A year in the life of a Project Assistant

Want to know what it’s like starting your career at BEAM? Have a read of this…

I recently celebrated my one-year anniversary at BEAM Fieldwork and what a unique experience it has been! Like a lot of people during the pandemic, I have been reflecting on things the past 12 months and my career being one of them.

Just over a year ago I was feeling a little lost about my career, I had completed my degree in 2017and had been in a whole host of jobs since my graduation, trying to find a path that I felt passionate about. I became restless in quick-fix roles and would be scouring Indeed nightly, searching for a role where I felt I belonged, until (thanks to a friend) I stumbled upon BEAM Fieldwork.

I stepped into the office in smart black attire (as was I was used to at my previous jobs) and was greeted by a bunch of ‘BEAM’ing women in bright colours and realised I had slightly overdressed. My first thought was how lovely everyone was as they greeted and chatted with me. I was instantly at ease as being and feeling happy, surrounded by nice people was one of the most important things to me in a new job.

Market research was a relatively new concept to me. I was excited to experience an industry I had otherwise never stepped in to before. After an introduction I was given a brew from Deborah (and would continue to be every day for the next year!), a phone and a document full of questions (I now know this as a screener).

I was used to being on the phone from previous roles but the thought of cold calling twenty men to see if they wanted to tell me about their social life was a little daunting. Feeling conscious that everyone in the office could hear, I set about the calls and very quickly realised that offering people
money to talk about what they enjoy wouldn’t be so difficult after all.

I spent the next week speaking to the elderly about chairs but hearing about their grandchildren, chatting to young people about fast food and hearing about their degrees and uni life, and to builders about cheese! Every day was different, and I looked forward to coming to work every day to see who I would be speaking to. I quickly realised that going through a screener with someone wasn’t just asking questions and getting one-word answers it was about having a conversation with someone, delving that little bit deeper to find the best people for the research.

People who are interested in doing market research enjoy talking, and the conversations are easygoing. A large part of my role is recruitment and I love my daily calls. I get to hear different tales, understand personalities and know when to end a conversation. Due to BEAM’s research scale, means no part of my day is the same, the word that comes to mind when I think of my job is DIVERSE.

Then… I found myself working full time from home. I became a little worried that my limited experience in the industry would mean I may struggle. As strange as it may sound, I think it has been the most beneficial thing for me. I was given the opportunity to become much more independent, there wasn’t someone sat next to me ready to answer all of my questions, so I had to figure things out for myself. Everyone, was of course so supportive and just a Teams-chat away, but I realised that the things I seemed to always need confirming by my colleagues were things I already knew. It was just about gaining self-confidence. I will still call my co-workers if I am unsure about something, but I have become far more confident in the decisions I make and in turn have become more independent, which makes me more efficient in my job role – WIN-WIN!

BEAM have recently sponsored by RAS (Recruited Accreditation Scheme) accreditation, meaning I’m officially qualified by our governing bodies MRS and AQR to recruit candidates on behalf of BEAM Fieldwork. I’ve loved studying again and I was pleasantly surprised about how much I already knew as I progressed through the training chapters. I passed with a distinction and that’s something I’m really proud of.

I am eager to learn more about this industry, to take on more responsibilities with confidence and for the first time, I am looking forward to building a career in an industry I’m growing to love. I am so excited for the next year ahead, hopefully with many more social opportunities!

Written by Danielle Maloney. Project Assistant and 1 year BEAMY!


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