Late Summer 2017
August 23, 2017
Nick came to the market research field after working in academic research. Nick graduated from the Master of Arts in the Social Sciences program at the University of Chicago. Before returning to school he worked as a social service provider.
What is it that you do on a daily basis?
As a Research Analyst for a market research firm, I spend my day helping financial services companies make decisions that will benefit them and their customers. It’s my job to help these companies think about the kinds of questions they need to ask in order to reach as many customers as possible and give customers the best possible experience. In order for banks and other financial services companies to decide what products to offer to the public, they need to know how (and which) people are currently using their services, what they like and don’t like about them, and what they may want in the future. These companies turn to market research firms like Mintel to understand their customers and how they are performing in the marketplace.
What do you like most about your job?
I came to the market research field after doing academic research for a few years. While I loved the work I was doing, I craved being able to work on projects that were a bit more tangible and real-world. Market research provides you with the opportunity to do very practical research, asking questions about why people act the way they do and making hypotheses about what they might do in the future.
How does someone become a successful market researcher?
The most important thing to have in order to be successful in a market research role is a strong sense of curiosity. You always have to think of good questions to ask and then have the drive to find out answers to those questions whatever it takes. Then, building on what you’ve discovered, you go out and ask more questions. It’s a never-ending process, but one that is almost always fascinating.
What advice would you give students considering a similar path?
My advice to students seeking a similar career path would be to take an interest in a wide variety of subjects. While math and science courses will give you the technical skills needed to do this kind of work, classes in the humanities will help you to develop the ability to think deeply about issues and will teach you how to look at things from many different perspectives. You need to not only have the skills to do the research, but also the ability to explain why it matters.