A First Class for Katie!

We’re very proud to announce that Katie Oliver, who did a year-long placement at Research by Design in 2018/19, has just graduated with a First Class degree from Aston University! We’re so proud of what she’s achieved, and that Research by Design was a part of it.

We also spoke to Katie about what she learned from us, what she’s planning to do with her degree, and why she’d recommend working here. (And we are recruiting… head here for details.)

How do you think your time at Research by Design helped you to do so well on your course?

Working at Research by Design during my placement year allowed me to develop an abundance of skills that thoroughly benefited me during my final year at university. My organisation, time management and written communication were all greatly improved, meaning I made much better use of my time when completing assessments and could produce work to a higher standard.

Additionally, my dissertation centred around conducting my own primary research in the form of focus groups, which I had experience of during my time at Research by Design. Not only did I feel more prepared in conducting this research, but I was also considerably more confident due to my prior knowledge, meaning the groups produced some excellent results for analysis. I got a mark of 83% on my dissertation, which is the highest mark I achieved during my final year and was most definitely influenced by my time at Research by Design.

What are the most useful lessons you learned from your time at Research by Design, and what were the best things about working here?

I thoroughly enjoyed the variety the role offered as I not only gained experience within two job roles, but also clients from a vast range of different sectors. This meant two days were never the same and I was exposed to many different scenarios that broadened my knowledge and experiences in ways other positions may have not.

I learnt a great deal about market research and elements required at different stages of projects, as well as a deeper understanding of digital marketing and content creation. This provided me with a wide view on which areas I would like to pursue in the future as well as teaching me how the psychology element of my degree played a role in both sectors. Without my time at Research by Design, I would never have learnt where my career passions lie or had the self-confidence to believe in my abilities during my graduate job search. 

What would you say to anyone interested in working at Research by Design?

I would 100% recommend a position at Research by Design. Anybody with a passion for research or the drive for a fast-paced, variety-filled role would thrive off the experience Research by Design offers. If you're like me, who had limited understanding on the sector before joining, the experience gained at Research by Design is invaluable and rewarding since you see your own work having a real, actionable difference in an array of different sectors.

The team were always extremely helpful, allowing me to have responsibilities from the start but also were always there for guidance when needed. My confidence increased dramatically during my time at Research by Design, which had a huge and positive impact on my final year of university and subsequent graduate role hunting, for which I am extremely grateful. 

What do you plan to do with your degree and work experience now that you’ve graduated?

Looking forward, I’m beginning a Digital Marketing Executive position in September as part of the Apetito Graduate Development Programme. My experience at Research by Design undoubtedly played a massive role in my success in securing this position, since the skills I developed are easily transferable and provided me with many points of conversation during interview. Although I absolutely loved being part of all the research projects, my role at Research by Design empowered me to recognise my enjoyment for digital marketing and all the creativity that entailed.

Whilst my degree appears somewhat far out from this, psychology does play a huge, important role in the marketing world, and I look forward to applying this knowledge once I have begun my new position. 

 Thanks Katie! Interested in joining the RbD team? Head here to see our latest vacancies.

This entry was posted on July 30, 2020

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