Humans of Microsoft is not about tech, it's about humans just like you and me, but they all work for Microsoft. Discover a new guest every week in this series, either live on Learn TV or on the Hello World show page.
This week we meet LaBrina Loving, a Principal Program Manager based in Washington DC.
Laurent: Welcome to Humans of Microsoft. This is a segment where we talk to people just like you and me, but they have one thing in common: They all work for Microsoft. Today I'm joined by LaBrina Loving. Hello LaBrina, how are you doing?
LaBrina: Hi, how are you?
Laurent: I'm very good, thank you. LaBrina, You are a senior custom engineer and you are based in Washington DC right?
LaBrina: That is correct, yes.
Laurent: Awesome. So let's go straight into the questions. What would you say was a key moment in your career, like a pivotal moment? If you think back.
LaBrina: Yes, I would say my very first job in tech was critical. I started in an organization, I didn't know anything that was going on. They had this architecture diagram with all these technologies that I wasn't familiar with and it was really intimidating. But what I did was, I spent several, several weeks really learning, really researching. And I think it sort of changed my career and showed me that I could really do this thin in tech.
Laurent: Oh, that's amazing. And definitely you never stop learning in this profession, right?
LaBrina: For sure.
Laurent: Yeah, that's really cool. If you could go back in time like anytime you want and see yourself as a younger person, you are obviously still young and all but younger, what would you tell yourself to help you getting started?
LaBrina: Yeah, I would say don't be intimidated. Don't be afraid to go and go after what you want, even if it means that there's no one that looks like you at the beginning. If it's something that you want totally go after it.
Laurent: Wow, yeah, that's a that's great advice, most probably right? You are very passionate about science, technology, engineering and math, which we commonly abbreviated as STEM, right? And so can you share some of the work that you're doing in this area?
LaBrina: Yeah, so one of the cool things I'm working on right now is with our employee resource group Blacks @ Microsoft. We're working in conjunction with a college here in the Washington DC area. And a group of middle school students where we're actually teaching them STEM. Right now, we're teaching them how to code in Python. And the Microsoft employees are putting together their curriculum. Our college students are delivering the curriculum and middle school students are learning, so we've got learning going at three levels, and it's amazing.
Laurent: Oh yes, that sounds amazing, because learning to teach is also very important, right?
LaBrina: Right, correct.
Laurent: Oh, that sounds really great. And so in your free time, and when it's allowed, I hear you're really the world traveler, just like me, right? So what would you say was your most exciting adventure?
LaBrina: Yeah, so I love to travel. I've been to 39 countries so far, but one of the things that I like to do is something where I go very last minute. So actually I was working with a customer here at Microsoft. I had a weekend to myself. I just went to the airport, looked for flights that were departing in the next two hours, and I hopped on a plane. At that point it actually ended up being, I flew to Barcelona for the weekend right. But yeah, I like the idea of just being very spontaneous and traveling somewhere I've never been to, very last minute.
Laurent: Yeah, this is very exciting indeed. did something similar at some point within the US, but it was really cool. So one more question. What is one more thing that you would tell our viewers, to try to inspire them and motivate them?
LaBrina: Yeah, I would say just don't, don't be afraid. I think fear really creeps into everything that we do. I would say don't be afraid to jump in tech and don't be afraid to learn out loud and ask questions. And and you know, ask for help like I, I think I cannot say that enough, that it's really, really important to get comfortable with asking for help and learning out loud.
Laurent: Yeah, I see I think it's true, and in fact mentoring and being mentored is very important in someone's carrier, right?
LaBrina: Yes, absolutely.
Laurent: Perfect. Well, this has been fantastic talking to you. So thank you so much for being with us today, LaBrina, and to all of our viewers, come next time and join us for another Humans of Microsoft. Thank you.
LaBrina: Thank you.