Meet Marie Mondou, a Research Manager at Edelman DxI.
What does a typical day in the life of a Research Manager look like?
There isn't really a typical day, no two days are the same and that’s what makes this job exciting!
As a Research Manager, I manage a variety of projects, across a portfolio of clients and different subject areas, which often combine multiple methodologies, from primary (quantitative or qualitative) to secondary research.
On some days, I will be helping a client understand the diversity and inclusion topic within the beauty and personal care industry, on other days, I will be supporting a healthcare company build trust amongst its consumers or uncovering compelling insights around how parents and children play during the pandemic… it’s pretty varied!
What three skills do you think are essential to fulfil your role?
First, curiosity and empathy. In our role, we need to analyse data, but, to truly understand data, we need to understand the context, the values and intentions around data. When I was younger, I wanted to be a journalist but when I was at uni, I heard about market research, and became passionate about it for the same reason that I was interested in journalism: I wanted to study and investigate people for a living.
Then, organisation. Organisational skills are crucial to make sure that you are on top of your projects as we work in a fast-paced environment where we juggle multiple projects.
And finally, a good dose of creativity. I know that, for a long time, data was seen as the ‘opposite’ to creativity. However, the question should not be about one or the other but how they can both work together, and that’s what we do here at Edelman DxI: like all the best tensions, data and creativity can spark an amazing relationship and our research unites both!
What do you like best about working at Edelman?
I know this is going to sound cliché, but it is definitely the people. Working here is an opportunity to work with super bright, creative people, who come from different backgrounds and are all super friendly too. I feel that I am constantly learning but I also made good friends here.
I also love the variety of work we get to be involved in.
What are some of the challenges you face in your day-to-day role?
We work in a fast-moving environment so it means that we are often busy and we need to be flexible as unexpected requests can pop up. Luckily, I work in a supportive team, so I always find support when needed.
Describe your working week using 3 emojis
What’s been your most memorable moment at Edelman so far?
There are plenty of them. I would say that one of the most recent ones was my role in the Edelman "Hidden Narratives" initiative. Hidden Narratives is a series of academic-led seminars designed to help us discover and discuss Black British history, all with the end goal of helping us understand the world around us a bit better and creating a more just society.
The project was born thanks to one of my friends (and colleagues), Fatima, who first told me about her idea early last summer and asked for my support. I felt really proud to be able to participate in such a great initiative and raise awareness on the importance of DEI (Diversity, Equity & Inclusion).
The series was launched just before Christmas. We’ve already had two sessions with academics, Professor Hakim Adi, and the writer/activist, Stella Dadzie, both were so inspiring and I felt very lucky to be able to learn so much from them.
What’s your favourite part of a working day?
If we were still in the office, I would have said either the first hour in the morning, when I was catching up with my colleagues with a good coffee or the evenings, when we were going out for after-work drinks.
How do you stay motivated?
1. Knowing that my team is happy, that we are working towards the same clear common objective.
2. Positive feedback (I am the type of person who looks awkward when I receive positive feedback but who secretly -not that secretly- loves it!).
3. Knowing that I will always learn something new (my main worry after my master’s was to start working and be caught in a routine that doesn’t stimulate my brain).
What’s your top tip for working from home?
I always dedicate at least 1 hour in the morning purely to myself. I used to wake up and start working straight away, but over the past months, I have decided to put myself first and use this time in the morning to either read, cook something I love, watch a show, get a coffee, etc.
It made a huge difference to my well-being and reminded me that it is key to set boundaries and dedicate time in the day just for myself.
Did anything surprise you when you joined Edelman?
I wasn't expecting to work in such a friendly and collaborative environment.
Also, the office is amazing…let's hope we get back there soon!
Finally, how do you see your career path developing in the future?
I really hope that in the next year, there will be more innovative tools that will help the industry to focus on quality data, rather than trying to get the most data possible. This will save a lot of the time in the research process and enable us to focus our efforts on the most important part of our role: providing quality insights to clients. I really hope that there will be more diversity too in the industry: if we want to properly shed light on society and better understand the people in it, we need to reflect its diverse make-up!
On a personal level, I came alone to London a few years ago without a job or speaking the language and not knowing anyone so now I feel I can do anything! I am truly passionate about research so hopefully I will still be doing this!