Could you summarise your career/journey in three to five highlights?
I started off my career at a small market research agency in Camden working on three of life's great pleasures: alcohol, chocolate and TV.
When the recession happened, I decided I wanted a gear change and headed over to New Zealand to work at an agency with less glamorous brands, but definitely more beautiful beaches!
Right before the Olympics felt like a good time to head back to the UK with a few stints at a few agencies before jumping over client side at The BBC. The BBC was a great place to really sink my teeth into the world of entertainment, I learnt a lot over the 4 years I was there.
And that takes me to today where I have been at Netflix for the last 3 years.
What led you into working into consumer insights and was this something you always wished to do?
I don’t think many people dream of working in consumer insights growing up! I actually had originally planned to go into advertising after getting seduced by the idea after doing work experience aged 15. It was advertising’s big heyday during the 90s, it just looked really fun, interesting and creative. But after uni, I realised that the more ‘thinky’ and problem solving bits were the things I liked best about advertising and that was only a small part of the job, which then led me to consumer insights where most of the job was that.
What is the most rewarding thing about your job?
A lot of what I do is about bringing consumer response and thinking into a room. So seeing what a difference that can bring to campaign or titles is incredibly rewarding.
What advice do you have for young people of colour hoping to follow in your footsteps?
The opportunities are there! And the industry does want to be more diverse. I’d suggest finding an agency which does both qualitative and quantitative research and learn to do both as client side roles require both. I’d also consider focusing on an area like social media insight which is a growing space where there is a lot of need but not enough talent to fill it.
Lastly, what’s your favourite new thing to have picked up during lockdown? Are there any shows in particular you’d recommend?
I am one of those cliches who started getting really into plants and gardening during lockdown! And shows wise, I have spent most of lockdown watching things that are escapist, fun or uplifting - often all three! So Lucifer, Special and Call My Agent were ones that kept my spirits up.
An Nguyen can be found on LinkedIn. Look out for our next instalment in the series in a fortnight!