10 Questions With...

February 11, 2011

What brought you to KS&R?

Upon completing graduate school, I wanted nothing more than to be in the marketing research industry. I also wanted to stay in the northeast. One day I was browsing ads for careers in Syracuse when I saw an ad for KS&R, and was thrilled that there might be an opportunity close to friends and family. When I interviewed with KS&R, I was immediately impressed with the type of projects, as well as KS&R's strong client list. I spent several years at KS&R prior to heading over to the client side for a few years.

I came back to KS&R in 2004. My return was largely driven by a desire to be back on the supplier side of marketing research, and to work with the level of talent and dedication that I had experienced during my initial stretch at KS&R.

What is unique about KS&R as a company to work for?

KS&R's willingness to provide remote working opportunities for staff that do not live near the HQ in Syracuse creates a unique mix of people to best serve our clients. This diversity of backgrounds and experiences also makes for more fascinating company-wide meetings and events.

What changes have you seen at KS&R over the years?

When I first started at KS&R, we were a much smaller firm. So, for me, the biggest change is the size of the firm.

However, even with substantial growth over the years, KS&R has maintained the feel of a small firm, with the same level of commitment to our clients and to its employees.

What inspires you?

I am inspired by people who approach any task in life with dedication, respect for everyone around them, honesty, and hard work. (I don't ask for much, do I?)

With three small children at home, how do you maintain your work -life balance?

Truly, I think that maintaining work-life balance is a struggle for any professional, whether they have children at home or not.

To accommodate having small children, I maintain an intense focus during the day, so that my time in the evenings can be spent caring for and enjoying time with my kids. Then, as many of my colleagues and clients will attest to (because I find them doing the same thing), I am back online many nights after our children are in bed, which is a very conscious choice I make to ensure that all I need and want to achieve in a day is accomplished. Really…it's all about making choices that work for you.

If you had a time machine and could jump back or spring ahead, which would you do? Why?

DEFINITELY spring ahead. While the past is interesting, there is nothing I would drastically change. I am, however, keenly curious about the future. My curiosity about the future spans my work life and my home life. For example, given their very different personalities and traits, I cannot wait to see what my children choose to do when they become adults. With their current inquisitiveness, perhaps they'll all become researchers!

What's on your to-do list?

Aside from all of the mundane, day-to-day items…

Professionally: Continue to get to know my current clients and keep a pulse on their evolving needs, while at the same time seeking out new, challenging opportunities.

Personally: I would really like to visit every state in the Union, and share those travels with my family. While I think that international travel is interesting and fun, we live in a country that is so diverse (both the landscape and the people), and I'd like to experience that diversity by visiting each state in the U.S. I've visited many, but still have many more to go...

What would the title of your autobiography be?

Melissa J. Jusianiec, a Work in Progress

If you could have a conversation with one person, living or dead, who would it be?

My grandfather; he was an inspiring, yet very humble man who lived to be 93. He passed away when I was 19, and too young / naive to realize just how much knowledge and how many experiences he had to share. And, though we spent a lot of time together while I was growing up, what I know about him now would likely have prompted me to ask more questions then. Bottom line, look around and you're sure to find a wealth of knowledge and experiences closer than you might think.

What's the most important thing you do every week?

Go to church with my family each Sunday morning. This time together keeps me grounded, guarantees we will have completely uninterrupted, quality time together, and recharges us for the week ahead. As a teen and even through college, I would never have predicted the importance of this time to quietly reflect each week.