August Alumni Career Profile
Name: Jo-Ann Ryan Goodchild
Class Year: 1977
Major: Elementary Education
Current Employer: The Marketing Workshop, Inc.
Describe your career path since graduation.
I taught English and reading in elementary schools for 3 years. I worked in various business settings (import/export firm, retail. industrial psychologists). I have been in the market research field for over 14 years.
What is your current position and how long have you been with your employer?
Qualitative Research Manager/Senior Moderator. I have been with my current employer for 8 years.
Describe the main responsibilities of your position.
I determine clients' research needs, write proposals, design research programs, conduct focus groups or individual in-depth interviews, analyze findings and prepare reports and presentations of results.
What do you enjoy most about your job?
Meeting and talking with people from all walks of life, and learning about a variety of industries, products and services.
What do you find most challenging about your job?
The amount of travel required and working long hours when traveling (e.g., conducting groups in the evenings until 10 PM).
Describe your typical work week. (How many hours you work, your work environment, etc.)
Some weeks I'm working in my home office -- setting up new projects, writing proposals or writing reports from previous projects (40 - 50 hours). Other weeks when I'm traveling and conducting groups, I may travel to 2 - 4 cities across the country, a different one each day. I leave early in the morning for the airport, usually arrive at my hotel in the next city by noon, check voice mail and e-mails, work for a couple of hours in my hotel room, have a late lunch, leave for the focus group facility around 4 PM, set things up, conduct groups at 6 PM and 8 PM (2 hours each), discuss with clients who viewed the groups what we learned, and then return to the hotel (60 - 70 hours).
What job search methods did you use to obtain your current position?
Networking with friends and former co-workers.
What advice could you give to students interested in your field?
Try working in a phone room for a market research firm part-time. They often hire students to work in the evenings. You would administer questionnaires and get a sense of what the market research field is about. It is very interesting because of the variety of topics addressed though it is very deadline driven and can require a lot of hours. People who work in the market research industry have varied backgrounds: business, psychology, education, sociology, etc.
Last Modified: August 3, 2005