Working as a Research Executive

Ben Basnett, SMI graduate
Ben Basnett
Research Executive, PAMCo
BA Quantitative Social Sciences
Ben graduated with a degree in BA Quantitative Social Sciences in 2019 and now works as a Research Executive for PAMCo (Publishers Audience Measurement Company).

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

I was offered the role of Research Executive at PAMCo (Publishers Audience Measurement Company) after I finished my degree.  I had applied for a few roles, but this job was a good fit as it combines data and a sector I am interested in.

What skills are required for your job?

A good understanding of Excel and occasionally R are the skills I use most. However, I think my degree improved my ability to be comfortable using data and therefore being able to explain figures to people who may be less used to incorporating statistics into their work.

What do you enjoy most about your job?

I work in a small company which creates a very friendly, relaxed atmosphere. Another aspect I especially enjoy is working with and understanding the media industry, as this is a sector I have always had an interest in.

What does a "typical" day usually look like?

My days are varied depending on the stage we are at leading up to a data release. However, most days will need to reply to a newspaper or magazine publisher request for some information about figures for their particular brand.

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

Keep applying for a range of jobs, don't take the rejections personally.

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

The best advice I can give is that you will likely have a more useful degree than others going for research jobs so make sure employers know this!

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

Yes, I did a placement in the summer of my second year. This really helped to give me relevant experience on my CV, something that employers look for.

What did you enjoy most about your SMI degree?

I enjoyed the presentation day, however the most valuable thing was how to use programmes like R Studio.

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

All the social opportunities in a friendly city!

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Why Numbers Matter

SMI's series on why it's important to get numbers right.

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