At EBG, we're all about investing in the next generation of outside-of-the-box thinkers. This year, we had the chance to welcome our first-ever intern, Anh Tran. Dan McDonald, our User Research Lead, did an incredible job supervising and mentoring her throughout the program, and bringing on such a hardworking, creative team member for the summer was a great boost of new energy for our team. We got the chance to ask her a few questions about her experience – read on to learn more about Anh's time at EBG.
How did your previous educational and work experience lead you to pursue a research internship at EBG?
I graduated with a bachelor's degree in marketing at Seattle University and consistently complemented my education with firsthand experience as a digital marketing professional in various industries. After one year of working, I decided to "switch gears" to marketing research [...]. I then got accepted into UTA's market research program. After being in the program for a year, I wanted to intern to gain more experience and see [what] working in the industry is like. While I was looking at some job postings my program director, Scott Hanson, sent out to us, I saw EBG's, and I knew I wanted to get it after reading the description. It matched perfectly with my interest in qualitative research. I also love EBG's research philosophy, culture, and what EBG has been working on. I got the chance to talk to Dan and Tricia, and it [was] confirmed again that I wanted to intern for EBG after hearing more about the company.
How did this internship experience relate to your career aspirations?
I feel lucky that I got this internship because I'm currently a student in UTA's marketing research program. So, it is highly related to what I'm studying now and what I want to do in the future. This internship allowed me to immerse myself in the research world, especially on the supplier side.
Now that you have completed the internship, how did it influence your career aspirations?
Since I decided to go back to school for marketing research, I know I want to work in the industry for at least 5-10 years. However, before this internship, I wasn't sure what I wanted or where I saw myself in the research world. During and after the internship, getting my hands on every step of the research process/project and having the autonomy to explore many different projects that EBG has worked on helped me gain a better idea of navigating career-wise after graduation. I'm also grateful to hear so many stories from people in MMR Research Associates and how they get to their role [in] the research world because those are valuable lessons and insights for me as an aspiring researcher. Interning for EBG [was] a significant milestone in my career, and the experience was very eye-opening.
How did your study, "Grocery Experience Audit for Generation Z," go? How do you expect to see your findings used in the future?
Like the title, this study aims to understand Generation Z's approach [and] perceptions toward grocery shopping and their current grocery shopping experience. I'm a Gen Z and a grocery shopping lover, so it was cool to conduct this research. [...] With the help and guidance of the whole EBG team, I was able to get through a lot of hurdles during the research process. After a few months and a lot of reflection, I could have done better since my findings confirmed a good amount of secondary findings on the market instead of discovering anything "newer." However, I hope these can help EBG to have a clearer picture of this population segment. Hopefully, this study will be insightful to the EBG team when they work with prospects in the grocery store category.
What is your biggest takeaway from your EBG internship experience?
Besides all the technical skills I learned throughout the internship, I learned a lot about cultivating and nurturing relationships with people within the company or with clients. Ever since I got into the marketing research program, I have heard a lot about the "uncertainty" part of the research industry, but I couldn't fully comprehend it. I finally got a taste of it during the internship. I certainly get to hone my flexibility and adaptability skills during unexpected changes. It isn't pleasant when there's an unknown factor lurking somewhere, but I can confidently say that I'm getting more comfortable when that happens.
What advice do you have for future EBG interns?
Definitely ask for more one on one conversations with everyone in the company. You end up learning more than you expect. If you get to travel for work, please do it!