Great to hear from 30 Under 30 Nominee Hieu Nguyen, a Research Executive at Ipsos Germany who helps companies collect high-quality data that forms the basis for their decisions. Hieu is passionate about measures to increase data quality in online market research and has published several articles on this topic on renowned insights blogs such as Research World (ESOMAR) or GreenBook. This September, he received the award for the best Master’s thesis at the General Online Research Conference in Berlin, Germany.
So, how did you get into the industry, and take us through how you got to this point?
Even in the first year of my Master’s degree, I was unsure about what career path to take after graduation. After having a lot of fun conducting an online survey as part of a project at the university, I decided to do an internship at Ipsos. This is how my journey in the market research industry began (Spoiler: I am now part of the team from back then again!).
The internship at Ipsos was so interesting and insightful that I could imagine a career in market research. To prepare myself for this next step, I collected further experience as a working student at 1&1 and GfK.
I was pleased to have achieved my career goal after graduation. Starting at Gruppe Nymphenburg, I now work at Ipsos Observer. Since I already got to know the Service Line as an intern, I was able to integrate quickly into the team and actively contribute to its success.
Career paths are rarely without challenges. Can you share an honest moment from your career when things didn’t go quite according to plan, but the lessons remain with you to this day?
I graduated at the end of 2019. The market research industry was strongly affected by the pandemic and it was therefore a difficult time for career entrants.
After a long job search, I was able to find a position at Gruppe Nymphenburg that met my expectations and where I learned a lot. This experience shows me that in case of difficulties on the career path, especially those caused by external factors, I should look at the situation positively and continue to do my best to reach the goal because there is always a solution!
What two things should junior researchers focus on as they progress in their careers?
As a junior researcher, my curiosity took me far. By actively asking questions, I could effectively fill the gaps in my knowledge and acquired crucial competencies. Having a healthy curiosity also allowed me to quickly engage in conversation with others and make new contacts in the industry.
Since the beginning of my career, I have been looking at every task not as something I have to do, but as an opportunity to improve myself and learn from other colleagues as well as clients. Knowing that I benefit from each task, I enjoy my work and maintain my perseverance when things get tough.
How do we ensure that students and those leaving school aspire to join our sector?
From my point of view, we should offer students and those leaving school more opportunities to carry out their own market research projects with the support of market researchers. This can happen, for example, within the context of practical seminars in cooperation with universities or schools.
Through such seminars accompanied by information events, they can get to know the industry in all its facets and have a good basis to assess whether market research is a career field for them.
Do you have any advice for our sector?
Even though the demand for faster and cheaper data collection is growing, data quality should not be disregarded. To achieve this, market researchers should pay attention to possible sources of error in surveys and be aware of measures to reduce them.
And do you have anyone who has helped your career so far that you’d like to acknowledge and say thanks or give a shout out to?
I have learned from every colleague I have worked with and I thank them for that. A special thank you goes to the team at Ipsos Observer for guiding me through my first steps in market research and supporting me on the way to achieving my goals.