Hey Anne Marie, care to share a little bit about yourself?
I am currently someone trying to do too many things at the same time! I work full-time at Fandango, but spend my weekends and evenings working towards an MBA at UCLA Anderson. Any free time is spent jogging, watercoloring, or hanging with my pup Tucker.
Can you tell us what you do as a Senior Manager for Consumer Insights at Fandango for those who are unfamiliar?
In a nutshell, I use surveys and data analysis to help people within the company stay connected to what our customers want. For example, say your company is considering implementing a loyalty program. Internal teams would have questions like, "Are customers interested in a loyalty program?" or "What kind of perks would our customers want?" That's where I come in! I would design and execute a survey of our customers, analyze the data, and provide specific recommendations.
How did you decide to pursue your specific career? What pivotal moments pushed you to where you are now?
In my first job, I worked as an assistant to the VP of Marketing and the VP of Research at Fox. In college, I thought I would end up in marketing, but I gravitated more towards research in that first job. I loved learning about how and why people behave the way they do. I decided to pursue research full-time at a market research firm named LRW where I got to do research for ALL kinds of brands such as Lyft, Coca-Cola, and PetSmart.
What made you interested in your field?
With degrees in Communications and Accounting, it was important to me that my job satisfy both my left and right brain. Market research includes both qualitative research (such as focus groups or interviews) and quantitative research (such as survey and data analysis). This was a perfect balance for me because I love talking to people, but also love analyzing numbers.
Any advice on how to stand out and get hired for those starting off?
In market research, I think it's essential to start at a big agency like LRW, IPSOS, or Kantar. This will give you a solid foundation, rigorous training, and exposure to countless clients and methodologies. After this, it will be easy to take your skillset to do research on the client side or apply your skills to other categories like strategy or marketing.
3 Character traits that would make someone excel in your field
Critical thinking, detail orientation, and soft skills like client management and communication
Most difficult thing about your job?
Like a lot of other jobs, you'll need to manage multiple projects on different timelines, while managing requests and expectations from internal stakeholders.
What would you like to say to your younger self?
Things will work themselves out. All the random internships and jobs I had contributed to where I am now. So just be grateful for wherever you are and know that it will play a part in your future.
Best advice you've received/heard?
You are your worst critic. Don't be so hard on yourself!
Any last thoughts, advice, or recommendations for someone who wants to learn more about your craft?
Don't be afraid to reach out to folks you want to learn from! Curiosity is a valuable trait in the research field, and most people are willing to share their experiences with you if you express that curiosity.