Lili Welch

Research Associate

Life is too short to ever stay mad at someone so I try to live my life always thinking of the positives. I have great friends, a supportive family, and an awesome job that I am thankful for every day. Sometimes when everything gets too hectic, I turn to my guilty pleasures like reality television or planning my next trip. But I try not to let stress get the best of me.

What's something that people are surprised to learn about you?

Most people don't know that I was adopted from China, just because it never really comes up in conversation. But I was born there and came to America when I was a baby. Since both me and my sister were adopted from there, my mom has always tried to really immerse us in Chinese culture. So, I did Chinese dance for 13 years when I was younger. I wasn't good at it, but my dance troupe was with 20 other girls who were also all adopted from China, so that really helped me get to know other girls in my similar situation.

Tell me about one of your favorite people in the world.

I love my grandfather. He is one of the cutest old people. He's 95, so that in itself is amazing. He actually also immigrated from China, but as a teenager during the rape of Nanjing in WWII, so he had to flee to Hawaii. To me, that's just amazing—you're 17 and you have to leave your country, the place you call home, by yourself, and go somewhere where you don't know anyone or even the language. But he ended up becoming an engineer, fought in WWII, had a family, and made it from nothing. His values and strength are inspiring. He's also the one who taught me math and all of the tricks and got me to enjoy it. He's always expected a lot out of me and I never wanted to disappoint him.

What's one quality you admire in someone else and wish you had more of?

Being carefree. I'm very conscious of other people's opinions, and I depend on my friends' opinions maybe more than I should. So, I wish I was able to not think as much and not be so overly analytical. Sometimes I wish I wasn't so organized and worried about all the nitty gritty details and instead could just live my life in a more carefree way. I can be a worrier, and I don't like that about myself. I'm trying to worry less.

What question do you have about the world that you wish you could research?

Everything I learned in sociology, I would love to do research on. Issues like immigration, minimum wage, homelessness, race—big topics like that. Being able to do ethnographies in those areas would be so cool; I would get to learn and understand so much about these people's lives and experiences that I will probably never experience myself. Seeing immigrants or homeless people in my community, I can't help but want to hear their side of the story and understand how they could be helped and how I can be part of the solution.

Why is being people-first important to you?

People first means that we should be considering all perspectives—the good, the bad, and the ugly. It means that long-term happiness should be the metric that we use to gauge our progress. I don't want to be putting people first for only the short-term, but really making a difference that is worthy.

What's your favorite part of the research process?

I really enjoy designing decks. It's such a creative way to show what you're trying to say. Being able to change or impact a business's decision through design is a great skill. It's also really fun to do and gives me a creative outlet during my day. I'm not the best as it though—sometimes the design just doesn't come to me, or I have a million ideas and the execution doesn't look how I wanted it to. That's when I go to Colleen. She has such a good eye for design; I'm still working on developing that eye.

If you weren't working in research, what else would you be doing?

I think I would be an event planner. I've never done that before, but I know that I'm really organized, I'm good at multi-tasking, and I don't get stressed too easily. And I like going to events. I feel like I could be good at it. Not weddings though—I wouldn't want that pressure put on me to either make or break someone's big day. That sounds super stressful. I think I would want to plan corporate events, like product launches or fundraisers to raise awareness. I would like that those would have a little more purpose and structure, so there's a reason why you're putting on this event and there's something you want to get out of it. It would also help because you'd have the company's branding and goals to use as background information. I don't have that much creativity to just start from scratch.

What's one thing you love about working at Bovitz?

I love the culture here and how everyone genuinely enjoys each other's company. I also like that we have a Culture Club so that we can plan fun things to do and you don't feel like you're just going to work. I enjoy that work-people balance.

Tell me about one of your colleagues.

I really appreciate working with Amy because she really builds up my confidence and makes me feel comfortable. She's very calm and she teaches me a lot. I never feel scared to share my opinion or ask her a question. She's very understanding; it's really easy to work with her. We have a very trusting relationship.

What's one of your favorite childhood memories?

One of my favorite childhood memories is traveling to India with my family. India is an amazing place to experience, but I had the privilege to travel with my grandfather who was an expert in the Islamic art field. He had spent many years traveling and collecting art from that area, and this was one of the first times that I really got to share one of his passions with him. As a child, we weren't close, but this trip was unforgettable.

In the Industry: Since 2016

At Bovitz: Since 2016

Education: BA in Sociology and interdisciplinary minor in Mathematical Finance from USC

Her best quality: Adaptable