If you weren't working in research, what else would you be doing?
When I'm a retired old lady one day, I want to be a librarian. I love to read—I can't stop reading. I take every opportunity I can to read and I would love nothing more than to surround myself with books and meet other people who share that passion. There's nothing I would love more than to be paid to sit and read all day and to give people advice on what book to pick for their next literary adventure.
What's one of the best pieces of advice you've ever gotten?
It's cliché, but it still really resonates with me, and that is to Not Sweat the Small Stuff. Because I do. And it's become really clear to me in the last few years that if I don't let go of 90% of the things I worry about, I'm going to have a very short life span with a lot of migraines, wrinkles and gray hair. When I was in middle school, I had this pre-teen book that was literally called Don't Sweat the Small Stuff. And it didn't stick with me then, but now that I'm older and can look back and think about all the things I used to be so stressed out about, I'm starting to use it as a reminder to always take a step back and ask myself "Is this going to be a big deal a week from now, a year from now, or five years from now?" And if the answer is "no," then I force myself to be ok with the situation and stop worrying.
Do you have a hero?
I don't think I have any one "big" hero in my life, but I do feel like I have a lot of "small" heroes. It really doesn't take much to be classified as a hero in my book. Anytime I see someone doing something selfless, or just making the effort to do a little thing that makes the world a better place—those little things make people heroes to me. It's not always a natural instinct to put others first and care for the world around you, and I know it can be hard to be selfless, so to see people making moves to be kind is always uplifting and inspiring. We need more people like that in the world.
Tell me about one of your favorite people in the world.
My older brother is definitely one of my favorite people in the world. I don't think he has any clue how much I enjoy his company. He's always lived across the country and he's eight years older, so we didn't really grow up as siblings in the traditional sense. And now, when we visit each other, it's more like seeing an old friend than a sibling. But, in our adult years, it's become clear to me just how much I missed having him around when we were kids. It's comforting to be able to take a back seat in the eldest sibling role when he's around and I always really look forward to spending time with him. He's a really good person. He's my big brother, and I love him.
Why is being people-first important to you?
Being "people-first" is important to me because I associate it with creating, building and nurturing relationships—relationships between family, friends, significant others, co-workers, clients, consumers, the coffee barista. Relationships with people, not with excel spreadsheets or electronics or my phone. At its core, helping others, forming relationships with them, putting people first, is all a part of how I live a meaningful, positive life.
What inspires you?
What inspires me on a day-to-day basis is working out (I bet you thought I was going to say books again). I totally get on a high when I'm at the gym and feel so invincible and unstoppable, and I have so much energy afterward. My outlook on the day is just so much more positive when I'm walking out of the gym. I feel like I've accomplished something really important—I'm doing something good for my body and my mind and I'm taking care of myself.
What are some of the little things in life that you love?
Fresh flowers. Fancy handwriting. Puppy kisses. Clean sheets. Bubble baths. Champagne flutes. Hand-holding. Hard workouts. Laughter lines. The sound of palm trees rustling. Snow flurries. Coffee with the perfect amount of cream. Tiramisu. Dark chocolate. Local adventures. Hammocks. Foot rubs. Gold. Glitter.
What's one thing you love about working at Bovitz?
The people I work with. They make me excited and happy to go into work every day, and they make the work fun and meaningful. They totally humanize the vast amounts of data and numbers that we work with. Everyone is always so supportive and honest and genuine—it's just such a great crowd of people.
Tell me about one of your colleagues.
There are so many things I'd want to say about so many people. But if I had to choose one, I'd definitely pick Colleen to tell you about. She just gives me the best life advice about so many different topics. Whether I stop by her desk asking her for cooking tips or make-up how-to's or the best brand of crockpot, she always has an answer. I'm so grateful for her patience with my questions and for the enthusiasm she has when she answers them. You can't stop by her desk and have a 30-second conversation—it's going to be 30 minutes, but it's going to be the best 30 minutes of your day. She just makes me smile and makes me happy and excited to go to work. I love that she's around.
What's your favorite part of the research process?
When I was a Research Assistant, I always secretly loved launching sample for a study. Because I always equated that part of the project with launching a rocket ship. I would purposely try to use terminology like "please proceed with launch" and "all clear." It's the same feeling I get now as a manager when I send a report off to a client—you know that you just spent so much time working on something and making it perfect and now you're good to go. You're wrapping up a project phase, and that's exciting!
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