Tell us a bit about yourself! How did you get started with your current career path/business journey?
I am a research associate, in the social impact space. I use mixed methods - both quantitative and qualitative research techniques. In my current role, I address the challenges of aging, from a public health perspective. I direct 2 projects: a technology evaluation and a study of access and attitudes towards COVID-19 vaccines, among older adults. Previously, I worked for a social policy firm, focusing on overcoming material hardship, via workforce advancement initiatives, conditional cash transfers, and micro-finance programs. I've also conducted research on reproductive health.
What behavior or personality trait do you most attribute your success to and why?
What’s a mistake you made early on in your career, or in your business, and what did you learn from it?
Early on, as a recent straight A student and over-achiever, I made the error of being a workhorse. I remember working over Christmas breaks, doing detailed data checking and just being grateful that it was quite enough at the office to allow me to concentrate. Although I did have a good relationship with a supportive supervisor, I think I would have put more emphasis on both gaining visibility and growing my mentor base. Even if it would not have directly led to a faster promotion, it would have helped me gain greater perspective and a more comprehensive understanding of the field.
What’s one professional skill you’re currently working on?
I am working on setting boundaries. First and foremost, with myself. I realize that my perceptions of the demands of my colleagues, project partners, bosses are just that - my perceptions. And taking concrete steps, like literally setting aside specific hours in the day to address requests, helps keep me saner (and probably, less demanding of others!)
How do you invite others to a seat at your table?
I really like creating an open space for people of diverse backgrounds. This is especially important in my work. If I am leading a focus group, having a rich discussion in a non-judgmental space is key. I work to ensure people feel welcome, that they know their opinions are valued, and that the important part is having their viewpoints heard - rather than stating a "right answer." Also, I enjoy being able to bond over common interests. For example, I used to organize the Spanish-speakers' lunch at work. I would love to be able to join something similar at Luminary!
What is one thing that you wish you learned a year ago?
I wish I would have learned sooner the importance of fewer, clearer priorities. I often tended to overwhelm myself with long task lists, and being too ready to jump on to the next thing. Really questioning this habit, and asking less of myself, has helped me feel calmer (even if, less productive than I'd like to).
What impact has Luminary made in your career? eg: Community, Business Generated, Revenue, New Clients, Career Connections, Advancement Opportunities
Luminary has been amazing! First, Luminary literally helped me get my current job. I became an Indeed x Luminary Fellow in May, and started my role about a month later. Knowing that I am part of this community really helped energize me during the (at times arduous) job application processes. I am blown away by Cate's warmth and generosity, not to mention attention to detail. And I am especially grateful to Erica and Romana and the community in the Motivation Monday group. I am very grateful to be surrounded by people who care and who help me gain perspective on my own approaches to all things life!