Meet Maria!

  • Current position: Junior POPS coordinator
  • Currently hanging out in: Venezuela
  • Passions, loves & hobbies: Exercising, outdoors, deep love and enjoyment of running, making people smile, listening to music 24/7 
  • Thankful for: supportive and loving family, being able to make a difference in people’s lives
  • Amazing traits that stick out: Vibrant, thoughtful, helpful, present, adaptable, caring

Let’s get to know Maria. This amazing person is proud of/that/for:

Growing up moving around the world, Maria has a deeper, wider understanding of what it is to be a human on this planet. 

Since she was very little, she and her family moved and traveled a lot due to her dad’s job as an oil engineer. This gave her the chance to live in different countries, cities, and experience different cultures than her own. That installed and expanded the ability she had to increase her level of acceptance and patience for all human beings – different backgrounds, cultures, customs, traits, lifestyles, faiths, etc. Everyone is unique, special, and we should appreciate and value our differences. This helps us grow as a world society, make us better as beings on this planet we all share. 

Create deep and lasting relationships while working remotely.

Working at Bunny Studio was the first remote work experience for Maria, and my oh my was it a big eye-opener. Always having made and maintained relationships in person, this was new, exciting, a nerve-wracking territory that was way out of her comfort zone. Being placed in the front of a virtual room to present when being new was also a tad bit stressful – after all, she didn’t really know anyone well and what would they think? This experience, and really this position, was really about transitioning into a new way of being. Adapting, being flexible, and determined to not only make connections but to make them valuable and valued, Maria used her “ok, let’s do this” attitude to truly do just that. How? By making people feel seen, feel heard, knowing they can reach out to her whenever they need to, being a resource in any way she can when she can, and knowing that she’s truly there for them. All of these things can be a challenge when in person, so while doing these and being fully remote can be even more unique. What a blessing that Maria is just as unique. If you ever need an ear or a smile, you know where to go.

Pivoting to another role due to the pandemic, and rocking it. 

Before the pandemic hit, Maria was all into the recruitment side of life, scouting and bringing aboard the best talent. Then the pandemic hit, and everything changed. Recruitment halted, and the comfort zones bubbles began to expand. She was given the social media to manage and leaped right into it. If you haven’t managed social media, you’ll be very surprised to find there’s a lot that goes into it, and it’s not easy work. With just as much logistics needed as creativity, it takes much more time than you’d ever expect it to. Maria not only took on a project that hadn’t been active for a long time – social media had been dormant for a long while – but she rejuvenated it. The company Instagram went from roughly 700 followers to a little over 1,700 within a span of months. The consistency and know-how that takes to raise that number by 1,000 are, well, amazing. Whatever project Maria gets into is sure to be better with her steady, continuous, and uplifting presence.

Making a difficult academic decision that would change the course of her life after heavily investing a significant amount of time, effort, and money.

When Maria was growing up, she wanted to be a doctor and shine light where there may be darkness, changing lives for the better. She followed that path all throughout her life, with supportive parents telling her she could be whatever she chose to be along the entire journey. Inside, she put pressure on herself to be the perfect student, the perfect daughter, the perfect person in society’s eyes. The inner pressure only grew when after she was already in university on her way to actually becoming a doctor, when she realized that it wasn’t what she truly wanted. She wanted to study psychology. The pressure only built, every day becoming an internal and external struggle, asking herself why she was doing this. It took 10 months for her to finally make the decision that would change her trajectory: she left med school. Most didn’t understand, and there were many explanations made. At the end of it all, when it boils down to it, follow your own road to happiness. Though it may be hard sometimes, it will most certainly be most satisfying to the soul. 

The thesis for her psych degree.

Writing/creating a thesis is a challenge, no doubt about it. In this case, there was a thesis jury that decided her fate. Maria’s thesis itself was on the young population of Venezuela and how they were doing mentally, given the current climate in the country. They took people ages 16-25 and gave them a psychological test that could not only evaluate the plans and feelings about their future but also diagnose depression. How were the young people adjusting? What did they expect was going to happen next? It can be hard to imagine a future when you’re 18 and just graduating in a country facing so many struggles right in front of you. What do you do? The test results?? Hope. Hope was the prevailing message that came through. They’re hopeful that change is going to come and hopeful that it will come, knowing that it just may take some time. Even in difficult times, they’ll find happiness, and hold on to hope. And as for the thesis jury? They approved and accepted her thesis, making this an all-around success.

Golden Nuggets: Appreciate each day! Start your day being grateful for at least 3 things (even if it’s a just good cup of coffee).