Change the World 

#018Sophina on Cybersecurity and Empowering Other Young Women

[Always remember that yourself in 20 years is relying on you to be smart right now, relying on you to work hard and to be diligent. Hustle in the way that feels right for you – Naomi]

What did you think of the episode? Please share your thoughts with us in the comments, and if you liked it – share it with your friends 🙂

Follow us on Facebook: Jase avec Moi, and join the group, and where podcasts are found: Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Play, and Stitcher

In the meantime keep striving, keep thriving, and keep shining!

Michaella

#023 – Aissa Sur Son Amour de l’Afrique et Comment le Partager de l’Entreprise à l’Histoire

Cette semaine je parle avec Aissata Sylla, une jeune Ivoirienne qui habite à Montréal depuis maintenant 8 ans. On parle de ce qu’elle a appris en vivant dans plusieurs pays Africains, son amour pour l’Afrique et comment elle le partage dans ses multiples projets, entre autre Korofolie – et l’expérience qu’elle a eue lorsqu’elle est rentrée en Côte d’Ivoire pour y travailler pendant quelques mois. Avec son humour subtile, Aissata vous fera rire tout en partageant son expérience avec candeur 😀

01:10 – Aissa s’introduit, nous parle de son enfance, et ce qu’elle a appris des différents déplacements dans sa vie de la Côte d’Ivoire, au Togo, Cameroun, et l’Afrique du Sud.

[Le changement c’est quelque chose qui, avec le temps, ne me fait pas beaucoup peur dans la vie – Aissa]

09:05 – Pourquoi elle a choisi Montréal pour ses études, et ce qui l’a poussée à cofonder la Desautels African Business Initiative – la première conférence sur le monde des affaires en Afrique, organisée par des étudiants, au Canada

26:00 – Ce qui l’a finalement poussée à rester à Montréal au lieu de rentrer

30:00 – Comment elle a profité d’un des avantages de sa compagnie, un programme pour aller en mission à l’étranger, pour faire un projet en Côte d’Ivoire et s’essayer au retour en Afrique

[Ça m’a rappelé que je veux rentrer, que that’s what I’m working towards – Aissa]

38:30 – Les leçons apprises, l’adaptation à un nouveau contexte de travail, et le plaisir d’être chez soi

49:50 – Ce que Korofolie veut dire en Malinké, et l’intention derrière le blog: présenter différentes facettes de l’Afrique

[Écoutons nos instincts au maximum, et puis entourons-nous de personnes qui ressortent le meilleur de nous-mêmes – Aissa]

56:15 – Conseils à l’Aissa d’il y’a 5 ans, la vision des 5 prochaines années, et pourquoi elle a choisi Mansa Aissa comme son nom sur Instagram

[Je ne pense pas que la vie soit faite pour qu’on atteigne tout tout seul, et qu’on prenne toutes nos décisions tout seul sans l’aide de personne – Aissa]

Vous pouvez trouver Aissa sur son blog, Twitter, et Instagram

Suivez-nous aussi sur Facebook, Instagram, et où on trouve les podcasts: Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts et Stitcher

Qu’avez-vous pensé de cet épisode? Partagez vos pensées avec nous dans les commentaires, et s’il vous a plu: partagez-le avec vos ami(e)s😊

En attendant, continuez à vous battre, à vous épanouir et à briller! 💫

Michaëlla

#022 – Lynda sur le Multiculturalisme: Accepter Où Nous Sommes et Qui Nous Sommes

Cette semaine, j’ai l’honneur de parler avec Lynda Egnonam Dongo aka Mlle Lynda. Lynda est une Afro-Québécoise, du Togo, qui habite maintenant à Montréal depuis 5 ans. Elle travaille en tant que conseillère senior en crédit, et mène aussi Iloubiya Togo, une organisation à but non-lucratif. C’est aussi une grande passionnée du vin, des voyages, et de la lecture. Dans cet épisode, nous parlons un peu de tout: de l’évolution de nos multiples identités, de la précarité mensuelle des jeunes filles, de l’usage de crédit et de vins. Comme vous pouvez le voir, Lynda a de multiples facettes et j’espère que vous apprécierez de les découvrir 🙂

