By Jaime Veiga
After developing a career for the last 20 years in the Market Research sector, I have seen many different profiles succeeding in this industry. Managers with clearly a business orientation, some with passion for people and unveiling consumer insights, and some tech-experts who can cope with huge databases of info and detect the real driver for the consumer behavior.
One of the things that it captured my attention is how is the learning process in the large organizations, both at client and agency side. Junior people in Business Insights, Market research, Intelligence or similar roles, typically start with great soft skills but lack of specific background.
Junior managers show great analytic skills, collaboration, ability to work several projects and also great communication skills. That’s their starting point, and then they develop the mastery on the research/insights arena. In the last years I have the pleasure of teaching students at Master level in a specific program – IE Master in Market Research and Consumer Behavior – focusing on market research tools and consumer behavior. After several editions, I see how their career is evolving in the industry. What I am seeing is what happens when a promising student adds the mastery to the soft skills previously mentioned and it is truly inspiring.
Imagine how you will run a survey for the first time. Think on how you will moderate a focus group, launch an observational research or analyze the online data from a web environment. Those are market research tools that you will learn typically by doing, and from the experts in the company (client or agency). Imagine learning first-hand which are the best approaches in the industry, from experts who used that tool hundreds of time.
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Jaime Veiga is Head of Insights & Analytics at J&J Southern Europe and Academic Director at IE School of Human Sciences and Technology