Agnes Mariakaki graduated from Deree in 1980. She is a psychologist and social researcher. Agnes received her M.A. in Organizational Psychology from the University of Lancaster.
In 1996, she founded MindSearch, a consumer research company that she still manages today. Agnes has conducted over 4,000 focus groups for over 300 brands and has supervised research in over ten countries.
She is the co-founder of the European Group for Applied Body Language. In addition, she is a Member of the Women in Business Committee of the American Hellenic Chamber of Commerce.
Q: What are three enduring values Deree has taught you?
Being an ever learner.
Critical thinking: to always integrate alternative points of view.
Restlessness: to always go beyond the obvious, as a scientist. To always strive for the deeper layer of understanding, that can make the difference in the results I seek.
Q: Describe Deree in three words.
Inclusive. Respectful. Openminded.
Q: Which is your fondest memory from your time at Deree?
Sitting on the lawn in front of the library and sharing stories and opinions with fellow students.
Q: What do you miss most from your days at Deree?
I miss the wide-eyed curiosity I had back then. Coming from a provincial town, Chania, Crete, I was filled with awe about everything. I wish I could recapture that special sense of wonder when experiencing something so new for me and so fulfilling.
Q: If you could go back in time, is there anything that you would do differently?
With the mindset of today, I would probably be more wild and less concerned about my grades.
Q: Where was your favorite spot on campus?
I have favorite memories, really, not favorite spots. I have fond, intimate memories of sharing, clashing, creating, playing and laughing everywhere on campus, especially on the corridors and staircases, rushing to and from classes.
Q: Who was your favorite teacher and why?
Dr. Nikoletseas helped me understand the ethos of a social scientist. Dr. Georgas inspired me endlessly. Ms. Constantine taught me journaling and writing habits that are still precious to me today.
Q: After graduation, have you maintained a relationship with your school and classmates?
Absolutely. I am privileged to be able to give back, enjoy the camaraderie with the school staff today, which fills my heart with joy. Several classmates are esteemed colleagues and friends who I admire in new ways today.
Q: Looking back, how did your time at Deree help you become the person you are today?
Deree was the first institution that truly nourished my creativity, inquisitive mind, and ability to be a self-starter. I also learned that as long as I kept asking interesting questions, there would be no barriers to what I could achieve.
Q: What advice would you give a new Deree student?
I would emphasize that it is all about two things: relationships and creative risk.
So, dare to connect with your classmates, the instructors and the staff. Dare to share with them, exchange and express yourself in this uniquely open-minded environment. Deree is the place where you can take the risk of being unconventionally creative with how you turn knowledge into projects and ideas that fuel your future.
Q: Where do you get your inspiration from?
I get my inspiration from people. Mentors, role models, young creators, unique unconventional individuals, risk takers, disruptors, innovators — they are all there in my turn-to list for inspiration, courage and stamina. But the inspiration that I value the most is silence… when I stop the clutter in my mind and listen in quietness to what my instincts tell me.
Q: What is your motto in life?
I do not have a motto in life. I have a mission, though… I am here to show respect and compassion to myself and others, connecting to the bliss of being alive.
ACG Alumni: We Stay Connected!