Exploring perception and growth in the tech industries with Anika Howard

In this episode of the More Than Graphics podcast, Danielle and Cicely continue their conversation about perception in the tech industry and the experiences of women of color. They are joined by a special guest to discuss the importance of dismantling and building upon perceptions in these spaces.

Perception shapes our experiences.

Perception shapes our experiences. This is a powerful statement that holds true in various aspects of our lives. Whether it’s how we perceive ourselves, how others perceive us, or how we perceive the world around us, our perception plays a significant role in shaping our experiences.

In the podcast transcript, the hosts discuss the topic of perception, particularly in the context of women in tech and women of color. They express their excitement about the conversations happening in these spaces and the potential for dismantling or building upon existing perceptions. This sets the stage for a deeper exploration of this concept with their guest, Anika Howard.

Anika Howard, the president and CEO of Wonder Nation, an online gaming entertainment company, is introduced as someone who has a profound understanding of perception and its impact. With over 20 years of experience in the gaming industry, Anika has witnessed firsthand how perception can shape the success and growth of gaming companies and products.

Anika’s belief in technology as a great equalizer and a means to bring people together highlights her understanding of how perception can bridge gaps and create new and exciting experiences. By leveraging emerging technologies and trends, Anika aims to create inclusive gaming experiences that challenge existing perceptions and bring diverse individuals together.

The hosts and Anika engage in a conversation about their personal journeys and how their perception of themselves and the world has evolved over time. They discuss the importance of personal growth and the need to embrace change. By acknowledging that their perception is not fixed, they demonstrate an openness to new perspectives and experiences.

The conversation also touches on the concept of perception in the context of personal well-being. The hosts share their experiences with the “January blues” or the post-holiday period when they reflect on their personal growth and reevaluate their priorities. This introspection is a testament to how our perception of ourselves and our circumstances can change over time.

Anika’s presence as a successful woman in the gaming industry challenges traditional perceptions and stereotypes. Her journey serves as an inspiration for other women and people of color who aspire to make an impact in the tech world. By breaking barriers and succeeding in a male-dominated industry, Anika reshapes the perception of what is possible for women in gaming.

Overall, the podcast episode and the discussion with Anika Howard highlight the profound influence of perception on our experiences. It emphasizes the importance of challenging and evolving our perceptions to create a more inclusive and diverse world. By examining our own perceptions and embracing new perspectives, we can shape our experiences in a way that promotes growth, understanding, and unity.

Passion and opportunity in gaming.

Anika Howard’s personal story in the gaming industry is a testament to the power of passion and opportunity. She did not initially envision herself working in the gaming industry, but a chance encounter at a hospitality event for Caesars Entertainment changed her trajectory. During a conversation with the primary recruiter for the event, Anika expressed her desire to use technology to connect people and saw an opportunity to do so within the gaming industry.

Through an internship and a rotation program called the President’s Associate Program, Anika gained a comprehensive understanding of the gaming industry. She worked in various departments, such as ballet, food and beverage, and marketing, which allowed her to appreciate the different aspects of the industry and connect with people at all levels of the organization. Anika’s experience in New Orleans, her birthplace, further deepened her connection to the work and the people.

What sets Anika apart is her ability to see opportunities where others may not. At a time when online gaming was not yet a prominent concept, Anika recognized the potential for technology to streamline operations and create new opportunities for players. She became a trailblazer in pushing the boundaries of what was possible in the gaming industry and was fortunate enough to be given a platform to do so.

Anika’s story is particularly inspiring for women in tech. She challenges the notion that women’s brains are wired differently and highlights the importance of embracing diverse perspectives. While acknowledging that women may have a different approach to problem-solving and thinking, Anika emphasizes that these differences should be celebrated and utilized to create innovative solutions.

Anika’s success in the gaming industry can be attributed to her passion, self-confidence, and the support she received from her parents and early programs. She never doubted her ability to succeed and was not deterred by challenges or roadblocks. Her story serves as a reminder that having a strong sense of self and a belief in one’s abilities can propel individuals to achieve their goals.

