Team Spotlight with Allie Pierce
Get to know the people behind the insights in our Team Spotlight series. We sit down with employees throughout the firm to learn about their experiences, background, and what makes them tick. In this edition, we chat with Allie Pierce who is a Data Scientist for our Decision Sciences & Innovation group and is located in Charlotte, North Carolina. She has been with KS&R since 2021 and has her Ph.D. in Psychology – Cognitive Neuroscience from the University of South Carolina. Gain deeper insights into what brings Allie happiness, her superpower of choice, her proudest accomplishment, and more in this Q&A.
What do you enjoy most about being part of the KS&R team?
One of my favorite things about being part of the KS&R team is the people that I work with. Since I’m on the Marketing Sciences Group (MSG), I work very closely with not only the other team members of MSG but also with team members across all of our industry verticals. Everyone is always so collaborative and supportive. I love learning new things, and I feel like I am always learning something new from all of the different industry experts I get to work with every day!
How did you end up at KS&R?
It’s an interesting story – until I started working at KS&R, I’d always worked in research within the academic world. I was previously a research scientist in the field of cognitive neuroscience, and I also taught university-level statistics courses. From early on in my career, I knew I loved statistics and the data side of things. During my master’s degree, one of the first courses that I was the TA for was a graduate statistics course where our other Data Scientist in MSG, Mikaela Priest, was one of the students! We did our master’s program together and then went on to get our Ph.D.’s at different universities, but we stayed in contact, as we would occasionally run into each other at conferences and such over the years. One day she messaged me and told me about the great team she worked with and that there was an open position for a Data Scientist. I was currently looking for positions outside of academia, so the timing was perfect! I was so excited at the prospect of getting to work with my friend again and with such a great group of people that I immediately applied. The rest is history!
What brings you great joy in your life?
I’m pretty obsessed with my two English bulldogs, Luther and Ava. My husband and I take them with us almost everywhere. They are like children to us. Whether it’s watching them run around and play at the dog park or snuggling with them on the couch, they bring me so much happiness!
What is your proudest accomplishment?
My education. I was the first generation in my family to go to college, which meant graduating college with an undergraduate degree was a big accomplishment in itself. So, when I finished my Ph.D. (several, long years later), it was a proud moment for both me and my family.
If you could choose one superpower, what would it be and why?
Call me crazy, but I would love to be able to hear what animals are thinking (specifically my bulldogs)! I would want to know what, if anything, is going on inside their heads – is it just elevator music all day or are they secretly super smart and sitting there contemplating the meaning of life?
What is your favorite childhood memory?
When I was growing up, my dad and I would play Nintendo games together after school. We would play Mario and sometimes I would get to stay up late on a school night so we could try to beat the castle at the end of a level (there was no saving your progress back then!). After the release of N64, I have many fond memories of our entire family engaging in Mario Kart races against each other and having a lot of fun. I guess those memories were pretty influential because now my husband and I regularly break out those old gaming systems and play Mario on lazy Saturdays!
Aside from necessities, what is one thing you could not go a day without?
Coffee. My brain isn’t fully awake until I’ve had at least a cup or two in the mornings.
Would you rather live on the beach or in a cabin in the woods?
I’d rather live on a beach for sure! I lived in a beach town for a couple of years during grad school and I loved it! It was always so relaxing to go unwind and sit in the sand and just watch the waves crash on the beach.