Original- Niraj AminMy favorite class this semester is Qualitative-Based Marketing Insights. I truly mean that because I can genuinely feel myself becoming a better marketing researcher every time my classmates and I complete a task for this class. From the ideation sessions in class to conducting in-depth interviews outside of class to coding the interview transcripts for insights to tying it all together in team meetings, this class has truly been an enriching and fun experience for me!

The first thing that stands out to me about this class is that it is really helping me think in a more creative way. Specifically, I come from a quantitative background where it was necessary for me to think linearly and logically all the time. This “Qual” class is helping me round out my skill set by challenging me to grow in this art of thinking creatively to arrive at good business solutions. Another cool aspect of this is the use of metaphors. I have always enjoyed using metaphors in various situations to make better sense of things, so the fact that this class encourages us to use them in our work has been really appealing to me. Speaking of metaphors, here is how I think of this “Qual” class: picture a pitcher in baseball who has a terrific fastball that can reach 100 mph. Of course that’s great—the pitcher may dominate opposing hitters with this fastball for a few years, but eventually the fastball will slow down as the pitcher ages. At that time, the pitcher will become less of a power pitcher and will need to become a crafty, smart, touch-and-feel, finesse type of pitcher who can accurately hit his spots in the strike zone to get opposing hitters out. Similarly, in marketing research, quantitative analysis can only get us so far, and we also need the “qual” in order to get the most useful insights possible. The “quant” is like the fastball, and the “qual” is like the accuracy, finesse, and IQ involved in using the other pitches.

Another highlight about this class is the instructor and my classmates. Professor Amber Epp is always quick to help further our understanding of the topics discussed in class. She takes the time to make sure that all of us have at least a fundamental understanding of what is going on. Many of my classmates are already advanced in some of the concepts or techniques that we use in this class, so I find it helpful to observe how they approach certain situations and have also been learning from that.

Yet another highlight is the opportunity to hear from guest speakers throughout the semester in this class. Most recently, we had the pleasure of having the Chief Operating Officer from a marketing research firm in our class to speak about storytelling techniques. The concepts and examples she presented were very practical and useful for us to hear. Therefore, the session was extremely relevant for us as we get ready to embark on our post-MBA careers as marketing researchers. I am so grateful to have had the opportunity to take this class. I honestly will remember it as an academic highlight of my time here!