We are excited to welcome our newest Associate Innovation and Growth Strategist, Monica. Her strategic and market research background lends itself as an integral asset to the entrepreneurial culture and growth at The Garage Group. Welcome to the team, Monica!
Tell us a bit about yourself.
I was born and raised in Columbus and moved to Cincinnati in 2010 to become a Bearcat. After graduating from the University of Cincinnati with a Bachelors in Psychology and minor in Organizational Leadership I decided 4 years just wasn’t enough and went back to the Lindner College of Business for an MBA. Post graduation, I started my research career at Burke Inc. At Burke, I worked as a Project Manager and Data Analyst before making my move to TGG! I live in Norwood with my labradoodle Garth.
So, you jumped into The Garage Group. What made you decide to join us?
I wanted to take the leap from traditional quant research to innovation and strategy. I was curious to know what happened AFTER we sent the final research findings to a client. I was looking for a role that would allow me to lean on my knowledge of research but also incorporate my creative side. I love helping clients solve problems, and that’s what TGG does best!
What’s your MO?*
I am usually the one that is always willing to hunker down and get the job done but laugh and “keep it light” along the way. I fully believe that a team that sincerely enjoys working together is a team that will produce incredible work.
Something interesting people might not know about you?
I am really involved with the Yelp community in Cincinnati. I interned for the local Community Manager in college and have been an avid user ever since. If you use the platform a lot (post reviews, pictures, “check-in” at businesses, etc) you become eligible for Yelp Elite. It’s basically a fancy title for people like me that eat out too much! But it comes with perks like free Yelp sponsored events all around the city! We get to try new businesses out before they open, have private events after business hours, etc. and in return, we write positive reviews about the business on the platform. It’s a great way to meet new people and take advantage of all the cool businesses around Cincinnati!
What does an “entrepreneurial approach to research and innovation” mean to you?
To me, it’s stepping outside the box where traditional research lives and understanding there are many ways to reach a goal/answer/solution! Constantly incorporating new methodologies and evolving with the needs of our clients and our industry.
How do you apply your entrepreneurial mindset/start-up thinking to your personal life? Tell us a story/example!
I started an Instagram called “The Cincy Kind” a few months ago and its aim is to highlight folks around the city who do kind things for others. Sort of a Good Samaritan recognition page. I had an interaction with a fast food employee that really inspired the idea. I thought, there are so many amazing people in this city that do small (and large) things to help others – they should be celebrated! The idea is to send in a picture of the person that did something kind for you and a short blurb about the experience and I will post it on the page. Think Humans of New York meets the streets of Cincinnati. It hasn’t really taken off yet, we only have ~55 followers – BUT I have so many fun ideas for when it does!
What was your favorite book that you read last year? Why?
America’s First Daughter, it is the life of Thomas Jefferson from the perspective of his eldest daughter who he was extremely close with. First, I am a history buff so anything to do with Presidents, I’m in. Second, its unique to read about their lives from the vantage point of someone else (rather than an autobiography for example). She watched him live through so much, and she too experienced SO much just being by his side for so many years. I am starting a similar book about Benjamin Franklin, written from the perspective of his sister now! 🙂
What is your spirit animal? Why?
I always teased that I am a duck, paddling like HECK under water but smooth and serene on the surface!
What is something you believe that almost nobody agrees with you on?
PINEAPPLES ARE GOOD ON PIZZA!