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The Nielsen Company Lunch and Learn

by Fiona Severson Monday, December 2, 2013

The A.C. Nielsen Center hosts a lunch and learn every month during our Current Topics in Marketing Research class.  Last Friday, I got a little nostalgic when a couple of colleagues from my summer internship at The Nielsen Company came to Madison to present.  Having that blast from the past (OK, so it was 3 months ago) put a lot of perspective on where I am today.

The lunch and learn covered concepts I spent my entire summer familiarizing myself with, as well as some new topics that are currently in development – mainly social and cross-platform measurement. It was great to get to share some of my summer experience with my classmates, and really exciting to see how interested and engaged everyone was.  Marketing research is a field that is constantly in flux.  Whether responding to new measurement needs, or simply applying the methods we know and love to answer a new question, this discipline is for curious cats.

The Marketing Research MBA sits in a unique place: at the crossroads of the academic and professional worlds.  Having the Nielsen office on campus interacting with a group of students brought those two worlds together and revealed how similar they really are.  Having an inquisitive mind is part of being a good student, just like it’s part of being a good marketing researcher. And the MBA is in the perfect position in which to bring real business problems to life in a learning environment.

One thing I realized during the presentation was just how much knowledge I had acquired over the course of the internship. It flew by, but it was crammed full of learning.  My experience on the advertising effectiveness side of Nielsen was the perfect way to tie my background in advertising into my studies at the Wisconsin School of Business. It set me up to really understand and appreciate the impact that the role of research has, not only in marketing, but cross-functionally.

Upon graduating from the A.C Nielsen Center for Marketing Research, each class of students will depart in many different directions.  While they say our field is small, there are many different approaches to marketing research.  People often specialize in certain methodologies, or focus on a specific brand.  Being exposed to unique perspectives in marketing research is an invaluable part of being a student, and helps to foster the learning mindset.  This will provide a great amount of context and flexibility when moving into our future full-time roles.