I have been in the market research industry for more than 10 years now. Wow 10 years! Time flew by really fast! I haven’t even realized it’s already been a decade!
As a bit of a background, I finished college with a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering. Took the boards twice, failed twice – all that fun history 😐. Honestly, I didn’t really take the course, much less the boards review, seriously. I winged both of them! I’d even go to as far as saying I was lucky I finished the degree in the first place! Pasang awa, really.
Of course, that’s for a totally blog post featuring a totally different story. I want to talk now about how I’ve come to love marketing research.
If you’re privy to my LinkedIn account, that by the way, is so gloriously updated 😁, you’d know I entered the industry first as a data collector for a quantitative market research program in Convergys. I would like to think I was good at the job, because I got two promotions while in the team – first to being a quality evaluator then eventually, as a supervisor. I managed survey projects for about 5 years, manned a team of data collectors and also facilitated trainings on the side. It was my first job and I thought that my progression in it was more than satisfactory. I enjoyed it, learned alot from it, and met so many people from the experience of it.
A total of 8 years in that program and I knew that it was time to move on. And so I met my current company!
I thought being in here, now for three years, has made my growing relationship with market research come full circle. While I did quant with CVG, this time I am working in qualitative! Though I do not actually do the research, I have been made familiar of alot of online research tools and it has introduced me, officially, to the vast expanse of the industry.
I also am happy to say that in those three years, I have been transitioned to several job responsibilities that further strengthened my skills in this field and allowed me to learn more about the job and the clientele that it serves. I was first a client services facilitator for about 6 months, then an account team manager and was quickly promoted to assistant delivery manager. My shifts from one post to another had been so challenging and fulfilling at the same time and they kept me motivated to always give it my all.
The primary reason why I was sent to the States a couple of months ago was for me to experience how it is attending marketing research events. That is, on top of me completing my training as an Operations Manager. It also was an opportunity for me to be in our company headquarters in New York, as well as for me to meet our American colleagues on that other side of the world.
We were scheduled to attend two major conferences – Quirk’s East in NYC and the IIEx Health in Philly. In between those two events, we were lucky to have been given a chance to attend a QRCA (Qualitative Research Consultants Association) NY chapter event in Columbus Circle, as well as a client visit and product presentation in the PA office of marketing research organization, Research Partnership US.
A presentation done at the QRCA event where the speaker talked about the many different kinds of leaders in an organization. This one particularly showed a profile similar to that of The Devil Wears Prada’s Miranda Priestly.
I feel so privileged to have been able to meet alot of people in these events. And to have been given a chance to speak to event attendees, prospective and current clients, moderators and consultants, competitors, industry experts and all our other service vendors. On top of that, I was also allowed to attend some of the event sessions that talked about industry innovations, product developments and new and different approaches to doing research and gathering customer insights. The experiences were truly one for the books!
So why do I love MR, particularly qual, you ask?
- It forces, er allows, the introvert in me to be an extrovert.
- Asking questions and getting answers fascinate me.
- I love how fun it is to pick someone’s brain and get their thoughts on things.
- The fact, that in research, there are no right or wrong answers, and so this encourages free expression and discourse. No room for someone to judge that an idea is wrong.
- It makes me talk, talk and talk. Which is what I love doing the most, well at least, professionally. Ordinary days, and it’s a different story altogether.
I am so looking forward to exploring this industry more, and increasing my knowledge of it exponentially as the years go by. There are certainly alot of ways to go from here! I did data collection, now handling technology for online qual; I don’t think there’s anything stopping me from being a moderator eventually! I have also been thinking about learning new languages to make myself a resouce for more global MR services. Who knows?
Perhaps one day, my other dream of being in the UK, maybe even in Amsterdam, can be realized. The same way my NY-American dream did.
One thing’s certain. The possibilities are endless. So stay tuned. 😊