In her role as a financial analyst for the Department of Psychology, Flora Beri Simo Sunjo is responsible for networking with others, hiring for labs, providing complex analysis and troubleshooting.
“During the pandemic, I have had to schedule Zoom meetings with Flora to process the Psychology recruitments," said Alisha French, a human resources analyst for CHASS. "She is always eager to learn and has a positive attitude when faced with multiple tasks that are rapidly changing.”
“Flora is such a pleasure to work with," said Jay Melashenko, a financial administrative officer for the Department of Psychology. "I, along with the faculty and staff in the department, appreciate her support with hiring, reporting, and grant assistance.”
Do you prefer an online or in-person environment when it comes down to your daily tasks, and why?
I am very much a people person and so I love interacting in person when working professionally. But an online working environment has also had a lot of advantages for me as a working mom and family person. I still get to interact with my teammates on our weekly Zoom meetings and on Teams and they are also just a phone call away if you need to clarify any issues. So I think having a combination of the two would be ideal for me.
How long have you been a financial analyst and do you see this as a long-term career?
I have been a Financial Analyst for 10 years. My career has spanned diverse industries from the airline industry to oil and gas and now higher education and I’ve loved every minute. Being a Financial Analyst suit my outgoing personality of meeting people from diverse backgrounds and disciplines, and working collaboratively to meet organizational objectives. Often, I have to communicate with people who do not have a finance background and so it is always a nice challenge to break down information to them in a way that doesn’t go over their heads and still keeps them engaged enough in understanding and participating in their financial and operational outcomes.
How do you think being a financial analyst in the psychology department is different from being one for another department?
Our department is fairly large with almost 40 faculty, some of whom have large multi-million dollar grants so we do tend to have some unique and fairly challenging problems.
What is your favorite aspect of the job?
Communicating with faculty members to help them understand their options and limitations with respect to their funding sources. When they have a good grasp of this, it helps them to manage and expand their funds judiciously without any need for excessive retroactive corrections and transfers.
What’s the career highlight you are most proud of?
Helping to set up a finance department in a newly restructured natural gas company that was moving from the exploration phase to the production and distribution phase. I played a key role in setting up our financial reporting framework for regular operations and projects as well as internal control processes.
What do you like to do for fun?
I love to read and research facts about things I hear in everyday life. I also love to engage in a good debate with a friend or family member about a topic we care about.
What are three words that you would use to describe yourself? And why?
Smart, dependable, go-getter.
I believe in nurturing my God-given talents and honing my skills to better myself and those around me. I also try to be a person whose word can be counted on. If I commit to something, I make sure that I see it through to the end. And lastly, I try to have a can-do attitude in every aspect of my life. I try not to dwell on the things that are not working. Instead, I try to make the best of every situation and move on with my life.
What is something that you are looking forward to?
I am looking forward to watching my tomatoes and strawberries flourish and grow so that I can harvest them. Last year, I tried growing a few from seedlings but they didn’t do so well. This year, it looks like the plants I got from Home Depot will do well and I’m excited.
What's a cool/fun fact about you?
I love to sing and dance. I recently acquired a karaoke mic and every now and then I’ll crank up some instrumental of a song that I love and turn my living room into a stage. One of these days, I will have a concert with my twin daughters as my backup dancers.