so you want to be a market researcher?

A few months ago, our very own Jim Peterson took the stage and presented an informative and compelling “talk” about getting into marketing research at Humber College. Jim wanted to help students understand the rapid changes that the industry is undergoing and what students can do to prepare themselves. So what can students do to ensure that they are ready for a job in the marketing research industry?

If you had to name every skill you needed to be a great marketing researcher, the list might go on forever. However, we think that there are some general skills you can work on that will increase your value and make you more attractive to employers.

  • written and verbal communication skills
    Know how to write clear, simple sentences that describe the issue so that a client can easily see the point. Be able to explain and present material clearly and with confidence. Much of the everyday work in marketing research involves drafting and writing reports and then preparing these same reports for client presentations, so conquering these skills will go a long way.
  • strong work ethic and determination to succeed
    Remember that terrible job you took that forced you to work late nights in brutal conditions? Think it has no value? Think again. Marketing research companies look for people with drive and ambition who are willing to learn and who are looking at their job as an opportunity to be the best at their chosen discipline. Showing employers that you are willing to work hard and do everything to get ahead guarantees to them that you are a cut-above the competition.

These appear to be words of common sense, but those are sometimes the most easily forgotten.

In addition, it is probably just as important to understand what students should not do:

  • brag to employers
    You might be thinking that taking stats in school and conducting your own focus groups has made you the perfect candidate. Trust us; it hasn’t. These are the kinds of skills that need to be learned on the job.
  • focus solely on your previous experience in the industry
    A few months of on-the-job training is not the same as years of contribution to a company. While your experience is a good thing, keep in mind it is not the only thing that qualifies you for the job. People from many different educational and career backgrounds are in the marketing research industry. Stay hungry, keep learning, and be open to constructive criticism.

Check out the accompanying presentation to Jim’s talk on Prezi.