Going places: LaShanda Seaman

LaShanda Seaman is an active member of the Market Research industry, and she is currently running in the MRS Main Board Elections. I sat down with her to discuss why she is running in the upcoming election.

LaShanda, what have you been up to since we last spoke with you?

I am currently a qualitative research manager at Opinium and continue to be involved across the industry including MRS &more, Social Researchers of Colour, and the MRS People and Talent programme.  It keeps me busy, but I honestly enjoy getting involved and meeting so many people across the industry.

As someone who is clearly passionate about the industry, how would you describe it to someone else?

Wow, that is a tough one because there is so much you can do in this sector. I honestly think there is something in this sector for everyone from frontline research to operations and the range of clients means there is always something new and exciting to work on. I feel like I can convince most people to a career in market research!

You are currently running in the MRS Main Board Elections, why were you interested in running in the elections?

Typically, boards are made up of senior individuals, but when I realised experience level was not a requirement for the MRS elections, I saw an opportunity! As someone who is often championing young researchers, I believe this is a great way to demonstrate to other researchers that they can get involved too and if successful, that I can advocate for them on the board. Nothing can replace someone with lived experience sharing their own experience.

Additionally, we have made great strides in terms of acknowledging the changes that need to make regarding DE&I within our industry, but there is still a way to go. I believe that I can positively contribute to driving these changes forward.

You have mentioned young researchers, why do you feel it is important for young people to get involved in the industry?

My colleagues will know that I often speak about personal profiles – it is never too early to get started and you never know who may be checking in. Your profile speaks to your interest, whether it is a specific topic or a methodology that you can become an expert on. Our young researchers are the future of the industry, and it is important that their interests and talents are nurtured so that they are encouraged to stay in the sector.

What would you most like to accomplish if successful with your candidacy?

I would like for talent of all ages from all backgrounds to see market research as a prospective career pathway – from school leavers to mature professionals. Hopefully, we can collectively raise the profile of the industry and demonstrate the various opportunities it offers to individuals. this is important so that the research we do is reflective of the people we talk to and so that the industry continues to develop.