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Consumer Quantitative Research

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A day in the life of a market research intern – Preparing a project for fieldwork

By Theo, Sagitta Research

As I have discovered since I’ve been working as a trainee at Sagitta, there is quite a lot involved in sending out all the work for a product testing project. The project manager is responsible for the overall planning but they need help to prepare what can be a physical and time-consuming process. This is part of my job.

Example: we were recently testing products and some of them had to be re-packaged into blank packaging. This turned out to be many hours of repetitive work but it was an important part of the instructions for the testing. Sometimes products have to be re-labelled with a code, numbers or letters to identify them for the fieldwork. This is the case when the products to be tested have to be rotated or tested in certain combinations. It can take a lot of time to organise the products and label them. It’s not the most interesting part of the job but it’s vital to follow the instructions carefully and keep track of what you’re doing. Fortunately, I am methodical by nature and also never mind physical work to take a break from sitting at the PC. And carrying the boxes of products from / to the place where they are dropped off / collected by the courier requires good physical strength!

So what’s involved in sending out a project for the fieldwork? Here is the process in steps:

– The project manager decides with the client upon the regions / areas where the work is to be conducted, and they book it out via the area supervisors.
– I have to complete some of the forms sent to the supervisors / interviewers, such as booking forms with the job details, instructions and quota sheets. The project manager works out the quotas and explains them to me. The project manager checks the forms.
– The products have to be identified, labelled if necessary, sorted and packed for despatch to the field. Packaging is really important so that the products are secure when being transported. We often have to order suitable boxes in advance, especially for larger products.
– The project manager usually organises couriers, but I can do this in some cases. If they are being posted then they are taken to the post office and we have to choose the right postage option for despatch.

Next time I will write about the ‘theory’ side of my apprenticeship, which is in Business Administration and Marketing. This will include some of what is involved – assignments and exams – and how it ties in with the day-to-day work I do.