What's something that people are surprised to learn about you?
My last name. People just think I'm a normal girl from Southern California, so they're surprised when they learn that I'm actually first-generation. My dad is from Greece and my mom is from Guatemala. They both came to the US at young ages and then found each other in college. And now here I am.
Tell me one thing on your bucket list.
I've always wanted to live in another country for a long-ish period of time. I was raised in Southern California, stayed there for college, and never got a chance to study abroad while I was in school. I always knew I wanted to get out of that Southern California bubble for a period of time, so moving to New York a few years ago was great, but I'd like to keep moving. I don't really have a timeframe or a place in mind—I just want to let it happen. I think living in other places changes your perspective on things. Sometimes you get into a rhythm of doing the same things all the time, talking to the same people, chatting about the same stuff, and moving to a new place encourages you to try new things and meet different people who influence your life.
What's one quality you admire in someone else and wish you had more of?
People who have endless energy and enthusiasm. I definitely don't wake up every morning jumping and dancing around like I'm in a Disney movie. I recently found this spin instructor who I became secretly obsessed with because he would be doing the spin workout with us, but then he would jump off the bike and run around the room and make us laugh and get us to sing along with the songs. It was crazy; he just had so much energy. My goal in life is to one day have as much energy and enthusiasm as a spin instructor.
Why is being people-first important to you?
Treat others the way you want to be treated. I've grown up with the golden rule engrained into me, so being people-first in my work life really resonates with me. Day-to-day this comes to fruition in offering support to busy co-workers, asking straightforward questions to respondents, creating easy to understand client deliverables, acting as thought partners for our clients so they can better inform their stakeholders, and exposing the honest voice of the consumer in our storytelling.
What's your favorite type of research project to work on?
Segmentations because they're so relatable. No matter what the category is, you can always find the segment that you're in and name people you know who fall into the other segments. When we segmented car owners, there was a segment called Service Delayers, and I was like, "Yep, that's me. I know I needed to get my oil changed like 3 months ago, and I don't know why I can't just bring myself to go spend 10 minutes at Jiffy Lube to get it done."
Who's on your dream client list?
BJ's, the restaurant. I found out that they have this restaurant-style test kitchen where their chefs create new menu items that they want to test with consumers before they go on the menu. Really, I want to be in the research, trying all of the food. But conducting the research would also be fun because I've never done anything like that.
What's one thing you love about working at Bovitz?
I've been at Bovitz for a long time now and worked in both offices and with a bunch of different teams. I remember when I applied here, I had also applied to some bigger companies, and my dad told me I should go with a smaller company like Bovitz because I would get a lot more experience and one-on-one learning that I might not get at a bigger company. And I think that's so true. Bovitz gives everyone so many opportunities that you wouldn't get elsewhere. Immediately when I joined, I was thrown into all these meetings with people at every level, and it didn't matter that I had no idea what was going on. And if I wanted to work on something that I had never worked on before, the response was, "Sure, why not?" So, right from the beginning I've always been given opportunities to try new things and grow in my position. As long as you have an idea and you think you can execute it, they're behind you.
Tell me about one of your colleagues.
Steve always goes above and beyond in his position. Whether it's data processing or programming, he's always so thoughtful in his responses. Instead of just making an update that we request blindly, he offers his suggestions and reasons for doing things in an even better way. He provides context for all of his opinions, and he thinks about not only the project teams, but also our clients. He's more of a thought-partner and a teacher, even when he doesn't need to be. It's a good reminder for us to be that way as well with our clients.
What's one of the best pieces of advice you've ever gotten?
I was complaining about something one day and a friend said to me, "Just fake it 'till you make it." And my first thought was, well okay, that's not helpful. But I ended up realizing later that the advice wasn't about pretending you're having a great time in every situation, but more about making an effort to change your perspective on the situation. So, I try to always keep that in mind now. I tend to err on the side of being more sarcastic, but when I really try to be more positive, it does impact my perspective and outlook on things. It puts me in the right direction for everything else to just sort of fall into place.
What is your idea of the perfect vacation?
Combination of adventure and relaxation. I just planned a trip where I hiked through Peru, then laid on the beach in the Bahamas.
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