30Under30 Honouree: Tony Truong

Great to hear from our 2023 Global 30-under30 honouree, Tony Truong, who is a young insights professional from down under, working as a Senior Consultant at Nature. Tony’s daily mission revolves around the art of attentive listening and delivering tailored strategic insights that address unique challenges faced by his valued clients.

So, how did you get into the industry, and take us through how you got to this point?

I sort of failed my way into the industry. I did a Marketing Insights unit at Monash University and I failed it 3 times. The reason I failed was because I hated statistics with a passion.

It was only when I repeated the unit again for the 4th time, I realised statistics isn’t about maths, it was about patterns. From there, I never looked back because the beauty of understanding patterns is alluring.

I was fortunate enough that people in the industry saw something in me and nurtured me to get to where I am!

What are you most proud of from your career so far?

Looking back, one moment I’m most proud of is proving my worth as a market research intern. During this time, I ran my first project end-to-end. I wasn’t the smartest, nor the brightest, but being able to run a project end-to-end showed that I had the grit and determination to pull it off.

My manager at the time was the first person in the industry to believe in me when nobody else did. It was at this moment that I knew I would thrive in the industry.

What two things should junior researchers focus on as they progress in their careers?

Networking – The power of networking and meeting new people is immeasurable. Sometimes the random conversations you have with someone can lead to new opportunities. This is particularly important when time gets tough and one of the most powerful thing you can do is lean onto your network to get you through the day.

Don’t worry about the role or company, find the right leader – Young researchers should look for a leader they can feel comfortable with. If they can find the right leader, they will feel more empowered and subsequently thrive. I’ve been fortunate enough to work with great leaders that have empowered me to ask questions, be vulnerable, challenge their views. You know a leader is the right one for you when they genuinely listen and care. If you’re spending a third of your waking life with someone, it’s better to spend it with someone that brings the best out of you.

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

If you have an insatiable curiosity and love to solve problems, you can’t look past this industry!

Do you have any advice for our sector as a whole?

We need to be more vigilant with data quality. The continuing rise of AI and tech-enabled software is a double-edged sword. While it can augment the work we do day-to-day, it unfortunately makes it easier to falsify data – particularly with open-ended responses.

The foundation of our industry relies on the integrity of the data we collect. If we don’t evolve our data quality checks and stay ahead of how AI / tech can falsify data, then we will lose our value.

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? 

There’s definitely a few who I’d like to give a shout out, but they already know how appreciative and grateful I am. They know who they are because I’m constantly annoying them. If they’re reading this – I just wanted to say thank you for taking a chance on me.