by Reem Papageorgiou | September 15, 2022

This month’s CatchUp is with MomUp superstar, Kiana Ocean, now a Data Analyst at Social Finance!

Tell us a bit about you!

I recently joined the Data Analytics team at Social Finance, which is an impact investing and advisory nonprofit. Prior to this role, I worked in business and data analytics roles in the Real Estate and Consumer Goods industries. I also spent a few years working in economic consulting, where I performed analyses for antitrust litigation and M&A matters. I've lived in the San Francisco Bay Area since 2016 but I'm originally from the Northeast, growing up in Maine and attending college in Boston.

How has MomUp helped you?

For the past few years I have been considering a pivot from the for-profit sector to nonprofit, and MomUp helped to make that a reality. Katie was incredibly perceptive in understanding the type of role and organization I was looking for and it was invaluable to have her guidance and support every step of the way as I progressed through the application and interview process.

What career highlight are you most proud of?

In 2018, I decided to go back to school to earn a master's degree to help me transition into the field of Data Analytics. It was not an obvious or straightforward decision for me to make, and took many hours of reflection on where I wanted to take my career. Returning to school full-time after spending several years as a working professional had its challenges, especially during the pandemic. However, earning the degree and following through on pursuing a career in Data Analytics has been incredibly rewarding.

What was your first job?

Starting in high school, I worked for five summers at a busy family-owned farm stand in Midcoast Maine, restocking the produce and waiting on customers. It was so valuable for me at a young age to build a strong work ethic, learn how to engage with customers, and gain an understanding of what it takes to operate a small business. Snacking on fresh strawberries, blueberries, and freshly baked donuts on my breaks was an amazing perk as well!

What are your best job search tips?

Something I've learned throughout my past job searches is to ask the right questions when interviewing for a new role. As a job candidate it's easy to only focus on how you will answer their questions, but I try to also view the interview process as an opportunity to ensure the role and organization will be a good fit for me. I think about what I am looking for in a company's culture, manager qualities, opportunities for growth, etc. and try to learn as much as I can before making a decision about an opportunity.

What do you enjoy doing in our downtime?

I love getting outside and enjoy trail running or hiking on the weekends. While at home, I enjoy baking and have picked up a new hobby in the past year-caring for my houseplants!

Any advice on balancing work and personal life?

Like many others, since 2020 I've been working from home more often and without the physical separation between work and home life I've found that I have to be more intentional about creating boundaries in order to prevent burnout. In the evenings when I am ready to log off for the day, I shut down my computer and take a short walk around my neighborhood. This helps to clear my mind and decompress from my work day, and when I return I feel more relaxed and present. Having dedicated "non-work" time allows me to recharge, then when I am ready to resume my work I feel more energized and engaged.