1:15 – Lynda s’introduit et nous parle de l’influence que sa grand-mère a eu sur son implication sociale

4:25 – Les objectifs d’Iloubiya, son organisation à but non-lucratif, l’impact de la précarité mensuelle sur les jeunes filles, et l’importance de la sensibilisation sur les règles

Voici la campagne pour des dons de serviettes hygiéniques réutilisables 

9:10 – Ses premières impressions de son arrivée au Québec, comment vivre à Montréal lui a fait réaliser qu’elle avait déjà plusieurs identités culturelles, et l’évolution de son identité

[Quand tu quittes ton pays natal pour une autre terre, si tu n’arrives pas à faire ce pays-là une maison, ce sera très difficile pour toi de pouvoir vivre dans cette société – Lynda]

16:13 – Comment elle s’est retrouvée en économie et politique, au lieu de la médecine

19:20 – Sur les discussions politiques et sa relation tumultueuse avec le Togo, et le débat si on rentre ou on reste ici

[Rentrer est une des plus grandes décisions de vie de quelqu’un qui vit en diaspora, et ne doit pas être prise sur l’influence des autres personnes – Lynda]

28:12 – Son travail en tant que conseillère en crédit, ce qu’elle a appris basé sur son expérience personnelle, et un peu de crédit 101 sur l’usage des cartes de crédit

[L’argent de la carte de crédit n’est pas ton argent – Lynda]

*Correction: Lorsque vous utilisez une carte de crédit au Canada, il faut la payer en 21 jours total pour ne pas payer les intérêts sur vos dépenses (et non 21 jours ouvrables comme on le dit dans l’episode).*

35:45 – Sur son amour du vin et de la lecture – et comment distinguer entre un vin de consommation et un vin de conservation

[C’est quoi l’objectif principal de ton vin? Est-ce que tu l’achètes pour de la consommation, ou tu l’achètes pour de la conservation? – Lynda]

Livres mentionnés et à explorer: Fleur du désert et For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Politics 

44:55 – La vision des 5 ans, and conseils à la Lynda d’il y’a 5 ans

[“L’espoir c’est vivre” – Lynda]

Vous pouvez trouver Lynda sur son site web, et sur Instagram

Vous pouvez aussi suivre Iloubiya sur Facebook et Instagram

Et finalement, la campagne pour des dons de serviettes hygiéniques réutilisables

Suivez-nous aussi sur Facebook, Instagram, et où on trouve les podcasts: Apple PodcastsSpotifyGoogle Podcasts et Stitcher

Qu’avez-vous pensé de cet épisode? Partagez vos pensées avec nous dans les commentaires, et s’il vous a plu: partagez-le avec vos ami(e)s😊

En attendant, continuez à vous battre, à vous épanouir et à briller! 💫

Michaëlla

#021 – Zuwa on Embracing Our Agency and The Courage to Act Now

This week I have the honour of speaking with Zuwa Matondo, a son of Africa and sun of Zimbabwe (zu-wa means sun(shine) in the Zimbabwean Shona dialect). I have known Zuwa for the last 12 years, and he has become a big brother to me. 

Audacious in nature, Zuwa believes in everyone’s ability to create a space for themselves to achieve their unique purpose. Facing his fears despite the possibility of stumbling, he has constantly sought growth outside of his comfort zone having gained experience in corporate law, finance and governance.  In that journey with ups and downs he has worked with various governments, international organizations and within a Global 500 financial company. Zuwa especially has a heart and passion to serve, believing gifts, big or small, are not to be kept but shared in order to uplift others. 

Zuwa’s desire to pursue an impactful career has been best expressed by his founding of Gov-Enhance Africa, a platform for policy thinkers and governance innovators to create out-of-the-box policy solutions to ultimately help the continent’s citizens. I hope this conversation inspires you.

