adventures in systems engineering


MAKERSxMailchimp & Lessons on Love/Engineering

Earlier this month, I was invited to attend MAKERSxMailchimp, a presentation and dinner hosted by Mailchimp in honor of the MAKERS conference in CA. Prior to this invitation, I hadn’t heard of this conference. So what is it?

“The 2019 MAKERS Conference is a global women’s leadership event that brings together the most powerful names in business, entertainment, tech, and finance to explore ways to accelerate the movement with compelling videos, provocative conversations, and onstage pledges for change.“

From the MAKERS website.

In the spirit of feminism, hosts for the dinner invited both Mailchimp employees and important women (and male allies) in the Atlanta community for an evening of thoughtful discussion and delicious food.

Holley Murchison of Oratory Glory gave a beautiful and thought-provoking presentation on her Eight Lessons of Love. I won’t expound on everything, but three of the lessons really spoke to me. They’re ideas I keep coming back to, both in my personal life in the last year, and professionally.

FInd your jam(s). To Holley, these are the things you would die for, but instead live to do. This embodies my journey to engineering. As a highly empathetic person, I find a lot of satisfaction in helping others. It’s why I gravitated to customer service before college. And as an ops engineer, I get to reduce toil and make improvements for internal customers. Yes!

I also have a thirst for knowledge and continual growth. Whether I’m learning a new craft (I just started falling in love with embroidery), reading some non-fiction or technical books, watching how-tos, or attending conferences on topics that excite me (looking at you, Monitorama), engaging my brain is such a big cornerstone of my happiness. Engineering has constantly evolving principles and methodologies, new tools and services to understand, and opportunities to teach and educate other engineers.

My jams drive my passion for engineering.

Allow your story to change. From the day we’re born, people try to tell us what are narratives are – daughter, sister, “not a normal child”, too emotional, loner, college graduate, graphic designer, victim, survivor, etc. If we’re not careful, we let these narratives define us and dictate the choices we make in our lives. This keeps us small.

But we have power over our story. We can shed those narratives when they no longer fit or serve us, and replace them with ones that lift us up and reflect who we are/want to be. How does engineering tie in here? I don’t let the “junior” in my title prevent me from speaking up and adding value to technical decisions. I don’t let it stop me from mentoring other women interested in engineering. I don’t let it dictate the first impression I leave with other engineers or customers.

I’ve outgrown that title and narrative, and I don’t let it limit my potential or my contributions.

Begin again. Don’t be afraid to start over. It’s cheesy, but we start each new day with the opportunity to make better decisions, to choose another path, to try something else, to be the best version of ourselves. Engineering was not my first career. I spent 7 years becoming increasingly unhappy as a graphic designer. My passion disappeared and I faced burnout. I had no idea what was next. I took a chance on tech support, and stumbled my way into systems engineering. I’m thankful for the journey, and proud of myself for embracing the unknown.

Beginning again helped me discover a profession and a career path that I love.

I highly recommend checking out the work that Holley is doing, and getting your hands on a copy of her book Tell Me About Yourself. I also want to thank Mailchimp for holding this inaugural dinner. For me, it reinforced my commitment to make one of my passions – engineering – a safe place for women and underrepresented folks.

What are your jams? What stories have you discarded in your career?

Hi! I'm a systems engineer for a global marketing platform. Here I dish about (mostly technical) books I'm reading, my musings on the ever-important soft skills/glue work in this field, and my general adventures in engineering.


  1. Once I originally commented I clicked the -Notify me when new feedback are added- checkbox and now every time a remark is added I get four emails with the identical comment. Is there any approach you’ll be able to remove me from that service? Thanks!

  2. I intended to compose you this very small word so as to say thanks a lot yet again for those stunning tips you have provided on this page. It is quite pretty open-handed of you to present publicly what exactly most of us would’ve marketed for an electronic book to make some money on their own, certainly considering that you might have done it if you ever wanted. These inspiring ideas in addition acted to provide a great way to fully grasp that other people online have similar keenness like my own to know whole lot more on the subject of this matter. Certainly there are several more fun moments up front for many who looked over your site.

  3. Can I simply say what a aid to search out someone who actually is aware of what theyre speaking about on the internet. You positively know find out how to bring a difficulty to light and make it important. Extra people need to read this and understand this aspect of the story. I cant believe youre no more standard because you undoubtedly have the gift.

  4. Thanks for the sensible critique. Me & my neighbor were just preparing to do some research about this. We got a grab a book from our area library but I think I learned more from this post. I am very glad to see such fantastic information being shared freely out there.

  5. hi!,I like your writing very much! share we keep up a correspondence extra approximately your article on AOL? I require a specialist in this area to unravel my problem. Maybe that’s you! Looking ahead to look you.

  6. I do agree with all of the concepts you’ve presented in your post. They are very convincing and can certainly work. Still, the posts are too quick for beginners. Could you please lengthen them a bit from next time? Thanks for the post.

  7. After study a few of the blog posts on your website now, and I truly like your way of blogging. I bookmarked it to my bookmark website list and will be checking back soon. Pls check out my web site as well and let me know what you think.

  8. Greetings I am so grateful I found your weblog, I really found you by mistake, while I was browsing
    on Aol for something else, Regardless I am here now and
    would just like to say thanks for a tremendous post and a all round exciting blog
    (I also love the theme/design), I don’t have time to look over it all at the moment but I have book-marked it and also
    added your RSS feeds, so when I have time I
    will be back to read more, Please do keep up the
    awesome work.

  9. Hey there would you mind stating which blog platform
    you’re using? I’m going to start my own blog soon but
    I’m having a hard time making a decision between BlogEngine/Wordpress/B2evolution and Drupal.
    The reason I ask is because your design and style seems different
    then most blogs and I’m looking for something unique.
    P.S Sorry for getting off-topic but I had to ask!

  10. Howdy! This is kind of off topic but I need some guidance
    from an established blog. Is it very difficult to set up your own blog?
    I’m not very techincal but I can figure things out pretty fast.

    I’m thinking about making my own but I’m not sure where to begin. Do you have
    any ideas or suggestions? Thank you

  11. Incredible! This blog looks exactly like my old
    one! It’s on a entirely different subject but it has pretty much the same page layout and
    design. Excellent choice of colors!

  12. I really like your blog.. very nice colors & theme.

    Did you make this website yourself or did you hire someone to do
    it for you? Plz answer back as I’m looking to create my own blog and would like
    to know where u got this from. appreciate it

  13. This is the right web site for anyone who would like to find out about this topic.
    You understand a whole lot its almost hard
    to argue with you (not that I really will need to…HaHa).
    You certainly put a fresh spin on a topic that’s been written about for ages.
    Wonderful stuff, just wonderful!

  14. I don’t even understand how I finished up here, but I
    thought this put up was great. I don’t recognise who you’re however certainly you’re going to a famous blogger if you aren’t already.


Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You Might Also Like