In conclusion, Anika Howard’s journey in the gaming industry exemplifies the power of passion and opportunity. Her ability to recognize and seize opportunities, combined with her unwavering self-confidence, has propelled her to success. Her story also highlights the importance of challenging perceptions and embracing diverse perspectives in order to drive innovation and create a more inclusive industry. By learning from Anika’s experiences, we can all be inspired to pursue our passions, overcome obstacles, and create opportunities for ourselves and others in the gaming industry and beyond.

Importance of STEAM education

Importance of STEAM Education

STEAM education, which stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics, is a holistic approach to learning that integrates these disciplines into a cohesive and interdisciplinary curriculum. In recent years, there has been a growing recognition of the importance of STEAM education in preparing students for the future. This transcript from a podcast featuring Anika Howard, a prominent figure in the gaming industry, sheds light on the significance of STEAM education and the role it plays in nurturing creativity, innovation, and well-rounded individuals.

One of the key points highlighted in the podcast is the role of parents in providing opportunities for their children to explore their passions and interests. Anika’s parents were actively involved in her education, seeking out programs and activities that would nurture her talents and expose her to a wide range of experiences. This support and encouragement from parents is crucial in fostering a love for learning and a curiosity about the world. By exposing children to various STEAM-related activities, parents can help them discover their strengths and interests, and ultimately, set them on a path towards success.

The podcast also emphasizes the importance of the arts in STEAM education. While STEM subjects often take center stage in discussions about education and career prospects, the arts play a vital role in fostering creativity and critical thinking. Anika highlights how the arts allowed her to think outside the box and approach problems from different perspectives. The integration of arts into STEAM education encourages students to explore their creative potential and develop a well-rounded skill set that combines technical expertise with imaginative thinking.

Furthermore, the podcast touches on the challenges faced by STEAM education, particularly in terms of funding and recognition. In many educational institutions, arts programs are often the first to be cut when budgets are tight. However, it is important to recognize that the arts are not just extracurricular activities but a fundamental part of a well-rounded education. By neglecting the arts, we risk stifling creativity and limiting the potential for innovation. Anika’s advocacy for STEAM education serves as a reminder that the arts are an integral component of a comprehensive education, and their inclusion is essential for nurturing the next generation of innovators and problem solvers.

In conclusion, the podcast transcript highlights the importance of STEAM education in preparing students for the future. Through the integration of science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics, students are equipped with a well-rounded skill set that fosters creativity, critical thinking, and problem-solving abilities. The involvement of parents in providing opportunities for their children to explore their passions and interests is crucial in nurturing a love for learning and setting them on a successful path. Furthermore, the inclusion of arts in STEAM education is vital in fostering creativity and innovation. By recognizing the significance of STEAM education and advocating for its integration into educational systems, we can empower future generations to become well-rounded individuals who are equipped to tackle the challenges of the future.

Embrace discomfort and propel forward.

Embracing discomfort and propelling forward is a central theme in the podcast transcript. The speaker shares personal experiences and insights on how stepping out of one’s comfort zone can lead to growth and success. This essay will explore the concept of embracing discomfort and how it can propel individuals forward in their personal and professional lives.

The speaker begins by discussing their experience of being singularly focused on achieving results in their career. They were determined to outwork others and put in long hours to achieve their goals. However, they soon realized that this approach was limiting and that they needed to build relationships and alliances to progress further. This required stepping out of their comfort zone and advocating for themselves. By doing so, they were able to move from a manager to a director role and set themselves on a path towards success.

This example highlights the importance of embracing discomfort in order to grow and advance. It can be tempting to stay within the confines of what is comfortable and familiar, but true growth often requires pushing past these boundaries. Stepping out of one’s comfort zone can lead to new opportunities, increased influence, and personal development.

