What does a typical day in the life of a Research Executive look like?
It sounds really cliché but no two days are the same! To best boil it down, there will be days when I’m getting stuck into creating client reports – this can be anything from interpreting survey data to analysing online social media conversations. On other days I’m taking part in a creative brainstorm, interviewing senior stakeholders, presenting research findings to clients or working on team initiatives about diversity and inclusion or mental health.
What three skills do you think are essential to fulfil your role?
Number one for me is curiosity. Our team work on a broad range of projects and I find you quickly become an expert on various topics. For example, within 3 months of joining the DxI team I became well-versed in consumer behaviour when booking trips to Disneyworld, the top sustainability trends on social media, and understanding what the future of work will look like post-COVID. Second, you need to be a good communicator as the nature of the work involves taking complex data and turning it into something your team and the client can understand. Third is to be flexible and adaptable – while you should always be organised, the best laid plans can go awry, so it’s important that you can adapt accordingly and be level-headed when things take an unexpected turn.
What do you like best about working at Edelman?
I really like the people and the variety of work I get at DxI. Everyone is super lovely and intelligent, so I feel like I’ll always learn something new. Also, being the biggest name in the industry, the variety of work I get to be involved in at Edelman is always interesting.
What are some of the challenges you face in your day-to-day role?
Research is a broad term to describe what I do and there are still aspects that I’m totally new to; either a research method I’m not yet familiar with, or complex projects where it is more difficult to uncover the insights that will be most valuable to the client. Luckily, I’m surrounded by brilliant people who are way more experienced than I am, so I always have someone to ask for guidance and support when needed.
Describe your working week using 3 emojis
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What’s been your most memorable moment at Edelman so far?
I think it was the first few weeks I got to spend in the office, before lockdown. Thinking back, I was incredibly lucky to have experienced what it was like pre-pandemic - I got the chance to meet and get to know everyone, settle into the office, and go out in groups of more than 6.
What’s your favourite part of a working day?
I’ve been going back to the office a few days a week recently, and it’s catching-up with the people in my team that also happen to be in. It’s super nice to meet and talk in person rather than through a screen every now and then, especially if I hadn’t seen them pre-lockdown.
How do you stay motivated?
I have quite a competitive mindset so when working on projects, I see it as a ‘challenge’ or a problem to be solved which helps a lot for my focus. Also, getting good feedback either internally from my team or clients. It feels good to know that you’ve done well.
What’s your top tip for working from home?
Sounds obvious but take breaks. I think it’s quite easy to fall in a trap of spending too much time at your desk, as there’s no physical ‘cues’ present to start/stop as you would normally have in the office. I’m a big believer in how having regular breaks makes you more productive, so don’t feel guilty about getting up and going for a walk, making food or even lying in bed to prevent you feeling worn out.
Did anything surprise you when you joined Edelman?
I came from another large market research corporation and was completely surprised about the ‘feeling’ of Edelman. It wasn’t as rigid or structured as I had previously experienced, and everyone is super friendly and outgoing!
Finally, how do you see your career path developing in the future?
I think being a researcher has given me a solid foundation of skills that I could really do anything with, so I’m keeping my options open for the time being. Having worked on a lot of sustainability and purpose projects since starting, I would like to narrow my focus on that field and be more specialised in sustainability research.