Michaela Davenport

Field Technical Support Scientist
Shimadzu Scientific Instruments
AWIS member since 2023

“Just try. You are capable of more than you think.”

Michaela Davenport

What’s the most important leadership lesson you’ve learned?

Be flexible. It is what I work towards with every interaction. Everyone within a team is unique in how they approach a problem and what skills they bring to the table. I believe a good leader allows individuals to contribute in their own way and this comes with the ability to be flexible in how members of a team are approached. Providing the space for each person to shine can make for some real magic.

What do you consider to be your most important career achievement or milestone?

The relationships I’ve cultivated over the years. There are some incredible people I’ve met at every stage of my career, and it has been great to see these people grow and succeed. I am inspired by so many people in my life, and I am grateful for the chance to know them. The line “It’s not what you know but who you know” is a platitude that I think misses the point. The information and life experiences carried by those around you can become lessons of your own and this makes for a powerful toolbox to select from when needed.

What do you aspire to accomplish in your career and why? What obstacles will you overcome?

I aspire to learn as much as possible because I feel there is no other point to existing. The life span of a human is so short, and there is so much information in this universe, I have to take every opportunity to learn. Time and myself are my biggest obstacles. Time I have no control over, but I can work on myself. Trusting myself and having the confidence to try are obstacles I encounter with difficult projects. Every little win serves as a reminder that I am capable.

Describe an amazing opportunity in your STEM career.

Working as field tech support for Shimadzu Scientific Instruments. It fulfills all my needs – I work with intelligent, capable individuals who truly want to do their jobs to the best of their ability. I am never bored, and I never stop learning.

How did AWIS help you professionally and/or personally?

Seeing the different paths to success and how success can be defined is incredibly helpful. Success doesn’t look the same for every person, it comes in many forms.

What is your favorite word? (only one word)

Pedantic

How do you define it?

Particularly concerned with details and rules.

How has this word influenced or inspired your career?

Though it has a negative connotation, I don’t see it that way. I love getting down into the weeds and figuring out how everything is related to one another. There is a richness to finding where all the details fit in and this, I feel, falls right in line with the world of analytical instrumentation.

How does AWIS impact your career journey?

I have that many more people to learn from, that many more smart, strong women who have a love for science whom I can tap on the shoulder for guidance.

What are you currently reading or listening to?

I just finished Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Khaneman and am in the middle of The Theory of Moral Sentiments by Adam Smith. As for listening, I follow a number of podcasts when I travel: The Skeptics Guide to the University, Science, Nature, Freakonomics, Planet Money, Talk Nerdy with Cara Santa Maria.

What do you consider the best professional or personal advice you have received?

Just try. You are capable of more than you think.

Michaela Davenport is a Field Technical Support Scientist at Shimadzu Scientific Instruments. All her motivation stems from a love of learning how the world works through science and engaging with those who share the same passion. She enjoys collaborating with coworkers to break down knowledge silos and creating informative, empowering experiences for customers. Her customers are a source of joy and she looks forward to every call or site visit because they are what truly keep her job interesting and makes it worthwhile.