A day in the life of a Research Executive

Can you begin by telling us a bit about yourself and your role in the agency?

Hi, my name is Jenny and I live in Lancashire with my husband, though I have enjoyed getting to know Manchester better since starting at MHM. My role here is basically to be the day-to-day link between the client and the MHM teams (data analysts, research analysts, field team). I also work with our consultants to analyse research findings, write reports and project manage to ensure that research projects run smoothly. The type of work that’s involved in a research project can vary so much depending on what each organisation wants to know, so everyday there’s another challenge.

Can you describe a typical day in the office?

It changes a lot, but as a rule I would spend most of my time designing research materials, analysing data or writing the findings up into reports. It’s a very collaborative working environment here, so I’d work with members of different teams to develop insight from the data we’ve collected. I’m in regular contact with my clients as well so I’ll spend sometime each day either working with them to produce research materials that meet their needs or keeping them updated with how the research is progressing. 

What key skills do you think are most important to do your job?

I think curiosity is the key to working as a Research Exec, as it drives you to interrogate the data further and further until you’re confident in your analysis. Organisational skills are crucial to make sure that you keep on top of your projects.  And then you need a healthy dose of creativity to help you report the data in a clear, engaging and insightful way.

What background did you have before working at MHM?

After graduating from university, I worked in local government conducting desk research to inform local childcare policies. It fascinated me how much information there is ‘out there’ and I enjoyed piecing the picture together from bits of data on different databases and online archives. I then spent a few years in more of an IT role in the private sector, managing CRM databases. It was oddly satisfying seeing how all of the data hidden away in your database could be converted into valuable insight if only you could write the right bit of code to set it free!  

But I always found that these methods could only ever get me so far and it could be frustratingly limiting at times. One of the great joys about working at MHM is that I work with clients to ask the questions that they want to know and get right to the heart of an issue that they want to solve.

How would you describe working for MHM?

It’s very stimulating, as there’s always something new to learn. The research itself is fascinating and I love piecing the data together to understand what drives people to behave the way they do. It’s also truly inspiring, as we’re working with organisations that we genuinely love and admire.

It’s a great working environment as well, with a wonderful balance between work and play.  Everyone is very dedicated and during working hours we tend to be busy, quiet and studious. Everyone is so driven and passionate about the work that we do and we encourage each other to produce the best work that we possibly can.  It’s a lot of fun here too and there’s a great sense of community. One of my favourite little things is that we have a big dining table in the kitchen so we all have our lunch together like a family.  We have a highly competitive table football league and in-house cocktails on a Friday evening. Scanning the rest of the website, do we talk about Friday cocktails too much…?

Jenny has a great eye for detail and enjoys being involved in a research project from start to...