30under30 Nominee Milly Foot

We interviewed Significant Insights Global 30 Under 30 Nominee, Milly Foot, who works at incling and is a Senior Consultant, and has lately been working on how online research can be made even more accessible.

Take us through your industry journey so far? How did you arrive at this point?

I started as a Community Manager at incling nearly 6 years ago with a passion for talking to people about their views but without an awful lot of research experience.  Since then, I’ve had the pleasure of working with and learning from lots of others in the industry. My favourite thing about the work that I’ve done over the last 6 years or so is the diversity, from healthcare, charities and NGOs to travel, utilities and software, the research I’ve conducted has taught me a lot and no project is ever the same! I’ve been lucky that incling has encouraged me to grow and develop and has supported me through the various stages of my career by treating me as an individual and helping me to forge my own path.

So, what’s so inspiring about our industry?

I think our industry has the ability to have a great impact on individuals. Going beyond making research engaging and fun for participants, we also have the ability to amplify voices.  This is particularly important for the voices that are sometimes quieter than others or don’t fit the mould of the general population.  Over the past year, I’ve become particularly interested in how we can make our research more inclusive and accessible. People with disabilities are often left out of research when they make up a large portion of consumers and with online research in particular, it’s really easy to make small changes to help open up the conversation and encourage brands to take into account opinions that they may not have considered previously.

What message do you have for anyone considering a career in our industry?

Be like a sponge! Every meeting, discussion guide and deliverable is a learning opportunity, so soak it all up – even if you’re learning what not to do! Talk to your colleagues too; in the age of working from home, it can be tough to make those connections but asking questions about why we’re going down a certain route can help newbies understand the greater context of the research, or may even trigger a conversation about the approach.

How do very junior researchers stand out?

Put yourself out there and get your voice heard. It can be really intimidating to speak up in a meeting or attend an event, but I found that once I got over feeling uncomfortable and started speaking up and making suggestions, I gained a greater understanding of why things were done in a certain way or if there was potential to shake things up a bit. This goes for within your company and externally, I learned so much from attending meetings with clients and going to agency offices for a coffee. Hopefully the days of face-to-face interaction will return soon!