02 Dec 2020

Meet MRBA Skills bursary winner Kate, who’s forging a career in social research

It was while working in a corporate social responsibility role at Pfizer that MRBA Skills bursary winner Kate Oake first became interested in social research. As she relates it, “my career change journey began when I spotted that Pfizer could make a meaningful contribution to a gap in survivorship research about people living longer with incurable cancer”. She secured business support for the idea, and commissioned insight agency Customer Faithful to carry out the research. The resulting insight was published in the Patient Experience Journal. Of this, she says, “I am immensely proud”.

Having had a taste of social research, Kate managed further patient experience research projects at Pfizer. Then, following a voluntary redundancy, she signed up as a volunteer Community Listener with Healthwatch Surrey. Now, having both managed research and conducted hands-on fieldwork, Kate is determined to find a research role. She says, “I’m passionate about healthcare, learning and community development, and I want to deliver high-quality insight to help change behaviours and make a meaningful difference to people’s lives”.

Winning the MRBA Skills bursary to study for the MRS Advanced Certificate in Market and Social Research is the logical next step Kate’s career change journey. “It will allow me to formalise my on-the-job learning”, says Kate, adding that “the course will show me how things work across the whole market research journey and how all the different elements fit together”.

Research Academy MD Mia Lorenz agrees. Her view is that “a graduate-level professional qualification will allow Kate to demonstrate that she has not only the practical experience, but the theoretical underpinnings required to be a top-notch social researcher.”

Kate chose to use her MRBA Skills bursary win to take our taught online course rather than a self-study option. Commenting on this choice, she says “I enjoy team working and will really benefit from the chance to discuss and debate issues with the course leader and others who I am studying alongside, as there will be a range of experiences to hear about and learn from”.

The opportunity to learn in a supportive peer group is one that many of our alumni value. Our 2015 graduate Mark Reynolds, for instance, felt that “it was comforting to have a community of students to share ideas with via the seminars and on the online course forum”.

If you’re keen to make a switch to market or social research and want to study for the MRS Advanced Certificate, you too can apply for an MRBA Skills bursary. The deadline for the next round of applications is the 15th of March 2020, which will enable you to join our August 2021 MRS Advanced Certificate course.

You can learn more about MRBA Skills in this video, which also features one of our graduates, and by visiting their website at https://www.mrba.org.uk/skills/.

For more information about our MRS Advanced Certificate in Market and Social Research courses please drop us an email, or set up a call with Course Leader Siavush Shahrizad.

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