I am a… Research Analyst
The work placement year included in all Harper Adams undergraduate degree courses is an invaluable experience. Not only does it give students a year in industry to put what they have learned into practice, the opportunity to make valuable contacts and an impressive addition to their CV, many students also secure a job with their placement employer once their studies are complete.
This was the case for Elizabeth Bonsall, who is now a Research Analyst for Promar International, having spent her third year at university working for the company, which is the UK’s largest agricultural and agri-food consultancy. The role of Research Analyst differs depending upon the sector they work in but generally involves gathering market intelligence and presenting it in a way that customers can understand.
“Within the Agri-Food team we work on a range of projects for a range of food and agriculture companies, ranging from those based within the UK to all around the world,” says the 24-year-old, from Staffordshire. “Projects include market research through qualitative and quantitative methods, to market prioritisation studies and market reports.”
“The placement year was the best thing about my course, along with the agricultural modules we studied,” she adds. “It made me more employable and exposed me to the industry.
“I helped the Agri-food team with consultancy projects in researching and writing reports and also assisted with the project management of large government funded projects. The best things about the year were the people I met, the experiences gained, being able to put a year’s employment on my CV and the contacts I made.”
Elizabeth, who studied A-Levels in Business, Food and Biology, and then graduated with a degree in Agri-food Marketing with Business Studies, says the support from the company did not stop once she returned to university for her final year: “Promar International helped me with my dissertation, entitled ‘In the past 10 years have UK dairy farmers become more market orientated?’. They helped me to survey farmers to gain their point of view. It was very valuable as now I am working full-time for Promar, where we carry out research projects for companies, and so my dissertation has provided me with experiences to carry forward.”
You could be a research analyst if you would enjoy:
- Carrying out research
- Writing reports
- Making presentations
- Talking to clients and potential clients
- Working with numbers
- Attention to detail
- Explaining complex things clearly and simply