02:00 – Zuwa introduces himself and explains why he doesn’t define himself by his job or career path anymore

[You’re not this circumstance, you’re not this situation. Keep things moving in a positive direction – Zuwa

07:15 – How active citizen engagement was modeled through his childhood and how it influenced his profound love of Zimbabwe 

11:25 – How coming to Montreal, and meeting the greater African community, further affected his Pan-Africanism point of view

16:10 – Leadership lessons from running the McGill African Students Society (MASS) and other student activities 

20:40 – Why Zuwa chose policy as his way of serving and the role of the African youth 

25:00 – On how we can make policy easier to digest for the everyday person, and how Gov-Enhance was created as a result 

[We always want to be at the table, but sometimes you have to build your own table first – Zuwa]

30:00 – On how to start small where you are: at the county, city, province level; and grow from there 

32:30 – How law prepared him for governance and policy, and on his experience working in China 

[Ambition is climbing the ladder, but purpose is making sure that ladder is on the right wall – Zuwa

38:00 – The current Covid-19 crisis, and how it’s a current example of the importance of public policy and trusting our governments 

40:00 – Lessons learned from starting Gov-Enhance Africa, on building teams and running an organization 

45:50 – Message to his younger self and what drives him to keep going when times are hard 

[You know and learn by trying, you have to do it, and you can’t be afraid to fail – Zuwa]

You can follow Zuwa on Twitter, and Gov-Enhance Africa on the website and Twitter

What did you think of the episode? Please share your thoughts with us in the comments, and if you liked it – share it with your friends 🙂

Follow us on Facebook: Jase avec Moi, and where podcasts are found: Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Play, and Stitcher

In the meantime keep striving, keep thriving, and keep shining!

Michaella

#020 – CQ on Small Wins and How They Push Us to Greatness

This week I have the honor of speaking with Clarence Quarcoo, known by most as CQ. I met him while working at Target Canada, and we have remained friends over the last 8 years. He is a global nomad in every sense of the word. Tracing his roots to Ghana, he was born in Kenya and grew up between there and Uganda before relocating to Toronto. Today, he is a Supply Chain Director for a Fortune 500 company. He is also the Co-Founder of The Peppeh Company, a boutique creative branding firm. He is passionate about elevating brands and people, and this comes through our conversation. CQ is one of those relentless optimists, always finding the opportunity in hard times, and I hope this conversation inspires you 🙂

02:00 – Clarence introduces himself and we share our experience working at Target Canada and launching 120 stores in one year 

[You should never be defined by what you do, you should be defined by who you are – CQ]

10:00 – How Clarence learned that Target Canada was closing, and how he approached his next steps: choosing between brand management, management consulting, and internal consulting 

[I realized you can learn anything, if you put your heart into it and if you’re committed – CQ]

13:30 – Clarence explains why he chose to do the MBA program that he did, and we compare taking two years off vs. working and studying at the same time

20:40 – On his childhood as a Ghanaian who grew up in Uganda and Kenya, and how he navigates the world with his multiple identities 

24:30 – How his parents influenced the way that Clarence approaches work, and how he plans for the future

29:40 – On how Peppeh Co started, and the importance of finding business partners with complementary skills 

[Sometimes we say we want things but we are not willing to do what it takes to get them – CQ]

39:00 – The vision for the company,where the naming came from, and his favorite part running Peppeh 

46:00 – On building relationships, and identifying the right clients at the right time 

[Don’t service today at the expense of tomorrow – CQ]

48:00 – Advice to his younger self and the 5 year plan 

[Continue building strong relationships and invest in people that you love – CQ

Check out The Peppeh Company, you can also find it on Instagram

Follow Clarence on his Instagram, Twitter, and Gimme Hot Coco 

Finally if you want to stay in touch of all things African podcasts, follow Africapodfest and Paula Rogo’s media company, Kali Media.

 

What did you think of the episode? Please share your thoughts with us in the comments, and if you liked it – share it with your friends 🙂

Follow us on Facebook: Jase avec Moi, and where podcasts are found: Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Play, and Stitcher

In the meantime keep striving, keep thriving, and keep shining!

