Take 5 with Bryan Conway and Nichole Clinkinbeard

Bryan Conway, Research Director

What is your favorite thing about being a research director?

I love that I am involved in all facets of the research project lifecycle… from the development of a tight but thorough questionnaire, to a survey that respondents enjoy taking, to a succinct yet informative research report. In most cases, you are starting with a blank slate and creating something from nothing. Along the way, reading the verbatims where people talk about how certain products and services really impact their lives is fascinating.

Thinking back on your career, what made you decide to enter into the market research industry?

My father’s career was in marketing and advertising, and I always found it interesting hearing about his job and trying to understand consumer behavior. I was good with numbers and thought market research was the perfect blend of the two worlds.

You handle a lot of projects at the same time and at different stages. What is your go-to productivity trick to help you get things accomplished?

I make lots of lists and watching a to-do list get shorter is very motivating. To be honest, more than at any company where I have worked (and there have been several), my colleagues at Quester are the best about pitching in and helping each other.

If you could play the lead role in any movie, which movie would it be and why?

Ferris Buehler. I live in Chicago and would like to do all those things in one day, and all the kids think he’s a righteous dude.

If you could take only three items with you to a deserted island, what would they be?

A knife, a water purifier, and a helicopter

Nichole Clinkinbeard, Research Director

What is your favorite thing about being a research director?

The collaboration … I love the analytic touchpoints and synthesis meetings. So cool when one person says something, which makes another person think of something … and we all uncover a beautiful insight together.

Thinking back on your career, what made you decide to enter into the market research industry?

Like many people in the industry, I basically fell into it. I majored in psychology/sociology … like understanding what makes people tick … and saw an ad for a research assistant at a really cool company where they applied psychiatric interviewing techniques for marketing research purposes. Fell in love.

You handle a lot of projects at the same time and at different stages. What is your go-to productivity trick to help you get things accomplished?

Touchpoint meetings! Not only do you get a sense of where everyone is with their assigned tasks (so you can pull in more resources as necessary), but you start to see the big picture coming together.

If you could play the lead role in any movie, which movie would it be and why?

What does it say about me that I can’t pick one? Clarice Starling because I wanted to be an FBI agent in a previous life – hunting serials killers sounded fun at the time; any lead in a dance movie – I love music … makes me want to dance, but I can’t dance – at all … but really wish I could!

If you could take only three items with you to a deserted island, what would they be?

A tent (no way am I sleeping outside), a knife, matches… and there is a secret photo of my family in my pocket.


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