I try to live my life outside of my comfort zone. Spontaneity keeps me sane. I love the feeling of stepping out of a train in an unfamiliar city or looking down a wave that's probably above my surfing abilities. If you were to read my mind at any given time of the day, I'd probably be daydreaming about my favorite dumpling place back home in Taipei.
Why are you working in research?
My interest in research can be traced back to me growing up in Taipei with my mom who is Taiwanese and my dad who is American. My world has always been this mix of two very distinct cultures, and it's been interesting to see how members of my family approach things differently. That has translated into my love for observing and understanding differences in people due to their cultural backgrounds. It's cool to get to do that for my job and dive into people's attitudes and perspectives.
Who's on your dream client list?
Patagonia would be cool to work for. I'm a big fan of for-profit companies that do social good. They have a great philosophy. Yvon Chouinard, the founder of Patagonia, has a book called Let My People Go Surfing, and it has some great advice about how you can have a successful business without sacrificing your values and staying true to who you are. I also think they would be a great fit with Bovitz, since they seem to exude a people-first philosophy as well.
If you weren't working in research, what else would you be doing?
I think it would be cool to apprentice for a woodworker. I love building things. We had a wonderful woodshop in my high school and my teacher let us make whatever we wanted to. So, for my final project, I made an electric guitar. I enjoyed the entire process—from designing something on paper to sanding and polishing the guitar. Getting to hold and use something that only existed in my mind a few months prior was an incredible feeling.
What's your favorite part of the research process?
I like report writing. I've done all the hard work and now I get to have fun with it. I spend months learning and researching a topic and reporting is my opportunity to do something creative with all that knowledge. It's also exciting to get to show off what I've been working so hard on with the rest of the Bovitz team for the past few weeks or months. I feel a lot of pride for what I work on, so it's cool to get to share it and hear feedback from our clients.
Why is being people-first important to you?
Being people-first is what market research is all about. It means letting go of any preconceived notions and being an honest voice for the people.
What inspires you?
So much. I feel inspired whenever I see someone dedicate all their energy into something. It could be anything. For example, the documentary Jiro Dreams of Sushi—it's a documentary about a 90-year old sushi chef, Jiro, who is regarded as the best sushi chef in the world. The documentary is the most beautiful thing. I love the film because it demonstrates that passion and dedication can turn anything into an art form.
If you could have one superpower, what would it be and how would you use it?
Definitely teleportation. My friends and family are so spread out around the world that it's super tough on me to not see them very often. Growing up I went to an international school and every few years my friends would move to a different country. Now I only get to see them every couple of years. Since I've moved to LA, my parents have moved to Hong Kong. Teleportation can't come soon enough!
What's one thing you love about working at Bovitz?
I love the people. There are so many people here that I hang out with outside of work—it's not like I'm forced to like these people. I love how collaborative everybody is and how they will take time out of their own day to help you out. It feels like we were already friends with each other and we just happen to be working at the same place. I also really enjoy our office-wide Mario Kart tournaments...
What's one aspect of your life philosophy?
I firmly believe that 99% of the time, something good comes out of saying "yes" to a new opportunity. Most of the best things that have happened to me in my life came from putting myself in new and slightly scary situations.
In the Industry: Since 2016
At Bovitz: Since 2016
Education: BA in International Relations from USC; Minor in Consumer Behavior and Spanish
His best quality: Gregarious
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