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What I learned from 12 weeks as a qualitative strategist

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BIG THINKING

What I learned from 12 weeks as a qualitative strategist

Dr. Russ Willson
Partner
Hall & Partners Global Qualitative Team

LinkedIn Email

Issy Rawlinson
DAS Accelerate Graduate
Omnicom

LinkedIn

Over the last few months we’ve had the absolute pleasure of having Issy Rawlinson join our team as the last placement of her time on the DAS grad scheme. She’s got fully involved in the team, working on projects, speaking to clients and presenting to the whole company on World Mental Health Day. As her placement comes towards the end, we put some questions to her about her experience with us.


What were you expecting when you joined the Hall & Partners Qualitative team for your last placement on the DAS scheme?

I didn’t know what to expect coming into Hall & Partners, as market research feels like a very distinct part of the industry and not something I had previous experience in. Nonetheless I was really interested to see the process that goes into the strategic insight decks, and reports I’d used in previous placements across Omnicom.


How would you describe the sort of work and projects that you’ve been involved with?

It’s been a real mix. Everything from looking at very broad global trends to analysing specific mealtime occasions for a particular audience. I’ve had exposure to a great range of methodologies as well, from AI powered online communities to one-on-one interviews to creative focus groups.


Name three surprising things that you’ve learnt about brands, consumers or research over the last few months?

Probably number 1 is the gap between what consumers say they’ll do and what they end up doing. Hall & Partners are very good at accounting for this in their thinking and their projects, but it definitely made me think more critically about some of the statistics I read day-to-day.

In terms of brands, it’s been interesting to think about the balance they have to strike between consumer opinion and their own strategy, for instance how much to modernise when what people love about them is tradition.

For research, it's the variety of different methods that are used. I didn’t know any beyond the traditional focus group, so that’s been really interesting to discover.


What’ been your highlight of the experience?

Highlights have probably been the interviews and focus groups I’ve participated in – it’s really fascinating to hear about the experiences and attitudes of such a wide range of people and have that direct contact with them. Plus being able to spend an afternoon talking to people about their lives beats sitting behind a desk! My favourite project was probably the research we did into women’s football – it’s such an interesting topic and great to work on something people feel so passionately about.



I’m a big fan of reverse mentoring and learning as much from people at the start of their careers as those with more experience, so what advice have you got for the team to help us as we continue to grow and expand?

I loved how quickly I was thrown into projects, so I would say just keep up the good work in giving junior team members plenty of exposure and opportunity early on.


What would you say to a DAS scheme grad thinking about a role at Hall & Partners in the future?

Go for it! Throw yourself into it and really make the most of all the opportunities on offer.


 

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Over the last few months we’ve had the absolute pleasure of having Issy Rawlinson join our team as the last placement of her time on the DAS grad scheme. She’s got fully involved in the team, working on projects, speaking to clients and presenting to the whole company on World Mental Health Day. As her placement comes towards the end, we put some questions to her about her experience with us.


What were you expecting when you joined the Hall & Partners Qualitative team for your last placement on the DAS scheme?

I didn’t know what to expect coming into Hall & Partners, as market research feels like a very distinct part of the industry and not something I had previous experience in. Nonetheless I was really interested to see the process that goes into the strategic insight decks, and reports I’d used in previous placements across Omnicom.


How would you describe the sort of work and projects that you’ve been involved with?

It’s been a real mix. Everything from looking at very broad global trends to analysing specific mealtime occasions for a particular audience. I’ve had exposure to a great range of methodologies as well, from AI powered online communities to one-on-one interviews to creative focus groups.


Name three surprising things that you’ve learnt about brands, consumers or research over the last few months?

Probably number 1 is the gap between what consumers say they’ll do and what they end up doing. Hall & Partners are very good at accounting for this in their thinking and their projects, but it definitely made me think more critically about some of the statistics I read day-to-day.

In terms of brands, it’s been interesting to think about the balance they have to strike between consumer opinion and their own strategy, for instance how much to modernise when what people love about them is tradition.

For research, it's the variety of different methods that are used. I didn’t know any beyond the traditional focus group, so that’s been really interesting to discover.


What’ been your highlight of the experience?

Highlights have probably been the interviews and focus groups I’ve participated in – it’s really fascinating to hear about the experiences and attitudes of such a wide range of people and have that direct contact with them. Plus being able to spend an afternoon talking to people about their lives beats sitting behind a desk! My favourite project was probably the research we did into women’s football – it’s such an interesting topic and great to work on something people feel so passionately about.



I’m a big fan of reverse mentoring and learning as much from people at the start of their careers as those with more experience, so what advice have you got for the team to help us as we continue to grow and expand?

I loved how quickly I was thrown into projects, so I would say just keep up the good work in giving junior team members plenty of exposure and opportunity early on.


What would you say to a DAS scheme grad thinking about a role at Hall & Partners in the future?

Go for it! Throw yourself into it and really make the most of all the opportunities on offer.


Dr. Russ Willson
Partner
Hall & Partners Global Qualitative Team

LinkedIn Email

Issy Rawlinson
DAS Accelerate Graduate
Omnicom

LinkedIn