1. Please could you introduce yourself and talk about your journey so far at Madano?
Hi! I’m Tara, I’ve been at Madano now for four years. I started straight after university as a Research Executive and now I’m a Senior Research Manager. I started this role not really knowing what to expect and so tried to experience all the different areas of research, for example, from more traditional qualitative interviews to data science.
Over the years, I’ve developed the skills that glue together both the data science side and the more traditional research we do in the Insights team.
2. Congratulations on the AMEC Award recognition for Young Professional of the Year. How did you feel when it was announced that you were Highly Commended by the organisation for this prestigious category?
At Madano, we’re often recognised and celebrated for the good work that we do, but to see the recognition from an external organisation – that was really special. It definitely made the hard work and dedication worth it. I really felt honoured to receive this award.
3. You were also involved in the project that won Bronze for the Innovation Award by the AMEC. What are your top tips for managing and seeing through award-winning projects?
The most important thing is identifying opportunities to grow and innovate, rather than sticking with what’s been done before. Also, working closely with the client and having them not only on board but excited about the journey is important. You want them to feel like you’re going on a journey with them, and they’re involved in the entire process.
Getting the right team together definitely helps, as we can motivate each other to think outside the box. Seeing it as a team effort rather than the person managing the project steering the direction and outcome is important.
This is a great aspect of Madano’s culture. We encourage everyone to contribute, regardless of your seniority, because there’s really no hierarchy when working on a project. Being bold enough to take risks, ask questions, and share your ideas is part of the reason I was able to move into a managerial role so quickly.
4. Speaking of which, you’ve recently been promoted to Senior Research Manager – your third promotion in the last four years you’ve been with us. What project, moment or activity has really stood out to you so far?
Our work with the ECF was really interesting and enjoyable. It gave us the opportunity to take a creative approach to analysing large amounts of publicly available data. Ultimately, this helped inform ECF’s overall communications strategy, helping it effectively target different audiences. It was an extremely interesting topic area, and this project was where I also fell in love with segmentation, which is something I do a lot of now in my work.
5. Finally, what advice would you give to those who want to pursue a career in insights?
Always say what you think and speak up about your ideas. Don’t be shy when you’re in a meeting. Get involved in everything so you can figure out what you’re passionate about. Once you know what you like to do, you can then specialise. I like to think of it as two possible paths: specialising your expertise in a methodology or leading/managing a team. Both are great and really interesting roles.
Enjoying your job is so important as it gets you to where you want to go. Remember, though, that you don’t have to do it all by yourself. I encourage you to rely on the people around you for support because they will help you get to where you want to be.