hand stories

Camille Eddy Mechanical Engineer + Public Speaker

May 10, 2019 by Tamara Wilson
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Behind every creation and every product you encounter, there is a hand story.

At Keyo, we love hands. Hands not only make us human but they also contain our identity. This week we have an interview from, Camille Eddy, a Mechanical Engineer + Public Speaker from Boise, Idaho.

Check out her story below.

Where are you from?

I was born in Memphis, TN but eventually found my way to Boise, Idaho where I was raised.

What do you do?

I'm a Mechanical Engineer currently finishing my degree with several internships in robotics at high tech companies as well as academic research opportunities in multiple technology fields. I also speak nationally and internationally on my tech lifestyle and cultural bias in AI.

How did you get started?

I became interested in an engineering degree when I was 12 and went to space camp in Idaho later in high school. I started public speaking during my freshman year of college after introducing President Obama before his speech at my school. Later, I had the amazing help of mentors and conference organizers along the way that helped me put my best foot forward and speak at big conferences.

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What do you love most about what you do?

I enjoy being at the intersection of software and hardware. A lot of the robotics projects I have participated in allow me to understand the context for both fields. And the most asked for speech I give is on artificial intelligence. My speaking allows me to showcase that everyone can tap into their story and provide something of value from where they are.

Where do you get your inspiration?

Not from any one woman. :) I spent a lot of time during my freshman and sophomore year with former astronaut Barbara Morgan. She has an amazing story of finding a platform in the intersection of space and education and doing something similar to what I do today, sharing her experiences and advocating for student leadership.We worked on a couple of NASA projects together, and today I still look at the examples she gave me on the finer points of articulating my point of view clearly, educating the general public on technical ideas, and leading a team of my peers.

What are some tips for other people to follow your path?

I have three rules for life:

  1. Say yes to every new opportunity

Don't be afraid to say yes to something you have never done before. If you have the mentorship and the community to support you, you can do anything!

  1. Never do anything twice

As a student, I get the most out of exploration and knowledge about all of my options. If I only kept working on my early projects as a freshman, I might have never branched out to my current interests today.

  1. Always make your accomplishments visible

In order for other people, mentors or champions to help you it is easier if they know what to help you with. Even if you know you haven't settled on one career path yet, it is okay to showcase your career at the early stages.

Any favorite books, songs, podcasts, shows?

One of the books that have helped me in practical applications is Radical Candor by Kim Scott. I was in an interesting position at a recent internship where I had to advocate for my own success and this book helped me take away some cues on how to communicate with my manager. If you are going into an internship or a new workplace, this is a great book to learn how to take charge and work within any leadership structure.

What's identity to you?

A couple of the identities I hold tightly to are Black, woman, and student. Centering the voices of young people, students and women of color doesn't have to only be about how you name their identity but also about the unique ideas we can bring to the stage and how we present those ideas once we have access. Identity can also be the ultimate proof of autonomy and I want to live in a world where equality means so much to us, we afford everyone the right to be able to identify as they see fit for themselves.

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Ig: @nikkymill

Twitter: @nikkymill

A big thank you to Camille for sharing her story.

At Keyo, we love hearing from creators who are doing exciting and inspirational things. By featuring bi-weekly hand stories, we give them a platform to share their unique story so that they can inspire others to be proud of what they do and who they are.

Want to be featured in our next one? Feel free to contact us!