“I’ve always been interested in psychology and human expression. Connecting and discovering people’s desires, goals, and emotions is great for me. From the age of thirteen, until the age of 21St Birthday, I studied multiple dance disciplines and found the freedom to express myself through ballet, jazz, lyric, hip-hop and tap. She has taught and trained at several dance academies across Australia, including Dance World Studios, based in Melbourne and Brent Street in Sydney. My plan was to move to North Hollywood to continue my training at the Millennium Dance Complex and Debbie Allen Dance Academy while working as a choreographer and performer.
However, after graduating from Brent Street, I decided I needed a break from dancing. I’ve had multiple injuries over the years and the physical demands are really starting to affect my mental health. I was away from family and friends for what felt like an eternity. It was time for a change, and it was also at this time that my interest in psychology and neuroscience began to peak. I decided to take a vacation to the United States. This was when I first met my future husband. A year later, we got married, and decided to move to Logan, Utah, where he taught at school in Utah. At that time, I decided to switch to finance. When I tell people this, they are often surprised, they don’t think that dance, psychology, and finance have anything in common. But for me, numbers and spreadsheets are just another form in which I can express myself, while at the same time exploring other people’s perspectives and goals. Financial information is a window into what people really value. Not only does it show you what people want, but if you pay close attention you can discover why they want what they want, something only a very curious expert like me would appreciate.
Now, while I work at the university as the CFO of Marketing and University Liaison, I believe my job is not just to process numbers, and more to help people find and achieve their goals within a budget. My role allows me to take a strategic approach, allowing me to observe from a bird’s-eye view how the university operates and what values it drives, as well as learn about the faculty and understand their priorities.
I am originally from New Zealand, and the culture there is very family oriented. Your family members are not only your blood relatives, but all the people you interact with. We often joke that we Kiwis are never sure who our blood relatives are and who aren’t because a complete stranger will become “family” in a matter of days. While working here, I try to share that culture and perspective with others. Each of us at U, faculty, staff, and students, are connected to our work with this great organization, and we have a responsibility to lift each other up to achieve our goals.
One of the reasons I took on my role here was to make a difference in the lives of the students, and to help make sure their experience was enjoyable. Students should not only learn in their own classroom, but also have dynamic and engaging learning experiences outside of the classroom. One of my mom’s favorite quotes that she used to tell us all the time was, “Don’t let education get in the way of your education.” I take this advice very seriously and, in my role, try to foster and develop a university that fosters a multifaceted learning experience that puts students and their development first. I would love to be part of an organization that values that.”
– Nakaya Stocki, CFO of Marketing and University Communications