Michaella

#019 – Mo on Cultural Curiosity and Finding Joy in the Unexpected

This week, I’m speaking with Mo, from The More Sibyl Podcast. Mo is a professor of pharmacy, conducts cancer research, and also runs a podcast. She is also Nigerian, and lives in Oklahoma. We talk about culture, how speaking out can not only help you, but can also help others and build community, amongst many other things. This was deep and personal, so grab a seat and tune in to listen to her story.

01:45 – Mo introduces herself as a Nigerian-born, US-educated, Korean-speaking, and wandering intellectual

03:35 – How Mo got into podcasting and how she keeps up the pace with a whooping 93 episodes in 2 years

05:55 – On her curiosity and how it has led her to speak about important life subjects

11:55 – Her experience arriving in the US and how she had adapt to the education system

17:30 – How her frustration working as a pharmacist in the field, led her to becoming a professor

[School had taught me about what the drugs did to the body… but not enough about learning why patients didn’t take their medications – Mo]

27:55 – The challenges of being a professor and her thoughts on diversity

40:35 – How her love of Korean culture begun, and when she started learning the language

52:50 – Why she uses the tagline “for Blacks and Asians and those who love them” for her podcast, as well as lessons learned

[There is a need for people to be real again – Mo]

59:00 – The 5 year vision and the impact Mo hopes to have in the world 🙂

Check out her podcast and writings on Mosibyl.com You can also find her on Instagram

What did you think of the episode? Please share your thoughts with us in the comments, and if you liked it – share it with your friends 🙂

Follow us on Facebook: Jase avec Moi, and where podcasts are found: Apple PodcastsSpotifyGoogle Play, and Stitcher

In the meantime keep striving, keep thriving, and keep shining!

Michaella

#018 – Sophina on Cybersecurity and Empowering Other Young Women

This week I am speaking with Sophina Kio Lawson, a cybersecurity analyst, and the co-founder of SheSecures.org. We talk about how she discovered the field of security, her first time using computers, and what led her to create an initiative empowering other young women to join her in this field. Tune in 🙂

01:45 – Sophina introduces herself, and She Secures, her initiative to empower young women interested in cybersecurity

05:00 – How she stumbled into security by following her interests, when she hadn’t even used computers before

09:15 – How she got her first job in cybersecurity, and how that led to other opportunities

[Most of the time you might not learn on the job, you have to back it up with self-development, trying to learn on your own, and backing it with real life scenarios that the job provides you with – Sophina]

14:10 – How Sophina keeps learning in order to remain on top of where the industry is going

[Take what works for you, what’s of interest and most important and ignore the rest, to avoid information overload – Sophina]

18:30 – On where she gets information and the people who guided her in the field

23:00 – How being open and honest, not being afraid to say what she wants has led her to today

25:25 – How an initial hackaton meetup She Secures, and the different activities that the organization provides

29:15 – A list of the different opportunities that exist in cybersecurity

30:00 – The biggest challenges in driving the organization and lessons learned

[Just keep pushing, and driving as much impact as you can – the right partners will come – Sophina]

35:30 – What she’s most proud of and her hopes for the next 5 years

41:50 – Advice to younger people who want to follow a similar path

Follow the She Secures organization on the website, Twitter, and Instagram

Find Sophina on LinkedIn, Instagram,and Twitter

If you are in Kenya, you can also explore She Hacks Kenya

What did you think of the episode? Please share your thoughts with us in the comments, and if you liked it – share it with your friends 🙂

Follow us on Facebook: Jase avec Moi, and where podcasts are found: Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Play, and Stitcher

In the meantime keep striving, keep thriving, and keep shining!

Michaella

#017 – Michaella on Three Lessons Learned during The Black and Women’s History Months

I hesitated a lot on doing a special episode for Black History Month and/or Women’s History Month because 1. they are also every day history, and 2. the show’s purpose is to highlight Black people, including women, every day. However, I also recognize that these two months are an opportunity to slow down and reflect, and to recognize amazing people from the past and the present that have contributed to our society. So I will be reflecting on three of the events that I attended in February, and lessons learned.

