When Kayla joined the Smarty Pants team in the summer of 2021, she brought academic pedigree, a wealth of applied research experience and a passion for understanding consumer mindsets.
Kayla began her academic journey at California State Polytechnic University, Pomona, where she earned a B.A. in Psychology with a minor in International Business Marketing. She then completed her Master of Science in Applied Psychology at the University of Southern California. Committed to lifelong learning, Kayla is currently earning her Ph.D. in Organizational Behavior at Claremont Graduate University.
Kayla’s academic life has been filled with unique Research Assistant positions that have provided her the opportunity to conduct research on topics ranging from depression to memory to inequality. Her master’s thesis, for example, was entitled: Why So Subtle: The Effects of Microaggressions in Ethnically Dissimilar Supervisor-Subordinate Dyads, a study analyzing the emotional and mental effects of microaggressions on minority subordinates.
Outside of the classroom, Kayla developed her market research skills while conducting drug trials at a major pharmaceutical company. Her involvement spanned data collection, analysis and project management. She then became a founding member of the market research and design team at LA-based Pioneer Industries. In addition to conducting primary consumer research to understand brand awareness and product needs, Kayla played a key role as a market analyst and trend spotter.
As an Insights Whiz at Smarty Pants, Kayla does everything from crafting moderator guides to leading focus groups to coding data. She is particularly gifted at developing insights-rich reports, ensuring research helps companies better understand their consumers and market position.
Further, Kayla vowed at the commencement of her research career to push for greater diversity among research participants and to amplify the voices of multicultural consumers. Her Smarty Pants work consistently reflects this commitment – from sample representation to end deliverable.
Born and raised in southern California, Kayla resides just outside of Los Angeles with her family and furry friends. In her free time, she can be found curling up with a good book or writing fictional stories and poems.