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Blue Wheel Fast Fives: Larsa Viola

Blue Wheel Fast Fives: Larsa Viola

“This is the worst birthday ever.”

When we (virtually) sat down with Larsa to get to know her, it was actually her birthday. And the last thing she wanted to do was be filmed.

“I hate attention, so this is like the worst day for me,” she laughs. “Sorry, I’m so dramatic.”

But, for all her saying that she hates attention, Larsa was a total natural on camera. Her smile, which she might have characterized as nervous, shone through the screen, and her laugh was so bright and cheery that you couldn’t help but smile too.

Larsa is a product designer at Blue Wheel, which she describes as “shaping the best experience for users.” She primarily works on Companion, our advanced Amazon advertising technology.

But imagine my surprise when Larsa offhandedly mentioned that she had been planning to get a graduate degree in architectural engineering. “I loved the idea of building something from the ground up, but once I got into grad school, I was crushed that I didn’t have the same passion for it as everyone else.”

The advice she would have given herself during that hard time? “Take a deep breath and trust that it’s never too late to change your career. I felt like I had wasted years of my life and it caused an immense amount of anxiety and fear of failure. Looking back, that career change was one of the best decisions I have ever made.” (And hey, Larsa, we’re sure glad you changed careers too!)

In her new chosen career path, she received a lot of good advice — and some advice that was… not so good. The worst piece of “advice” she ever received?

“‘Like what you do and you’ll never work a day in your life.’ It’s so important to know that you can have a passion for what you do but also admit that not all projects or assignments you have are going to spark joy. Making yourself believe that liking your line of work should result in it not feeling like work isn’t a fair standard to live by.”

Outside of work, Larsa is a cat mom and self-proclaimed ghost enthusiast. That title gave everyone on the call pause — ghost enthusiast?

“I’m not sure I would say I believed in ghosts had I not had paranormal experiences myself, but I have to say I absolutely believe in them.”

Everyone immediately unmuted and demanded to hear at least one of her scary true stories, and Larsa delivered with possibly the scariest sentence we’d ever heard: “My husband and I both heard my voice coming from our house when I was not speaking.”

A collective gasp went around the video call. Larsa just smiled and laughed. “Let me know when we start a Blue Wheel ghost spotlight podcast and I can tell some more stories.”

BRB, we’re starting an Are You Afraid of the Dark reboot right now just so we can talk to Larsa more. Not really, but maybe we should.

Want to work with fellow ghost enthusiasts like Larsa? We’re hiring!

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