Parama Sigurdsen

Parama Sigurdsen
Operations Manager at the WORLD Policy Analysis Center

Fielding School of Public Health

Parama is currently a member of the AMG Strategic Communications Committee.


What is your role at UCLA?
I am the Operations Manager at the WORLD Policy Analysis Center, Fielding School of Public Health.

Before joining UCLA, what was the most unusual or interesting job you’ve ever had?
Radio DJ!

How do you balance your career at UCLA and family?
My method of work is to get the job done, regardless of the time of the day. I can’t mentally disengage sharp at five. I either stay at work as long as needed, or continue work from home until I feel my work goal has been met. This can be a challenge in having a healthy family life. I try to strike a balance by reserving some hours every week, usually over the weekends, to unplug and go off-grid completely.

What was your first impression of UCLA?
My first encounter with UCLA coincides with my first encounter with LA. It was overwhelming and amazing at the same time. Coming from the east coast, it was quite an adjustment, but all positive! I love UCLA; it’s been a pleasure and privilege to be part of the Bruin family.

What’s your favorite aspect of your job?
I work in a research center that is the first in the world to develop globally comparative data that looks at what nations are doing to ensure health and wellbeing of their citizens. We create the evidence-base on which better and more effective policies can be formed. It’s very fulfilling to know that I am part of an organization that is contributing positively to make the world a better place.

Which day of the work week are you the most productive and why?
Mondays! After the restful weekend, I come in with a fresh set of eyes and high energy levels and often get a lot done. When deadlines permit, on Mondays I like to look over materials prepared in the previous week to ensure no detail has been overlooked.

What do you consider your greatest achievement? What is your proudest moment at UCLA?
Greatest achievement is still in my future! Proudest moment at UCLA is graduating from the PDP as part of the 2014-15 cohort.

If you could change one thing about UCLA, what would it be?
If I could change one thing, it would be to create more room for professional growth within individual departments or schools to make talent retention easier.

Tell us about someone who has mentored or influenced you the most in your career path. In what way did he/she/they shape your decisions?
Jackie Reynolds, the former Chief Information Officer at the Anderson School of Business and the recipient of the AMG EXCEL Award in 2014, has been an instrumental influence in my career at UCLA. She has shared her time and wisdom generously and helped me look within myself to determine what I want out of my life and work. The greatest advice I had from her is to be fierce, fair and kind. I aspire to embody those words in my everyday life. I hope I can make her proud one day!

What do you think is the most important quality you need to have for success in UCLA or in general?
Good work ethic, empathy, and willingness to learn new ways to do things.

What would you tell someone who is applying for a job in UCLA?
Go for it! You’ll be in great company.

How has AMG impacted your professional growth and development?
After the PDP, the most impactful association I have been a part of at UCLA is the AMG. It has helped broaden my professional network through programs like the ProShare Live, and helped me become a better leader through numerous panel series like the one on Adaptive Leadership. Keep ’em coming, AMG!

Share with us something about you that most people don’t know but you would like them to.
On my music app, I have songs in 6 different languages, and I listen to all of them.