Biscuits, dogs and research. We caught up with Native GC’s Senior Researcher, Nat Gould, to get the lowdown on how to make it as a researcher in the education world and what life as a Native means.
And more importantly, her favourite biscuit.
Read on to find out…
Let’s jump straight in Nat, can you tell us a bit about your background and what brought you to Natives Global Consulting?
I started my research career at the University of Sussex as a research assistant and then went on to do a PhD there, focusing on the psychology of eating behaviour. Basically, I spent four years feeding hungry students weird flavoured foods! I also taught various psychology modules and statistics to undergraduates and masters students, and then spent the last four and a half years at City, University of London, working on a research project aiming to help healthcare professionals reduce unnecessary blood transfusions. When I decided it was time to leave academic research Natives Global Consulting seemed the ideal place for me, bringing together my love of research and my experience of working in the Higher Education sector.
What does a typical day at Natives Global Consulting look like for you?
I work along the whole process of research so my days are very varied. I can be writing research proposals one day, and then the next day I’ll be discussing briefing forms with clients to ensure we fully understand their objectives, or writing surveys and interview topic guides and conducting interviews and focus groups. Another large part of my role involves analysing data and pulling out key findings to write reports and present findings back to clients. Plus talking about, and eating, biscuits.
Talking of biscuits – what’s your favourite?
Ooh, well I’m currently loving the ‘extremely chocolatey’ range from M&S. We’re having a debate in our office as to whether the white chocolate or the milk chocolate orange are the best – I will keep you posted!
Sounds like you’re kept very busy! Is there a part of your role that you find the most fulfilling?
I enjoy finding out what motivates people to do what they do – I am a psychologist after all! So pulling together research findings and discussing these with clients in terms of what they mean for their institution, the sector, their students, their staff and their marketing campaigns.
What are you looking forward to achieving at Natives GC over the next couple of years?
There is so much potential for what we can do here at Natives GC in terms of research, strengthening our processes and methods, and getting involved in lots of exciting projects, as well as large internal research projects such as the National Clearing Survey.
I hear that Natives GC are now official MRS Partners. Can you tell us what this accreditation means?
It means we’ve been recognised for our research skills and our ability to carry out high-quality rigorous research, something we pride ourselves on here at Natives GC. This recognition means we’ll always be on the ball when it comes to changing trends and regulations – keeping Natives GC upskilled and competitive.
And what will this mean for our clients?
It means we will continue to build on our reputation for our research, and be able to constantly offer the most up to date and evidence-based methodologies for our clients’ research projects.
Do you have a ‘proudest moment’ in your career to date?
Graduating with my PhD! It was a huge challenge both academically and personally. Graduating in bright red and blue robes amongst friends who also survived that challenge, with my family supporting me, was an amazing feeling.
Go on, tell us something about yourself that no one would guess…
That’s such a hard question. I was born six weeks premature and weighed just 3lb (1.4kg)… I don’t think you’d guess that from looking at me!
What do you get up to outside of work?
Over the last few years I’ve got into running and have completed the Brighton Marathon three times, along with various half marathons and 24-hour relay races. I’ve signed up again for the Brighton Marathon next year to see what training is like without a 4-hour daily commute! I also go to Bounce, an exercise class on mini trampolines and loud music, a lot of fun and a regular test of my poor coordination. Otherwise, I can usually be found with friends, eating, drinking or wandering along the seafront.
And one final question before I let you get back to work… If you could describe yourself in three words, what would they be?
Crazy dog lady 🐶
Want to know more about the research services at Natives GC or how our experts can help with your next research project – get in touch.
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