Major(s): Communications Studies
Minor(s): Business Institutions
CFS Program: Field Studies in the Modern Workplace
If every time you go to the grocery store it feels like there are new products on the market—you’re not alone, and you’re probably not wrong. Consumer packaged good (CPG) retailers are constantly innovating new products, trying to create items that stand out among crowded shelves. Everything from the messaging to the package design to the attributes of the product are meticulously crafted to maximize reach, so whether a company is revamping an existing product or developing something completely new, the only thing constant is change.
This fall, I’ve had the opportunity to see this process first-hand by working alongside CPG clients at my internship with Nielsen. I work as a Demand Analyst in the Innovations Department, meaning I help assess the potential relevance, distinctiveness, and endurance of products clients are considering launching. As much as innovation seems like an art, it is actually more of a science and Nielsen’s metrics help companies be smarter about the process. This internship has helped me see this perspective and how powerful market research can be.
In addition to working at Nielsen four days a week, I also take a class called “Modern Workplace” on Mondays. Aside from being a nice break from the hour-long commute down the CTA Purple Line, the course is stimulating and complements my internship well. In class, we focus on the meaning of work, labor and consumerism in our society which pairs especially nicely with product innovation, as my goal as an analyst is to maximize potential sales in our consumeristic world. Finally, Chicago Field Studies can be challenging since it operates on a completely different schedule from normal school, so having a chance to meet other students sharing a similar experience is invaluable as well.
I am so glad that I decided to do an internship this fall and would not change anything about my experience. I encourage anyone who wants to be downtown in Chicago, develop their professional skills or learn about an industry to consider CFS. I’ll always be glad I did.