The speaker also emphasizes the need to embrace discomfort when faced with setbacks or redirection. They share how their initial career goals were not aligned with their true path, and they are grateful for the redirection they experienced. This highlights the importance of being open to change and recognizing that setbacks can often lead to new and better opportunities.

Embracing discomfort does not mean avoiding or ignoring negative emotions. The speaker acknowledges that it is natural to process and reflect on setbacks, but they emphasize the importance of not dwelling on them. Instead, they encourage using these experiences as fuel to propel oneself forward. By learning from setbacks and using them as motivation, individuals can continue to grow and progress on their chosen path.

In conclusion, embracing discomfort and propelling forward is a powerful concept discussed in the podcast transcript. Stepping out of one’s comfort zone, advocating for oneself, and being open to redirection can lead to personal and professional growth. By embracing discomfort, individuals can overcome challenges, seize new opportunities, and ultimately propel themselves forward on their journey towards success.

Self-care through intentional connections.

One important aspect of self-care that is highlighted in the podcast is the importance of intentional connections. The speaker discusses the value of surrounding oneself with a supportive and uplifting group of friends and family. These connections can provide emotional nourishment and support during times of change and uncertainty.

The speaker also emphasizes the importance of connecting with others through shared experiences such as food and travel. By intentionally planning trips and seeking out opportunities to connect with new people or reconnect with old friends, individuals can create meaningful and fulfilling experiences that contribute to their overall well-being.

The concept of intentional connections is particularly relevant in the context of the technological and methodical thinking often associated with the field of technology. The speaker acknowledges that the tendency to overanalyze and dissect situations can hinder personal growth and progress. By shifting focus towards building connections and embracing new experiences, individuals can break free from this pattern and create a more balanced and fulfilling life.

Furthermore, intentional connections can also provide individuals with different perspectives and ideas. Surrounding oneself with people who are smarter and more knowledgeable can be a powerful source of inspiration and growth. By diversifying the types of connections we have, we can expand our horizons and gain new insights that can enhance our personal and professional development.

In conclusion, the podcast transcript highlights the importance of self-care through intentional connections. By prioritizing meaningful relationships, seeking out new experiences, and embracing discomfort, individuals can nurture their well-being and propel themselves forward on their journey towards success. Taking the time to connect with others and engage in activities that bring joy and fulfillment is essential for maintaining balance and finding personal satisfaction in an ever-changing world.

Empower women, break barriers.

Additionally, the podcast emphasizes the need to redefine and challenge societal perceptions of women and women of color in various industries. The speaker acknowledges the lack of representation and the limited expectations placed on women in her field. However, she also recognizes the power and potential that women possess, highlighting the unique gifts and perspectives they bring to the table.

The speaker discusses the importance of creating a pipeline of talent for women, ensuring that they have opportunities to thrive and succeed in their chosen careers. She advocates for the elevation of women in the industry and the recognition of their emotional intelligence and empathy as valuable assets. Studies have shown that companies with diverse leadership teams, including women, are more profitable and less prone to trouble.

Furthermore, the speaker emphasizes the significance of diversity of thought and ideas in decision-making processes. She shares her experiences of being the only dissenting voice in a room and the initial doubts she had about her perspective. However, she ultimately realizes the validity and power of her unique viewpoint. By listening to her inner voice and speaking up, she is able to contribute to shifting perspectives and creating positive change.

The podcast transcript also touches on the idea of women coming into their power and recognizing their individual and collective strength. Women are exercising their power to ensure that other women have a seat at the table and are actively working to break down barriers and create new opportunities.

In conclusion, the podcast transcript highlights the importance of empowering women and breaking barriers in various industries. It emphasizes the need for representation, recognition, and support for women, particularly women of color. By challenging societal expectations, embracing diversity of thought, and advocating for change, women can create a more inclusive and equitable future. Empowering women not only benefits individuals but also leads to greater success and innovation in society as a whole.

