Employee Spotlight – Moscow Mule with Mylo Reyes
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When opportunity knocks, Mylo Reyes answers the door. Mylo, a talented UX Designer, is an active participant in many aspects of life here at Kenna Security. You’ll find his good humor and thoughtful insight pop up in many places, including the company’s BIPOC Diversity and Inclusion group. Mylo seems to be equal parts intelligent, passionate, and approachable, and his spirited disposition makes him all the better suited for his role as a UX designer, in which he works relentlessly to give Kenna’s customers the best experience possible when they use our risk-based vulnerability management solutions. My interview with Mylo, although brief, left me with the impression that his active participation isn’t limited to Kenna but expands well into his community and beyond. When asked if he would ever consider leaving his long-time residence in Chicago, he amusingly replied, “I’ll only leave when my work here is done.” A playful phrasing, perhaps, but no doubt a sincere expression of his desire to be as much a part of his community as possible.
Q: Where did you grow up?
A: I grew up in a suburb of Chicago called Glendale Heights. It’s a small town, but we put on a great fireworks show. Billy Corgan from the Smashing Pumpkins grew up there, and Jeremy Hammond, the guy who founded HackThisSite. I moved to Chicago when I turned 18.
Q: How did you come into this field of work?
A: I majored in design during my undergrad studies.
I worked throughout school—a couple of startups and ad agencies, developing my portfolio and earning some cash to pay for school supplies, food other than instant ramen. It was a mixed bag of branding, marketing, illustration, copywriting, art direction, UX; even did a short internship at Victory Records doing screen printing.
Just before I graduated, I was hired for my first full-time job as a UX Designer at The Chicago Sun-Times. I worked there for a year: making their apps, website, helping with branding. I transitioned into freelance soon after. I bounced around doing art direction, UX contracts for various agencies, companies in the city. I did work for Uber, Expedia, GrubHub, and a handful of other places.
I eventually got burnt out, either from the freelance lifestyle or my drive for design was waning at the time. I quit and worked in restaurants and bars for a year.
After my brief stint in the service industry, I went back to freelancing. Eventually, Kenna gave me a call in late 2018 and it was the first company I wanted to work full-time for in a long while. I’ve been here since November 2018.
Q: What keeps you motivated to get out of bed and come into work every morning?
A: My bed is currently in my office, so the moment I wake up, I’m at work.
That said, I think people at Kenna are skilled, capable, and fun to work with. It’s easy to feel motivated when my coworkers both excel at their jobs and are fun to pal around with.
Q: If you could do another job for just one day, what would it be?
A: After high school, I debated not studying design / not staying in Chicago. My initial plans were to attend UC Berkeley for creative writing. When I was in junior high, I made a small amount of money making animations for flash games. I would enjoy being a writer or an animator for a day.
Q: What characteristic do you admire most in others?
A: Passion is a standout. There is something moving and inspiring about seeing someone care deeply about something—whether it’s a hobby, cause, or their work. Especially nowadays when it’s so easy to disengage from life.
Q: What is your favorite childhood memory?
A: Not sure if this is my favorite, but I like this one:
In grade school, I had to write a paper on the history of pizza. When the due date rolled around, I hadn’t done the research nor written the paper. So I made up the history of pizza.
During lunchtime, I made a really terrible website using a free website service, uploading pictures of pizza, and sourcing all the things I had made up about the history of pizza in my essay. I then used the website as my bibliography.
My teacher begrudged and accepted the paper, though she told me I needed to use better sources next time.
I ended up doing more work than I would have had I actually researched the history of pizza.
Q: If you could witness a historic event first-hand what would it be?
A: Thinking too much about history makes my brain hurt.
Q: What is one book you think everyone should read?
A: They Can’t Kill Us Until They Kill Us by Hanif Abdurraqib. It’s beautiful. I’d have a hard time defining why it resonates with me in a Q&A blurb, but here’s what Google describes it as:
“A stunning collection of essays using music as a vantage point through which to examine and interrogate the world we live in, culturally and politically. In an age of confusion, fear, and loss, Hanif Abdurraqib’s is a voice that matters. Whether he’s attending a Bruce Springsteen concert the day after visiting Michael Brown’s grave, or discussing public displays of affection at a Carly Rae Jepsen show, he writes with a poignancy and magnetism that resonates profoundly.”
Q: Top 5 songs for your road trip playlist?
- Freelance by Toro Y Moi
- American Boy by Estelle and Kanye West
- Agua de Beber by Astrud Gilberto and Antônio Carlos Jobim
- Lost by Frank Ocean
- Always Back in Town by Parquet Courts
Q: Book or ebook?
Q: Modern or rustic?
Q: Houseboat or cabin in the woods?
Q: Big crowd vs small party?
A: Small party in a big crowd
Q: Batman or Superman?
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