01:25 – Thoughts on the Advancing Women in STEM initiative by Yes Montreal and some of the feedback from the organizations that tried their recommendations

05:30 – My mini rant on white fragility and how as Black people/POC/minorities, we have to be careful on how we talk about diversity

07:45 – How do we reach people, and how can we practice more empathy all over the board?

08:45 – Reflecting on the money moves and building wealth in the Black community event

After fact-checking, the statistics mentioned seem more of a myth (re: money stays in the Black community for 6 hours, vs. other communities), so please use them as a reference story to illustrate the point

11:17 – The culture of convenience and how we have to make adjustments when we want to support small, Black, local businesses

13:35 – On Black professionals in tech, and the story of how I “accidently” became a diversity and inclusion ambassador

15:55 – Our roles as internal change agents in the companies that we work for, and why I strongly believe in recommending other Black people

18:55 – How being part of a network gives me access to funds and resources, as we had discussed in Fabiola‘s episode

20:20 – What is your personal brand, and does it align with your goals?

21:40 – How can we recognize our privilege, and how we can each do our part to help the next person?

24:00 – Where can you have the most impact with the resources that you have, and where do you find the most fufillment?

The organisations that were mentioned in this episode are: Yes Montreal and the Black Professionals in Tech Network (BPTN)

What did you think of the episode? Please share your thoughts with us in the comments, and if you liked it – share it with your friends 🙂

Follow us on Facebook: Jase avec Moi, and where podcasts are found: Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Play, and Stitcher

In the meantime keep striving, keep thriving, and keep shining!

Michaella

#016 – Reine Kizy sur Les Moments Qui Nous Font Pivoter

Cette semaine, je parle avec Reine Kizy qui a récemment lancé sa propre agence de planification de mariage, Reine Prestige Events. Originaire du Gabon, elle a commencé sa carrière dans le secteur bancaire. Après avoir planifié son propre mariage, elle a réalisé qu’elle pouvait le faire professionnellement. Écoutez jusqu’à la fin parce qu’elle partage avec nous vraiment de vrais secrets de la vie!

00:45 – Reine s’introduit et nous parle un peu de son expérience de vie

02:39 – Le déclic qui l’a motivé à vouloir se lancer dans la planification d’évènements, d’un hobby à une entreprise

04:45 – Sur ce qui la passionne le plus dans ce travail

08:00 – La quête de l’équilibre dans sa vie entre la famille et l’entreprise

12:27 – Sa passion pour l’autonomisation des femmes (women empowerment) et l’indépendance financière

17:00 – L’histoire du jeune homme qui lui a fait repenser ce qu’elle faisait de sa vie

[Des fois, un seul évènement peut créer le déclic chez toi – Reine]

26:25 – La vision des 5 ans et comment ça va lui donner plus de flexibilité

29:30 – Leçons apprises sur la comparaison et comment cela sème le doute

[Quand tu te mets en compétition avec toi même, c’est là que tu te mets la pression: tu te dis non, ce que j’ai fait hier c’est bon, mais demain je dois pousser! – Reine]

32:10 – Comment elle se motive pour continue à pousser quand les temps sont durs

[L’être humain, nous sommes faits d’émotions. Donc à chaque fois que tu te mets dans une situation de stress, tu finis par l’adopter – Reine]

34:45 – Sur les sports extrêmes et comment ils vous poussent à vous défier mentalement

Vous pouvez trouver Reine Kizy sur Reine Prestige Events sur Facebook, Instagram, et son siteweb

Pour revisiter son ancien contenu qui inspire, vous pouvez aussi visitez Reine Inspire

Suivez-nous aussi sur Facebook, Instagram, et où on trouve les podcasts: Apple PodcastsSpotifyGoogle Podcasts et Stitcher

Qu’avez-vous pensé de cet épisode? Partagez vos pensées avec nous dans les commentaires, et s’il vous a plu: partagez-le avec vos ami(e)s😊

En attendant, continuez à vous battre, à vous épanouir et à briller! 💫

Michaëlla

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