Embrace your unique perspective.

The podcast transcript begins by discussing the value of taking notes during conversations and discussing hot topics to keep thoughts and processes fresh. It acknowledges that these conversations may be warm or heated but are necessary to address important issues. The conversation then moves on to the topic of emotional intelligence and how women naturally possess this trait through their presence and the way their minds are molded. This unique perspective allows women to bring valuable contributions to the table.

The podcast host shares a personal anecdote about wearing a pin representing Hippolyta Freeman from Lovecraft Country. This character represents courage, grit, and the willingness to do hard but necessary things. The host emphasizes the importance of empowering oneself and passing that empowerment on to others. The conversation highlights the need for these necessary conversations that may not be recognized in day-to-day life but hold great value.

The conversation then shifts to the importance of embracing one’s unique perspective. It acknowledges that it can be challenging to be in a room where everyone looks different or thinks differently. However, having a supportive network and good people around can provide the encouragement and motivation needed to overcome self-doubt and intrusive thoughts. The podcast host references the song “Wind Beneath My Wings” as a metaphor for the support and encouragement received from others.

The podcast concludes by emphasizing the importance of being present in one’s day-to-day life and in sharing valuable insights and experiences with others. The hosts hope that women listening to the episode feel encouraged and inspired by the stories shared. They emphasize the importance of passing on these gems of wisdom in all directions.

In conclusion, the podcast transcript highlights the importance of embracing one’s unique perspective. It emphasizes the value of women’s voices and experiences in various spaces and industries. By embracing diversity of thought and challenging societal norms, women can make significant contributions and create a more inclusive and equitable future. The transcript encourages women to be present, share their insights, and empower themselves and others. Embracing one’s unique perspective not only benefits individuals but also leads to greater success and innovation in society as a whole.

Find your tribe, network, succeed.

The podcast transcript begins by discussing the power of books and how the interpretation of a book is subjective and personal. This idea is then applied to personal experiences and perspectives in the gaming and tech industry. The conversation highlights the lack of representation for people of color and women of color in these industries and acknowledges the challenges that individuals may face when trying to enter or succeed in these fields.

The guest on the podcast suggests finding one’s tribe and connecting with organizations that support and uplift underrepresented groups. They mention organizations such as Global Gaming Woman, African-Americans in Gaming, and National Black MBA as examples of communities that can provide support and networking opportunities. These organizations help individuals feel connected and provide a space where they can share their experiences and challenges.

The guest also emphasizes the importance of building relationships and networks with colleagues and contemporaries. They suggest that success is not necessarily linear and that mentorship and support can come from unexpected sources. By authentically connecting with others and finding people who feed into one’s growth, individuals can find a strong support system that will help them navigate their careers.

The podcast transcript also highlights the power of technology and social media in expanding networks and connecting with others. Platforms such as LinkedIn and TikTok provide opportunities for individuals to reach out and connect with like-minded individuals and potential mentors. The guest encourages listeners to take advantage of these networking opportunities and make their world bigger rather than smaller.

The conversation concludes by mentioning the organization Black Girl Gamers and the importance of getting outside of one’s comfort zone. It emphasizes that there has never been a better time to be alive and to embrace opportunities for growth and connection. By breaking down walls and embracing diversity, individuals can find their tribe, expand their networks, and ultimately succeed in their chosen industry.

In conclusion, the podcast transcript highlights the importance of finding one’s tribe, networking, and embracing diversity in order to succeed. It emphasizes the value of connecting with like-minded individuals and organizations that can provide support and opportunities for growth. By embracing one’s unique perspective and challenging societal norms, individuals can make significant contributions and create a more inclusive and equitable future. The transcript encourages women to be present, share their insights, and empower themselves and others. Embracing one’s unique perspective not only benefits individuals but also leads to greater success and innovation in society as a whole.

Embrace failure, learn, and grow.

