Tell me about one of your favorite people in the world.
My French teacher in high school is one of the most eccentric people I've ever met. She was one of those little, but super fierce women and just a total character. But what impacted me the most was that I had never met a woman who was so unapologetically herself. She didn't care what anyone said about her; she was just like, "I'm gonna do me" regardless. That sense of self-assurance (along with some of the French...) really stuck with me.
What inspires you?
People like my French teacher—or just people, in general. I've always just had a curiosity about people and why they do what they do. And I want to know about all different types of people, especially those who are different from me. In that French class, we had to read The Little Prince and something about that book always stuck with me. It reminds me to have this sort of childlike wonder about the world—and keep that curiosity in everything I do.
Why are you working in research?
I started out wanting to study neuroscience or psychology or cognitive science, but quickly realized that wasn't for me. The environment was just overly competitive and uncollaborative and didn't stimulate me in the way I wanted to be stimulated. So, I switched to business to study consumer behavior, where the environment was much more about collaboration and sharing ideas. But what all of those areas of study come down to is what inspires me: people. I pretty much fell into research, but that's why I've stayed in it—to constantly take strides to better understand people.
Why is being people-first important to you?
People are at the heart of everything in our world—our family, our friends, our coworkers, our favorite brands, everything. I feel like this is something that is so easily forgotten, especially when we're looking out for ourselves and our own successes. But, if we take a little time to advocate for both ourselves and others, there's no doubt it'll be a win-win for everyone.
What's your favorite part of the research process?
I really like the beginning stages of a project. Everyone is so excited that things are happening and they just want to gather as much information as they can. Stakeholder interviews are so helpful in framing our minds and understanding what would be useful for our clients. It's always so great to hear how they think of their business. I don't think there's a better way to really understand how a business works than talking to the people who know it best.
What's your favorite type of research project to work on?
My favorite projects have been segmentations. It always astounds me how powerful that information is. And it's also so fundamental to conducting your business. If you don't know who you're talking to, then the power of whatever message you're trying to send gets diluted. And for me, it always sparks so many thoughts for how this information could be used, like to develop new products or change your communication strategy or try to reach new people. There's just so many applications.
What's one thing you love about working at Bovitz?
My favorite thing about Bovitz is the people. Everyone is so unique, and no two people think the exact same or approach things in the exact same way. I love that everyone just brings their own skills and personalities to the table. I have a different relationship with every person at Bovitz, and I love that. Each of those relationships brings out a different facet of me.
Tell me about one of your colleagues.
I appreciate every time I have any sort of conversation or interaction with Ben. It's always different. I'm fascinated by how his mind works. He's so genuinely inquisitive about people that he asks really interesting and poignant questions about you, about our work, about the world—whatever. You just feel that he genuinely cares to know more about you as a person. And it's always a different conversation. It's awesome.
Tell me one thing on your bucket list.
One place I've always wanted to go is Vietnam. I've never visited it and I feel like I don't know that much about it, despite being Vietnamese and my parents having lived there for so long. To me, it's about getting that level of understanding of what my parents went through when they lived there, and then seeing what it's like now. That's what I'm really curious about. I want to see where they grew up and get a glimpse of what their life was like. They talk about it sometimes, but it's one thing to hear it and another thing to experience it for yourself.
What's your happy place?
As I've alluded to before, my happy place is anywhere my people are. Doesn't really matter where we are or what we're doing—going to a concert, eating dinner at a new restaurant, or just having a game night in. To me, when the company's right, nothing else matters. However, if I'm surrounded by the smell of lavender or eating Oreo cookies while I'm there, it couldn't hurt.
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