A year at Beaufort

As the end of my contract at Beaufort approaches, I have been reflecting on my experience so far of working in research, the opportunities I’ve had, people I’ve met, and the things I’ve learnt along the way.

I was about halfway through my Master’s degree at Bangor University (in Consumer Psychology with Business - with International Experience) when I decided that research was the career path I wanted to venture down.

As the date of my graduation crept nearer I wasn’t sure where I wanted to be after university, but most of my peers were moving to London so I figured that would be where I’d end up. Despite being unsure about where I wanted to work, I knew that I wanted to work for a smaller company, as I felt this would allow me to take on more responsibilities and therefore develop in the field at a more advanced rate.

It didn’t take long to decide that Beaufort would be the right place for me.  Working for a smaller company has meant that I have gained a wide breadth of experience early on, and have had the opportunity to develop in numerous areas; from day-to-day survey management, questionnaire design, report writing and presentation delivery. I’ve been involved in many varied and exciting projects, which has allowed me to stretch myself and my abilities, and really develop in my role as research executive.

image I have been involved in several projects including a number with the Welsh Government; the largest being the National Survey for Wales, a pre-selected survey of 14,000 members of the Welsh general public, conducted in partnership with TNS-BMRB over the past three years.

I have also worked on research projects in other sectors, such as a multi-country tracking study measuring awareness of Protected Geographical Indication (PGI) status and of marketing activity for Meat Promotion Wales / Hybu Cig Cymru which involved a four-year survey of 1,000+ people per year across numerous European countries. This was particularly interesting not only because we were collecting data from overseas, but also because this study gave me my first experience in delivering part of a client presentation.  I have also worked with clients such as Careers Wales, The National Trust and The Arts Council of Wales amongst many others, and each has provided me with a new learning experience and a chance to develop my skills.

I have been given some fantastic learning opportunities, such as travelling to London for a MRS presentation delivery course, and I have taken two online MRS courses: Questionnaire Design, and Introduction to Market Research. This has not only helped to expand my understanding in the field of research and helped me to undertake my day to day responsibilities, but has also helped me to keep growing and learning – which I believe is important in any line of work.

Beaufort has been extremely welcoming, and I love the working atmosphere with our team here in Cardiff. Everyone has been so helpful and supportive; always willing to help each other out and share their knowledge with one another. I have thoroughly enjoyed my year here, and am looking forward to taking the skills and experience I have gained here into my future career. And although I initially envisioned living in London, so far I think Cardiff has been my favourite place to live, and now I couldn’t imagine moving away! 

Nicci Cooke


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