Research Assistant, Naomi Trinh shares what she’s learnt in her first year in Market Research in her first LinkedIn article.
The transition from a university lifestyle to a 9-5 gig in the real world can be a daunting experience. But as a recent graduate myself, I’m here to assure you that there is a bright light at the end of that long scary tunnel, and it’s definitely worth it in the end.
I completed my Bachelor degree in 2017, and landed a full-time position at Bastion Latitude, an independent market research agency, in early 2018. It’s been an interesting journey, so I thought I’d share with you what I’ve learnt over the past year or so…
- You’ll learn and use skills you wouldn’t have attained at university
When I look back at university, I think of the lengthy deadlines for assignments, the quality time spent with a never-ending stack of assignments and exams. Something I definitely did not anticipate was for my time management to seriously be put to the test once I started full-time work. It’s nothing new that agency life is fast-paced. Multiple projects roll in at once and turnovers can be as quick as 24 hours. Being part of a reactive culture has enabled me to manage my time much more effectively – it’s sink or swim and managing your time is vital!
- Problem-solving is all in a day’s work – and I love it!
Another skill that I’ve developed in my first year is problem-solving. In the world of in-house market research, many issues and complications can arise. Anything from programming a survey, troubleshooting data software to making sure participants have access to qualitative discussions. These complexities allow you to look at situations and think of how best you can solve the problem for the best possible outcome for the client.
- You’ll be exposed to multiple industries at once
No two days are the same. One of the many advantages of working in an agency is the exposure to not only different types of research methodologies but to different clients in multiple industries. I’ll find myself working on a project about postal services on one day, and about cosmetics on the next. I find that this kind of exposure keeps you up-to-date on what’s new or trending in each industry that you’re working with.
- You’ll learn in your first year that…
“Without data, you’re just another person with an opinion”, as said by W.Edwards Deming, and “without a coherent model of human behaviour, you’re just another guy with data”, as said by Eaon Pritchard.
In order to be successful, the secret is combining the two as data ≠ insights… Add them together and the outcome will provide you with a deeper and more meaningful understanding of any research objective given to you.
- You’ll learn that market research is more than focus groups and surveys
Sure, traditional research methodologies are tried and tested and deliver outcomes. But what I am passionate about is using new technologies and emerging methodologies to explore the customer’s journey and the user’s experiences. We understand the culture, social and behavioural motives, to help develop brand communications. Our job as researchers is to be insightful in the reports we deliver to our clients rather than being descriptive. It’s about what the data is telling us and how it all adds up to the bigger picture. As we Latituders like to say, it’s “discovering why and uncovering how”.
- You’ll form lifelong friendships
For my last and most important point… you’ll form friendships that will last a lifetime. You’ll come to discover that work isn’t just a job, but it’s also working alongside those that inspire you and that you can call friends. I’m very fortunate to have had the pleasure to land myself into a workplace where the people and culture are nothing short of great.