Say hello to another Babe from my Skimm'bassador squad via theSkimm. Christina was one of the first ladies to reach out, introduce herself and offer some words of hustlin' Babe encouragement after the launch of Babes Who Hustle. When I noticed she works in the tech industry, I pretty much commanded her to tell me all about what she does. (Guilty #TechNewb.) Thankfully, I can now make myself sound way smarter than I actually am next time I talk to a fellow UX Researcher and/or someone from the tech scene in general. I think it's pretty cool that Christina has her degree in Contemporary Arts and now heads the UX Research department at a successful NYC startup. To me, there's honestly nothing more Babe-like than that. #BestOfBothWorlds.
Hometown: Saddle Brook, NJ Current city: Manhattan, NYC Alma mater: Ramapo College of New Jersey Degree: Contemporary Arts with Concentrations in Media, Marketing, and Education Hustle: Director of UX Research at Noom Inc. / Freelance UX Consultant
Babe you admire and why? There are so many women who have had an impact on who I am for different reasons. My mom, my nana, my boss Stacy, Mindy Kaling, Beyonce, etc, etc, etc.
What do you do in your free time? I like going to Upright Citizens Brigade(UCB) for comedy shows, trying out new cooking or baking recipes, taking workout classes (305 Fitness is my favorite), kayaking, exploring New York City, and freelancing on the side.
3 things we can always find in your fridge? Whole wheat wraps, eggs, and wine.
Go-to coffee order? Tall skinny iced caramel macchiato. I have pretty terrible taste in coffee. If it doesn't taste like dessert, I don't want anything to do with it.
Tell us about your hustle: I work atNoom Inc. as the head of our UX (UserExperience) Research team. Noom is a wellness startup that creates app-based programs to help tackle weight loss and chronic health conditions. I conduct research to help us understand the behaviors of our users, and in turn create experiences that will best solve their problems. I like to think of myself as the translator between the internal tech teams who design our app, and those on the other end who actually use it. In my spare time, I also work as a freelance UX consultant, giving others feedback on the usability and user-friendliness of their websites and applications.
What does your typical workday look like? I typically get to the office around 9:30am, and my mornings are spent analyzing survey responses and notes from user interviews, running experiments on different screens of our app, and preparing for any upcoming interviews or test sessions. Next comes one of my favorite things: we have an in-house chef who prepares lunch for our entire team each day. Around 12:15, we all pause to sit down and eat "as a family". It definitely makes us closer and helps the team to be that much more focused and productive once the mental break of lunch is over.
The afternoon is typically spent in meetings with product managers, designers and members of our marketing team; conducting phone interviews with users, and running in-person test sessions to ensure that upcoming features are user-friendly. I usually head out around 6:30pm, hit up a workout class, then binge watch The Office.
Favorite part about your job: Getting to be the advocate for our users. When you work closely on a tech product, it can be hard to picture the individuals on the other end of the screen, and what it is they need. I really love that I'm the person at my company who is tasked with having those people top-of-mind, empathizing with them and helping our team understand them better.
What motivates you every day? I started at Noom as an intern after college, and a few months later became a full time UX Researcher. For the next few years, I worked hard to constantly improve. It paid off a few months ago, when I was promoted to Head of Department. That being said, what motivates me is the desire to prove myself in my new leadership role. Since I've been entrusted with of responsibility at a young age, I want to show that I am not only capable of handling it, but will excel and deliver high quality work every time. When I used to do my homework as a kid, my mom always told me to take pride in anything I put my name on, and I am still motivated by that when I get into work each day.
What do you hope for your future? I'd like to have a family at some point down the road, but for now, I'm very happy being a free and selfish 20-something. Professionally, I'd like to still be in a role where I'm able to impact the creation of a product that improves the lives of users - either by continuing to research first-hand, or to use my experience to bring a deeper understanding of users to the forefront of decision-making as a Product Manager. Regardless of specific role, I am most passionate about building experiences that have a real impact on others.
Career advice for other women? 1. Listen to your gut. Before starting my internship at Noom, I was hesitant to commute daily to NYC from home in New Jersey, but something told me I needed to do it anyway. If I hadn't listened to my instincts, I have no idea where my career would be right now.
2. Take every opportunity to learn new skills, even ones that might not seem relevant. You never know when something will come in handy in the future, or will give you an edge up in a future role.
3. Always take notes.Carry a notebook with you everywhere, and write down every single thing. The things you're sure you'll remember without notes will be fuzzy a few days down the road. Attention to detail is the difference between someone who's good and someone who's great.