Q & A with Amanda Maass!

Posted November 27, 2019 By Amanda Maass

What is your role at ILLUME?

I’m a Senior Research Analyst. I mostly do qualitative work, like in-depth interviews and ride-alongs, to inform market research efforts and better understand the customer experience.

Where are you from and where do you live now?

I’m from and am currently located in Tucson, Arizona (aka the Old Pueblo). I have a deep love for Southern Arizona and its landscapes; it’s intense and harsh, but to me, that just amplifies the beauty and makes the many hidden treasures more special.

Do you have any pets?

You bet I do. I have a black cat named Snap Dragon, or Snappy for short. And she’s purr-fect. I also love dogs but know that I don’t have the time to give one the attention it deserves at this point in my life. Plus, I don’t want to upset Malie – my mom’s black lab, who I grew up with and is my kindred spirit – by making her feel like she has been replaced, which could never happen but she’s a dog and doesn’t know that.

What’s the worst job you’ve ever had?

Testing pressure valves. I worked at a manufacturing company in high school and we tested mechanical valves to make sure they released and resealed at specific pressures. It felt especially horrible because there was only one way you could do it, whereas other jobs – like assembling the valves – were better because you could create games and figure out the most efficient processes for completing the task. But, testing valves was SO repetitive – one by one, all day long, the same way every time.

What is your superpower?

Dishwashing – I love it and I’m good at it. I find it very therapeutic and satisfying to wash dishes, especially during parties, in part because it’s an excellent excuse to break from socializing and entertaining.

If you could have chosen another career path, what would you be doing?

Before joining the energy efficiency industry, I was on track to become a city planner with a particular interest in transportation planning. I got into urban planning because (1) I love the broad range of topics and issues it deals with, and (2) I enjoy the puzzle of connecting the dots between different complex issues to try and understand the root causes and develop possible solutions. Although there is a lot of bureaucracy – something we can feel in the energy efficiency industry – planning felt like a way for me to directly affect change in my community and advocate for those who aren’t always heard.

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