Why are you working in research?
Learning about different people, situations, and culture is what fascinates me about research. Some of my favorite projects are those that are about worlds completely different from what I’ve known and been involved in. I like learning. I like building myself. Wherever I go in life, I just want to progress—learn more, do more, see more things. I never want to stay the same. And that’s why I like doing this. We’re always getting to see new possibilities. We’re educating ourselves on people and the world and getting rid of ignorance. I see life as a wasted opportunity if I’m not trying to use it to be a better person. Working in research is a way to do that within my own career.
If you weren't working in research, what else would you be doing?
I’m too old to be a pro athlete, but I really enjoy being active. I grew up playing all kinds of different sports, and I really get into any sport I can be involved in. Sure, I love sitting on a couch and eating and not doing anything at all, but what I love more than that is playing any sport for an entire day. I want to live a long life and be happy, and I think the best way to do that is to be active. Sports are a great way to push yourself, stay healthy, keep your head clear, and keep things exciting in your life. I’m always competitive with myself, so I don’t really care if I win or lose; all that matters is how I performed when I was doing it.
Do you have a hero?
Teachers. With my own kids, I see how much of an effect a good teacher can have on advancing their development. Teachers have such power in the world, and we don’t give them any credit. They have no budget for basic supplies, so they buy everything themselves, and then they step up even beyond just teaching their students to protecting their lives in things like school shootings. I truly believe that good teachers can really make a difference in a kid’s life.
What's one of the best compliments you've ever received?
When people want to work with me again. Because it shows that I’m doing a good job in my profession and at interacting with people. When you work with someone, you have to start a brand-new relationship with them, create bonds that they will enjoy, and do it all with a great work ethic. So, being able to do that gives me a good whole picture of the relationship: 1) I’m a good person, 2) I’m responsible, and 3) we are all learning from each other and creating an environment that we want to keep working in.
Why is being people-first important to you?
It goes with my philosophy of why we do what we do. People are at the heart of all struggles and successes. They’re the ones making choices. And in my experience in this industry, a lot of companies create products and services in their own bubble that don’t really matter to people. But then we get to be the ones providing recommendations and action-items to these companies. So, if we’re not talking to the real consumers involved with these products and services, we’re wasting our time and nothing we do is going to end up mattering to real people. It’s all about hearing the real struggles and real needs that can build solutions and make things meaningful to people.
What's your favorite part of the research process?
The ending. The culmination. When you hand over the final deliverable at the end, then you know that you’ve accomplished something. That’s the best. Not because you’re done with it, but because you’ve been working together on this whole process for however long, and you’ve finally landed on a product that you really like and will deliver on your client’s needs and you get to make them happy with it. And that’s important to me. Then, if you get to present the work, you get to end with a show and, to me, that’s the most fun part.
What's one of your favorite habits you have?
I love getting afternoon coffee. I do it every day, unless I can’t for some reason. It’s not even that I need it; I don’t need to be caffeinated all day long or anything. It’s just that around 3 or 4 o’clock, I want to go outside and see the sunshine. I just find that it makes me happier for the rest of the day.
What's one thing you love about working at Bovitz?
I really like the people here. People are really there for each other, both in work and in life. I learned a long time ago that I don’t want to just work by myself but with other smart people, and I can do that here; the collaboration that we have really allows us to put out a great product and a useful product. Everybody here is on the same page with not wanting to just churn out work but really make a change with their clients and the products and services they offer. We all want our work to come full circle and create a benefit for people, somewhere, somehow.
Tell me about one of your colleagues.
Carey just really seems to genuinely care about everything we do and the people here—and just people, in general. And that really shows. He really tries to do the right thing for people and build their careers. He treats people like humans. He really cares about the world. Sometimes I just think, in my head, “Carey cares,” like it’s his tagline or something.
What's one aspect of your life philosophy?
Enjoy life but still invest in your future self. If you can afford something and it’s going to make you happy, then do it or buy it. Because you just never know when it’s over. There’s so much happiness to be had in the world, so if you can take a second to just go out and experience it or buy it, why shouldn’t you? As long as you’re not compromising your future plans like retirement or raising a family, then you should just do it. Enjoy it.
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