What do you do at LIDS?

My role here is Senior Financial Assistant, so that’s providing financial and proposal development support to our Administrative Officer. I help out with preparing and submitting grant proposals; monitoring account activity for our LIDS faculty and researchers while keeping accounts maintained and reconciled; working along with the administrative assistants to verify purchases, approve travel reports, and process requests for payment — different financial tasks like that. But my work often overflows into other things in headquarters. I’ll help out wherever anyone needs help, like when students need a key for a room or someone needs help with the copier, those kinds of things. So really what I do at LIDS is kind of a little bit of everything when it’s needed. I love the variety. It’s never boring!

What drew you to financial work?

I had not worked in finance before I came to LIDS, but I enjoy learning new jobs and tasks. I felt like financial work was a good fit for me because I enjoy details and I enjoy when math works. And this role calls for a lot of detail- oriented work: making sure that payments go through for the correct amount, creating bud- gets, reconciling accounts. Making sure every- thing matches exactly is kind of fun for me. If something doesn’t match down to the penny, or if something just doesn’t make sense or add up, I can’t let it go until I figure it out. It’s a bit of an adventure figuring out where the discrep- ancy is. Once I find it, I feel accomplished in knowing that I’ve done my best to ensure I’ve done all I can to handle my responsibilities to the best of my ability.

What brought you to MIT and LIDS?

My husband and I actually relocated to Boston from Buffalo, New York. We do a volunteer work and there was more of a need here than there was in the Buffalo area so we decided to relocate. Prior to that we lived in Asia for a short time. We were English teachers there — we lived half a year in Taiwan and then three years in China.

We came to Boston in September 2016. When we got here I always heard that MIT was a great place to work, and eventually I was able to temp here. It was a few months after moving to Boston, in January of 2017, that I started in LIDS as a temp. I was made a permanent member of the staff in February 2017.

When you're not at work, what do you do?

The majority of my time, because I work here part-time, I do volunteer work. But outside of that, what I do for fun is spend time with friends and family. I love to travel, whether it is back home for a visit or to a new destination to ex- perience new food, new languages or new cul- tures. I also really enjoy running. I’ve run a full marathon and a few half marathons. I just ran one in Boston (not THE Boston Marathon, though...even though that would be my dream!) and I’ll be doing the Buffalo marathon in May. I’m a fitness instructor at a gym, too. I teach a strength training class called Body Pump.

How do you like Boston and being at MIT?

My husband and I really enjoy Boston, it’s a great place. We’re enjoying all of the trails and paths around the Charles River and all of the beautiful scenery in all the types of weather. MIT has been great and LIDS has been awe- some — my co-workers, especially. I don’t think I could have landed a better temp position back in 2017. I’m very aware of what a good place to work LIDS is, and I feel very grateful to have such a good group of people to work with here.