I started the Ipsos MORI graduate scheme a week after handing in my dissertation

Abigail Hutchings, SMI graduate
Abigail Hutchings
Research Executive, Ipsos MORI
MA Social Research
Abigail completed her postgraduate degree in MA Social Research in 2018 and now works as a Research Executive for Ipsos MORI.
Abigail Hutchings, SMI graduate

What has your career path been since finishing your SMI degree?

I applied for over 40 graduate schemes and got 3 offers - 2 were unpaid internships and 1 graduate scheme. I took the graduate scheme at Ipsos MORI and started a week after handing in my Master's dissertation. I completed my graduate scheme after a year and have been a Research Executive since.

What skills are required for your job?

Knowledge of research is fundamental for my market research role. I specialise in quantitative research but a knowledge of both is useful and appreciated. Ethics and data are particularly topical (e.g. GDPR, consent) but ultimately the enthusiasm for research and having curiosity are what got me the job.

What do you enjoy most about your job?

I work with a variety of big-name clients doing tracker and ad-hoc research studies. I like that I'm constantly learning new methods and how businesses work.

What does a "typical" day usually look like?

I can start anytime between 8-10 a.m. - allowing me to go for a run/gym in the morning. I log on and check my emails before writing a to-do list what I need to do for the day. I usually send round emails and messages to my team updating them on response rates from the fieldwork. I then start with the most important and urgent tasks such as questionnaire writing, link checking, table checking and reporting. I usually have a couple of meetings throughout the day which involve project catch ups and client calls. 

What’s the best piece of careers advice you’ve received?


What advice would you give to someone wanting to work in a similar role or industry?

For any role, its all about getting your foot in the door - i.e. who you know and what you can offer them - once you're in it's easier to move around.

Did you do any activities alongside your studies? If so, did they help you get your first graduate job?

Lots of research industry experience, posting on Linkedin, examples you can use when applying for jobs - not necessarily extra activities

What did you enjoy most about your SMI degree?

The variety of methodologies and eye opening experiences which made me aware of the world we live in.

What’s your fondest memory of being a student in Sheffield?

The nightlife!

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