Get to Know a LASPian: Kristin Gutierrez


Get to Know a LASPian: Kristin Gutierrez

Get to Know a LASPian is a Q&A profile series that features LASP employees and the work that they do. This fourth profile in the series highlights Kristin Gutierrez, who has worked at LASP since 2019, first as a business analyst on projects such as MAVEN and GOES. In January of 2021, Kristin shifted to the internal facing business operations team and is now a business operations financial analyst. In this new role, she works to encourage communication between divisions and develop transparency within the organization.

Kristin Gutierrez and her fiancé pictured with a lion in Solwezi, Zambia, where the couple met while volunteering with the Peace Corps. Credit: Kristin Gutierrez
Kristin Gutierrez and her fiancé pictured with a lion in Solwezi, Zambia, where the couple met while volunteering with the Peace Corps. Credit: Kristin Gutierrez

Q: Where did you grow up? As a child, what did you want to do or be when you grew up?

A: I grew up in Highlands Ranch, Colorado. When I grew up, I wanted to be a strong businesswoman.

Q: What is your educational background?

A: I have an undergraduate degree in finance and recently received my master’s in business administration.

Q: What’s the most interesting, unusual, or extraordinary experience you’ve had so far working for LASP?

A: The most interesting experience I have had so far at LASP is working on the ESCAPE proposal. There are very few opportunities where a business analyst can work so closely with people from all divisions, and it gave me a greater appreciation of how much our organization can accomplish.

Q: What advice would you give students interested in a similar career?

A: The advice I would give to students interested in a similar career is find an organization with a mission you believe in. You can be a financial analyst almost anywhere. The work is more meaningful, and you will feel more fulfilled, if you feel you are part of something important.

Q: What has been your biggest personal or professional challenge and how did you overcome it?

A: My biggest professional challenge is having people underestimate me. In a male-dominated industry, there is some unconscious bias that I usually have to overcome before I can earn my colleagues’ respect.

Q: What do you do for fun outside of work?

A: I enjoy hiking, reading, and playing board games.

Q: How long have you lived in Colorado and what are some of your most and/or least favorite things about living here?

A: Besides my undergraduate degree and my stint in the Peace Corps, I have lived in Colorado my entire life. My favorite thing about Colorado is the sun and never having to go more than a day or two with grey days.

Q: What would be your ultimate travel experience?

A: My ultimate travel experience would be spending several months to travel through Asia with my significant other.

Founded a decade before NASA, the Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics at the University of Colorado Boulder is on a mission to transform human understanding of the cosmos by pioneering new technologies and approaches to space science. LASP is the only academic research institute in the world to have sent instruments to every planet in our solar system. LASP began celebrating its 75th anniversary in April 2023.

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