March Young Professional Spotlight
Meet Nicole Wesley
Occupation: Laboratory Manager
Organization: Pennington Biomedical Research Center
Tell us a little about your Baton Rouge Story. What brought you to Baton Rouge?
I was born and raised here in Baton Rouge. A softball scholarship took me out of state to compete at Baylor University, where I obtained my undergraduate degree. Shortly after graduation, without my team and school surrounding me, I searched for grounding again by moving back home to my roots. I have since established an amazing scientific career with so many opportunities for growth!
Tell us more about how you’re involved in Baton Rouge.
When I’m not managing projects at Pennington or tending to my graduate coursework, I am involved with many organizations intended to evoke change, such as the local chapter of Mixr, a female oriented platform aimed at recognizing and leveraging women’s voices in the community. I’m also a local ambassador for theSkimm (Skimmbassador) and have localized their national campaigns, like the “Skimm the Vote” initiative this past year. I also jump on any opportunity to bring science to the youth in our community by participating in events like Girls Night at the Museum, speaking in schools to students about how to shape their futures, and mentoring local high school girls through their science projects.
What is your favorite thing about Baton Rouge?
I love our community events! I hear a lot of chatter about how New Orleans and Lafayette have all the culture in this state, but I believe Baton Rouge is evolving and developing more community-building initiatives that highlight our amazing local talent.
What is your dream for Baton Rouge?
My dream for Baton Rouge is to connect. Whether that’s by creating better transit or by sharing and learning from those around us, I would love to see our city step out of its comfort zone and become more welcoming to change.
How are young professionals like yourself shaping Baton Rouge?
Many young professionals have big ideas for where we live and how we want our futures to look, and we are working together to accomplish this. We are having these discussions and expanding our ideas into actions to actively take part in determining the future of Baton Rouge.
What would you say to someone considering a move to Baton Rouge?
Everyone is afraid of what they don’t know. Baton Rouge may be an unknown to outsiders, but if you come here and experience it for yourself you may just fall in love.
What is your Baton Rouge favorite?
- Place to eat: Aside from my kitchen… Southfin Southern Poke, Thai Kitchen, or Ichiban.
- Place to hang out: Superior Grill Highland. My neighbors and I frequent there a lot since it’s so close to our neighborhood. Plus, they have great happy hour deals and live music!
- Place to capture the perfect Instagram pic: BREC Highland Road Park
- Place to people watch: LSU Football Tailgating or Live After Five
- Place to network: TEDxLSU
- Way to give back: Support local radio and donate to WRKF! Also, Companion Animal Alliance has a Date a Dog program where you can give back by taking a shelter dog out for a day.
- Event: Spanish Town Mardi Gras Parade
With significant job growth, a bustling arts scene, delectable cuisine, abundant outdoor activities and more, the Capital Region attracts talent of all ages, including young professionals. Whether straight out of college or looking to establish their own business, more and more young professionals are choosing to lay their roots in Baton Rouge.
Each month, BRAC highlights one of these young Baton Rouge Area movers and shakers in the Young Professional Spotlight.