Having worked as an intern in market research firms in Shanghai, Los Angeles, and London, I would like to share my views on the differences across these three distinct cultures.
The first thing that blew my mind was the kind of freedom market researchers get here to use their creativity and versatility. In my previous internships in Shanghai and LA, I worked on a range of different project deliverables, none of which were even close to exciting in terms of format and layout. They typically involved PowerPoint slides or Word documents with standardised tables and charts. At Breaking Blue, however, the storytelling process is much more intriguing because of innovative formats such as Prezi, infographics and video clips, as well as novel elements like pictograms and word clouds.
Even as an intern, I have had a taste of this freedom. In my third week here, I was asked to draft part of a report exactly the way I wanted, including designing the individual charts and the overall slide layout. This is drastically different to my previous internships where, even after five months, the layout and the format of the report were already determined, and there was nothing much to create, other than to update data and the corresponding text. To me, this culture of freedom in Breaking Blue could actually be an epitome of the booming innovation culture here in the UK. I’ve really enjoyed the flat management structure with everyone having the opportunity to input as this inspires innovation and creativity.
As my internship has progressed, I have noticed another fascinating fact: I have been to more meetings and training sessions at Breaking Blue than in both my previous internships combined! I’ve been to sessions on questionnaire design, focus group moderation, and telephone interview training. I’ve also attended analysis meetings where I got to see how insights are brought together and even invited to client project review meetings.