Great to hear from our 2023 Global 30-under30 honouree, Kat Borkowska who works on premium skin cleaning for Unilever.
So, how did you get into the industry, and take us through how you got to this point?
I very briefly worked at Havas and realized marketing was definitely what I wanted to do with my life, just not that kind of marketing. I was pursuing a masters in analytics and realized data and research are truly my passion. I worked at Behaviorally where I directly helped clients understand the insights behind their packaging, shelf, and shopper decisions. Today, I work across global insights where I get to steer research decisions and continuously help answer the “why” to better business decisions.
What are you most proud of from your career so far?
There are so many successful campaigns and products that I was able to influence and touch throughout my career, but the one I’m proudest of is the one I’m currently working on. As part of the Dove global premium team, the work I do directly influences so many consumers and ensures that people of all skin types are able to find the product they need.
What two things should junior researchers focus on as they progress in their careers?
Asking for help and continuously learning. You won’t know everything and that’s ok. It’s important to know when to ask for help and learn from others and when it’s ok to try it on your own and ask for feedback instead. It’s also important to always keep learning. If new technologies or methodologies come out, staying on top of it is essential, especially with AI revolutionizing every industry. Continue to learn and continue to ask, because that’s how you grow and get better.
What message do you have for anyone considering a career in our sector?
Keep asking questions. Our jobs largely focus around finding the answers, but that oftentimes stems from asking the right question and knowing what it is you’re truly trying to figure out. Learn what to look for and what questions to ask to be a better researcher and partner to whoever you’re working with.
Do you have any advice for our sector as a whole?
It’s important that we continue to invest into research and the new talent. There are so many talented individuals and researchers that don’t have the support needed to do their jobs. Many departments are underfunded or understaffed, but insights roles are critical for decision making. We need to keep investing into ourselves.
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?
Cindy O’Flanagan. Cindy was my manager at Behaviorally and she really helped me evolve from an analyst into a manager. Together we focused on my transition to people and account management. The new role was much more consultative and insights heavy. So, Cindy, thank you for seeing something in me and giving me the push I needed to progress as an insights professional, but more importantly as a person. You taught me so much and you’re someone I’m proud to call a mentor and a friend.