Furthermore, the podcast transcript emphasizes the need to embrace failure, learn from it, and grow. The speakers discuss how failure should not be feared but rather seen as an opportunity for growth and learning. They share personal experiences of how some of their biggest lessons and blessings came from failures and unexpected outcomes. They encourage listeners to adopt a mindset of trying new things and focusing on the positive outcomes that can arise from taking risks.

The speakers also discuss the importance of being vulnerable and putting oneself out there. They acknowledge that it can be uncomfortable, but it is necessary for personal and professional growth. By being vulnerable, individuals can gain the spirit of discernment and recognize traits or situations that are not healthy for them. This self-awareness allows them to make better decisions and avoid repeating past mistakes.

The podcast transcript also touches on the concept of being comfortable with uncertainty and not being afraid to fail. The speakers express the idea that winning is not the only measure of success and that failure can lead to valuable insights and epiphanies. They encourage listeners to shift their mindset and focus on the best that can happen rather than dwelling on potential negative outcomes.

Overall, the podcast transcript emphasizes the importance of embracing failure, learning from it, and using it as a stepping stone for personal and professional growth. It encourages listeners to adopt a mindset of trying new things, being vulnerable, and focusing on positive outcomes. By doing so, individuals can overcome fear, make better decisions, and ultimately achieve success and fulfillment in their lives.

Dreams of Black girl journalism.

The podcast begins with the hosts reminiscing about their dreams of becoming the next Black Katie Couric. They express their shared passion for journalism and their desire to make an impact in the industry. They discuss their experiences in student television, writing for the paper, and dabbling with the yearbook. While one host wanted to be in front of the camera, the other preferred to work behind the scenes as a producer.

They reflect on the fact that many others also had the same dream of pursuing a career in journalism. They express their excitement and pride in being part of the Black girl journalism community. They acknowledge the challenges they faced and the hard work they put in to develop their skills. They mention taking studio producer classes and learning how to pull everything together in a complicated way.

The hosts emphasize that even though their dreams may have evolved and taken different paths, the skills and mindset they developed during their journalism journey still serve them well. They mention using their writing skills in think pieces and white papers, and how they continue to write and flex their writing muscles.

The hosts provide their contact information for listeners who want to learn more about their work. They encourage listeners to connect with them on LinkedIn and follow them on social media. They also mention that their organization is hiring and recruiting, and direct listeners to their website for more information.

The hosts engage in a lighthearted conversation about superpowers and karaoke songs. One host jokingly suggests that her superpower would be invisibility because she’s a little snoop. They discuss the importance of honoring the late artist Prince and refrain from singing his song, “Purple Rain.” They also share their go-to karaoke songs, with one host choosing “Purple Rain” and the other declining to sing.

The hosts end the podcast on a fun note by discussing what items they would bring from home in a zombie apocalypse. They mention practical items like a lighter, a knife, and keys to their car. They highlight the importance of being prepared and making practical choices in survival situations.

Overall, the podcast transcript highlights the dreams and aspirations of Black girls in journalism. It emphasizes the importance of pursuing one’s passions, embracing failure, and using past experiences to grow and succeed. The hosts encourage listeners to connect with them and explore opportunities in the field of journalism. They also bring a sense of humor and lightheartedness to the conversation, making it an enjoyable and relatable listen.

Embarrassing moments and bucket list.

The podcast transcript begins with a discussion on embarrassing moments. The speaker shares a personal story about walking into a glass wall, thinking it was a doorway. They initially feel relieved that no one saw them, only to later realize that the incident occurred in a crowded lobby where everyone witnessed their mistake. This anecdote highlights the relatable nature of embarrassing moments and the humor that can be found in them.

The conversation then shifts to another embarrassing moment, this time involving the speaker trying to catch a train in DC. They describe slipping and sliding into the train like they are sliding into first base, causing them to feel embarrassed but also relieved that they made it onto the train. This story underscores the speaker’s resilience and ability to find humor in embarrassing situations.

