Studying North Korean defectors

While I was a student at Williams College, I won a fellowship and got the opportunity to conduct independent research of North Korean defectors’ lives in South Korea. I traveled to South Korea and spoke with defectors as well as people in government who were charged with helping them with the transition. North Koreans who defect to South Korea often have a long, rocky adjustment period. The countries share the same language, but the societies function in totally different ways.

 

Disruptive innovation

During college, I read some of [Innosight co-founder] Clay Christensen’s writing on disruptive innovation. What stood out to me was the potential of lower-end products to disrupt higher-end products by making things more convenient for consumers. The importance of looking at consumers in terms of what they’re actually trying to do — understanding their “jobs-to-be-done” — as opposed to just adding bells and whistles to existing products. I majored in sociology, so studying how new products, services, etc., are making an impact throughout society is really interesting to me.

 

The appeal of Innosight

One of my college internships was at a market research firm. I was part of a group called the Emerging Media Lab, which looked at new modes of research and insights that more closely resembled consumer behavior “in the wild.” This group drew from a different set of data that was shared organically on social media, rather than being gathered through traditional market research projects like questionnaires. While working behind the scenes in developing a new solution, I began to think more about what it takes for a large company to nurture new technologies and solutions. One reason I was drawn to Innosight is that we not only examine growth opportunities in the future and create new products, but also work closely with clients to establish new business units and capabilities to seize their future potential.

 

Health care and much more

I’ve worked with a number of health care clients at Innosight. In terms of disruptive innovation, there are a lot of lower-end disruptions that are making innovations accessible to people who otherwise might not be able to afford them. For example, we’ve looked at ways to shift reimbursements from fee-for-service to a value-based model. That kind of thing resonates with me because it’s about democratizing innovations. I’ve also worked with clients in other industries that I never would have dreamed of a few years ago, like technology and aerospace. I really like the diversity of the work here.

 

Singer and instrumentalist

I was in an all-female acapella group in college. It was like the “Pitch Perfect” movies, and all the clichés that come with those. Even today, music is still a part of my life. I play a little piano and ukulele, and write songs in my spare time — something that some of my co-workers don’t know about! I like singing — jazz, folk, indie, pop, any variation of power ballads, like “My Heart Will Go On,” by Celine Dion.