Get to Know the People Science Team: Alice Wastag
Title: Senior People Science Consultant
Residence: Ann Arbor, Michigan, home of my alma mater, the University of Michigan (Go, Blue!). It’s a bit cold for me these days, so I’m always on the lookout for opportunities to go to warmer climates.
Hometown: I grew up in Metro Detroit but was born in Cracow, Poland. We left Cracow for Paris when I was six months old. When I was two and a half years old, we moved to Detroit, and I’ve stayed around ever since. My only other stint was in San Diego, where I lived for four years before and during grad school.
Alice Wastag was on her way to becoming a physical therapist when she discovered industrial-organizational psychology as an undergraduate. She was hooked once she learned that she could play with data to uncover new insights.
On Glint’s People Science team, Alice specializes in culture. She has spent a decade partnering with organizations to understand, monitor, and evolve their culture—work that relies heavily on leadership development. She helps leaders identify where their strengths and areas of opportunity align with those of their organization.
“As we know, leaders are incredibly important and impactful in shaping and reinforcing the culture of an organization,” she says.
Learn more about Alice’s work and life:
What’s your motivation for doing what you do?
The people I work with—including my co-workers and customers—are a top motivation. I love learning, and my favorite way to learn is by spending time with smart, fun, talented people. It energizes me. Some of my longest and best personal relationships started in a work or school context and generally last longer than with those I never worked with.
What has been a big learning moment in your career?
I once read a quote that really resonated with me and summed up a big learning—it was along the lines of, “You can’t help but being influenced by your environment, but you can choose the environment you put yourself in.” It was a great reminder that some things are within our control while others are not. And while most situations are a mix of both, being able to identify what is really within your control to change (and making changes if needed!) was a big learning for me.
What’s your top tip?
Figure out what’s really important to you and prioritize that as much as you can in your life. There will always be lots of demands on our time and energy. There will always be people who will pressure us to do things differently. If we could do a better job maintaining perspective on what really matters, we’d do a better job focusing on our priorities, and be less likely to regret our decisions later on.
What was your first job?
I worked at a food concession stand on the beach during the summer break. Food service was a tough job, and I learned it wasn’t for me, but it opened some doors to come back for the next four summers to work other jobs.
How many cups of coffee do you drink per day?
I’m glad the doctor doesn’t ask this question or they might say I have a problem. Some days I drink coffee until my stomach hurts! It’s probably not the best thing for me upon further reflection. I’d say easily three cups before noon and probably one or two cups in the afternoon.
What do you like to do outside of work?
I really like being outside when the weather is nice, and I like being physically active. As long as it’s nice out, I’m willing to do just about anything. I will actually do house chores (even when it’s not my house!) if it gets me outside on a nice day. I’ve been found pulling weeds for friends and family just to be in the sun. My ideal is probably like most people—a great hike, a day at the beach, or an adventure on a boat. I love getting out and exploring new places.