Team Spotlight

Maria is a Research Associate on our Business Services team and has a PhD in Marketing from the University of Houston.

What do you enjoy most about being part of the KS&R team?
The best part about being part of KS&R is its people. As someone who was fresh out of the PhD program, I initially thought that starting work in a new organization would be a daunting process. However, that wasn't the case at all. I'm very lucky to have met many helpful and friendly people in the organization, and they helped me get acclimated to my job and successfully navigate KS&R in this remote working world.

In your opinion, what does the world need more of?
In my humble opinion, the world would be a much better place to live in if we have more people who care about others, do their part for the environment, and embrace the diversity this world has to offer. I'm a believer of spreading love and positivity.

If you could choose one superpower, what would it be and why?
I would like the ability to teleport to my hometown, Singapore. Prior to the pandemic, I used to travel there twice a year. Nowadays, international travel is expensive and has many rules. There's also the fear of catching COVID over 22-24 hours of flying. If I could teleport 10,000 miles to see my family and friends, I would be really thrilled!

What is your favorite childhood memory?
My favorite childhood memory is hanging out with my mum and dad. They are like my best friends, and we do many fun things together. We also visited many cities as a family, and I dream of the day that we can go on an adventure together again.

How would your friends describe you?
My friends would describe me as someone who is funny and caring. They can come to me anytime with their problems, and I'd do my best to listen and give advice (if they ask for it). They would also say I'm weird because I like talking to my stuffed animals.

Aside from necessities, what is one thing you could not go a day without?
Having fun! I try to have fun every day whether it is cycling, playing video games, reading novels, dining out, longboarding, watching Netflix, solving puzzles, visiting parks, etc. A great day is one where I can enjoy as many hobbies as possible!

If you could share a meal with any individuals, living or dead, who would they be?
I would like to share a meal with my late maternal grandmother. She was a great woman who always put her family first and made countless sacrifices for us. I am truly grateful to her for caring for me when I was a baby and a toddler. She was also a really great cook, and I miss her cooking greatly.

What is the best/worst purchase you've ever made?
The best purchase I've ever made is my current house. Its value has appreciated about 30% over two years. The worst purchase would be giving $100 to a psychic who held my hands and told me that I'm a good person (umů thanks?).