The hosts then ask the guest a question about having dinner with a historical figure, dead or alive. The guest chooses Nelson Mandela and expresses curiosity about what gave him the fortitude to stay committed during his imprisonment. This question reflects the guest’s admiration for individuals who have faced significant adversity and the desire to understand their sources of strength.

The conversation concludes with a discussion on the guest’s weirdest or most unexpected item on their bucket list. They reveal that they have always wanted to go to Antarctica, despite hating the cold. The guest acknowledges the impracticality of this desire and the potential risks involved, such as encountering aliens. However, they express a persistent fascination with Antarctica and a desire to visit someday.

The podcast transcript overall highlights the theme of embracing embarrassing moments and pursuing unique aspirations. It encourages listeners to find humor in their own embarrassing experiences and to not be afraid to pursue unconventional dreams. The guest’s desire to have dinner with Nelson Mandela and visit Antarctica exemplify the importance of seeking inspiration and pushing boundaries. The hosts’ lighthearted and relatable approach to the conversation creates an engaging and enjoyable listening experience.

In conclusion, the podcast transcript explores the topics of embarrassing moments and bucket lists. It emphasizes the importance of embracing failure and finding humor in embarrassing situations. The conversation also encourages listeners to pursue their passions and explore unconventional dreams. Overall, the podcast provides a relatable and inspiring perspective on the experiences and aspirations of Black girls in journalism.

Review podcast, follow for bonus content.

The podcast transcript begins with a call to action, urging listeners to review the podcast on their preferred listening app. This request for reviews highlights the importance of feedback and audience engagement in the podcasting world. By asking for reviews, the podcast creators are seeking validation and recognition for their work, as well as hoping to attract new listeners who may be influenced by positive reviews.

Additionally, the transcript mentions the importance of following the podcast across MTG socials. This indicates that the podcast has a presence on various social media platforms, which allows for further engagement and interaction with the audience. By following the podcast on social media, listeners can stay updated on new episodes, behind-the-scenes content, and other related news. This is a way for the podcast creators to build a community and cultivate a loyal fanbase.

Furthermore, the transcript hints at the release of bonus content throughout the year. This suggests that the podcast goes beyond just regular episodes and offers additional content that provides added value to the listeners. Bonus content can include interviews, special episodes, or even exclusive access to behind-the-scenes footage. By offering bonus content, the podcast creators are incentivizing listeners to continue following and engaging with the podcast.

In conclusion, the podcast transcript highlights the importance of reviewing podcasts and following them for bonus content. Reviews help podcast creators receive feedback and attract new listeners, while following the podcast on social media allows for further engagement and interaction. The promise of bonus content throughout the year adds an extra incentive for listeners to stay connected with the podcast. By utilizing these strategies, podcast creators can build a dedicated audience and create a sense of community around their show.

[00:02:31] New Year, self-reflection.

[00:04:40] Gaming and women.

[00:11:09] Parents and childhood programs.

[00:12:52] The importance of arts in STEM education.

[00:19:38] Shifting mindset and career growth.

[00:23:13] Feeding Yourself Mentally and Emotionally.

[00:28:12] Perception of women in industry.

[00:31:06] Women realizing their power.

[00:37:23] Perspective in literature interpretation.

[00:39:13] Expanding the network beyond African-Americans.

[00:43:38] Embracing failure and lessons.

[00:49:03] Developing writing skills and reflection.

[00:56:41] Antarctica and aliens.

FOLLOW ANIKA:https://www.wondrnation.com/https://www.linkedin.com/in/anikahoward/




CO-HOSTS: ⁠⁠⁠⁠@octanedesigns⁠⁠⁠⁠ x ⁠⁠⁠⁠@bougienursebabe⁠⁠⁠⁠ x ⁠⁠⁠⁠@getsillycreative⁠⁠

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Creative, multi-business owner, published author, wife and mom of 3. Book Danielle to speak at www.daniellemeadowsstinnett.com.

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