Tell us about yourself.
I am a Financial Planning Analyst for Higher Ground, and a lot of the work I do deals with analyses, creating financial statements and recognizing revenue that comes in from our campuses. I’ve also been working on salary increases, creating budget factors for all of our Higher Ground campuses. It feels good to directly support the campuses in a way that positively and directly impacts the students. I know I’m providing value to the team.
How did you discover Montessori?
I was raised through the public school system and went to a public college, so I hadn’t heard about Montessori pedagogy until I got to Higher Ground, but it’s really fascinating to me. I was able to tour one of our Guidepost campuses and was fascinated by how the children have their own autonomy and independence. I didn’t discover that kind of independent mindset until college!
How does Montessori philosophy inspire your daily life?
I feel more proactive. Montessori is a shift in mentality that can affect your daily life decisions, especially in the workplace, and, for me, it makes me want test out ideas more and learn from my mistakes. There’s also a lot of autonomy at Higher Ground. Even when I was doing the salary increase project, I was given full reign on how to design the tools I’m going to give to the campuses. Even though I originally felt pressure, once I rewired my mindset, it became a really fun learning process, and that felt really great.
What have you learned from your time working at Higher Ground thus far?
Everyone at Higher Ground is a go-getter. They’re very brilliant and very smart and capable people. The sense of independence here is great, but so is the collaboration. I think everyone here brings to the organization different types of skillsets, and then we all learn from each other.
I also think this is a problem-solving culture. Everyone here wants to solve, make things better, do their best and make sure that the organization is the best it can be. On our financial team, for example, we work together to make sure we have the best and greatest systems in place to do our reporting. And that is the type of work that began with a small conversation, but once you open up that kind of problem-solving dialogue, anything is possible. And that’s because everyone is so willing to improve on their work and invest in it, which makes it a really enjoyable place to work.
What do you enjoy most about working with your teammates?
Due to the nature of financial work, some days are more heavy on certain types of things than others. There’s time for independent thinking and creativity, and then there’s time for collaboration and dialogue. It's the best of both worlds.
Our work is very investigative and looking at patterns and trends — a lot of thinking and solving — but then we come together and talk things out, and between the accounting and finance teams, we support one another very well in that.
What are your passions, hobbies, and interests?
I enjoy traveling a lot. I want to see as much as I can in the world! I’m actually going to Japan for the first time in October. A few friends of mine and I will spend a week in Tokyo and Osaka.
I’m also running my first half-marathon this fall, the Long Beach Marathon. I’m running with a couple of my buddies, and they’re training way better than me! I’m probably going to huff and puff my way to the finish line, but I know it’s going to be a really great experience.