College-industry partnerships help define career paths for students
June 20, 2014

Research Analyst student Andrew McCullough and David MacDonald, Group Vice President, Environics Research Group

Student Andrew McCullough (l) speaks with David MacDonald, Group Vice President, Environics Research Group, at the Research Analyst career information day, June 11.

Research Analyst students got the “411” from some of the top market research professionals in the field at a career information day held June 11 at the Barrie Campus.

The day included several panel discussions and a meet-and-greet with Georgian College alumni and representatives from companies like BMO Financial, Canada Post, Corax Research and Consulting, County of Simcoe, Dare Foods, Environics Research Group, Kinark Child and Family Services, Sunlife Financial, Scotiabank and QRI International.

Experts fielded questions on changing research methodology and software, advancement opportunities and how they got their start in the business.

David MacDonald, Group Vice President, Financial Services, Environics Research Group believes the newest crop of Research Analyst students will go on to have great careers in market research – and at Environics.

“These students are very bright and have demonstrated that quite clearly with the insightful questions they’ve asked. That’s one of the reasons Environics keeps coming back to recruit Research Analyst students and are involved as a company in the development of the program itself,” he says.

Vivienne Zhong, who holds a PhD in philosophy, says the Research Analyst program and frequent interactions with industry professionals defined her career plans.

“The program holds regular social events with alumni and employers throughout the year so we can clearly see the relationship between course curriculum and occupation,” she says. “Career information day also helped market my employable skills to those already in the field.”

Andrew McCullough has a master’s degree in history and was drawn to the Research Analyst program for its many social networking opportunities. He says he is confident in his choice of program, and career.

“We’ve come so far since the start of the program when the types of questions we were asking were more along the lines of, ‘What is research?’ Now we’re talking about getting into the field and actually ‘doing’ research. It’s remarkable how far we’ve come in such a short time.”

Career information day helped confirm his career choice.

“Rather than saying ‘I think I want to do this,’ now I know I want to do this,” says McCullough.

Zhong and McCullough both have their sights firmly set on careers in the industry – supply-side for the former and institutional research for the latter. They’ll get their first crack at an industry job when their three-month internships start this fall.

Market research, described as an intellectual’s dream job, allows those with a unique combination of education, innate curiosity and love of information to prosper in a continually changing field. To find out more, visit the RAP website.