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Samantha Chambers

Career Path: Market Research Analyst, Frank Recruitment Group
Location: Newcastle upon Tyne, UK

Throughout my degree there was a strong focus on the kind of careers that you could undertake with an MSc in Occupational and Organisational psychology. But after graduating I was still unsure which direction I wanted to take. So, while looking for the right job I took a temporary role working in payroll. After taking some time to think about what I really wanted to do, I realised that one of my favourite things about my degree was the research element. I love gathering information that helps me understand peoples’ thoughts and opinions - a career as a researcher seemed to suit the analytical side of my personality. And the rest, as they say, is history.

What are you doing now?Samantha Chambers

I am a Market Research Analyst at Frank Recruitment Group, a global specialist in niche technology recruitment. My job involves project managing and producing annual market intelligence surveys for our eight distinct brands. Our salary surveys are industry-leading reports that help IT professionals benchmark their salaries, and offer insight into developments in niche tech ecosystems. This role involves a wide range of key responsibilities, ranging from survey planning and design to data analysis and report writing.

What was it about Northumbria that made you decide to study here?

Proximity was a huge deciding factor, but I’d also heard great things about Northumbria and about the Psychology department in particular. After attending the Open Day before my Undergrad I knew that Northumbria was where I wanted to study. The staff were on hand to answer questions and there was a great atmosphere. I was then lucky enough to obtain a bursary which made my decision to undertake a Masters degree at Northumbria an easy one.

What was it like studying at Northumbria?

The course was delivered through a mixture of in-person lectures, group seminars, and workshops. A lot of what we were taught in workshops and seminars was based on actual examples and case studies, which was really useful and helped us reflect on the theory and apply the knowledge that we’d learnt to real scenarios.

How connected was your course with industry?

The course is accredited by the British Psychological Society and is intrinsically linked with the industry. It was led by three practitioners of Organisational Psychology, so they were able to offer insight into how the theory would work in practice. We also had a wide variety of industry professionals come in to discuss their career development after leaving university, allowing us to network with others working in the field.

If you took on a placement during your course how did you feel this helped you in your career/ with your studies?

I undertook a placement with the lecturers of the Nursing Studies degree programme. This gave me the opportunity to observe the rigorous recruitment process for the course. I sat in on interviews and read transcripts while providing feedback on the potential students and their suitability to undertake the degree. It was really valuable and gave me an idea of how recruitment works in the real world.

What was the best thing about your course?

The teaching staff were so knowledgeable about the subjects we covered, and with their various backgrounds they were each able to provide unique insight into a wide range of topics. They always provided constructive feedback, and they were supportive and patient in their teaching.

How did studying at Northumbria help you achieve your career goals/ give your career an edge?

My degree equipped me with theoretical and practical knowledge of advanced quantitative and qualitative research methods. Without these skills, I would never have landed a role as a research executive, which ultimately lead on to my current position.

Which skills/knowledge did you learn on your course that you use most now throughout your career?

The ability to undertake rigorous research and the importance of using data and theory to support my work has been vital. I also learnt how to analyse and reflect on processes so that they can constantly be optimised and improved.

What did you enjoy most about your time at Northumbria University?

The people that I met and the confidence that my studies gave me.

What advice would you give somebody who is considering studying at Northumbria?

Just do it - you’ll learn so much about the world and about yourself, plus you’ll make friends for life.

How would you describe your time at Northumbria in three words?

Demanding, stimulating, valuable.

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