Thursday, December 15, 2011

What I do all day. Well, what I do all morning.

When I'm not looking for a stapler, having a nap or sending e-mails to myself here's a glimpse into what I do.  Much like advertising there's no such thing as a typical day but I'll invent a composite.

9:15:  Arrive
The lab doesn't seem to have hours.  You do what you need to do, wherever and whenever you need to do it.  Still, I've always been an arrive around 9:00 type of employee.  There's one guy who's regularly there prior to me.  Today we chat about the transformation of our space from a lab to an art gallery (hold that thought).

9:30: Think about Research Proposal  
At present, there's no one topic that consumes me to the point of dreaming about a PhD, book deal and dedicating my life to exploring it.  It's certainly not indifference but I do feel a little, um, out of place without the focus (and expertise, for that matter) others possess.  Regarding expertise, I trust my aptitude.  Regarding focus I trust that with time my curiosity will "settle" a bit.

I have areas of interest and I've been tasked with posing an empirical approach to a question of my choosing.  Within a few days of thinking about it, not thinking about it, observing behavior, listening in on conversations and just doing some of the regular things I do I had eight questions with underlying behavioral economics issues and some thoughts on how to explore them.  Shared them with boss and am proceeding with the one to which he responded "This one, I like."

We have lab meetings every other Thursday morning.  Two people share their work.  I'm on deck and my plan is to share my proposal with the team in whatever form I can get it in by that time.
Hello, PowerPoint, I've not missed you.

10:15 Turn down coffee 
By this point, more people have arrived and someone had definitely made coffee.  I don't drink coffee.  This is incomprehensible to some.  Boss says "We'll change that."  I'm not aware any behavior modification plan nor do I understand the desire for me to acquire a vice.

10:20  Think about corporate world + academia
Corporations approach the lab with business questions they would like to address through the lens of behavioral economics.  Some of these corporations "sign on" as sponsors.  Not entirely sure the criteria (outside of big fee) though I suspect mutual interest in the topics is one of them.  They are not Clients.  I am not an Account Manager.  It's a distinctly different relationship with company as is my role in it.

On my first day sponsor came to Durham with a list of business questions I've seen several times over in advertising.  We discussed the underlying issues, threw out ideas for probing them further/empirically.

Nerd alert:  I am giddy with intrigue thinking about a new way to approach longstanding questions

Ego alert: My years of experience in the corporate world serve me very well in this arena.  I immediately see the value of my experience and the unique perspective I can provide.

I have done an audit of corporate sponsor offering.  I am thinking about how to improve it.  The nature of my audit was qualitative.  I  need to think about how to quantify it so we can do a nationwide study.  That's nationwide with a lowercase n.

11:45 "Jamie, Come"
This is how my boss typically summons me (if that sounds obnoxious know that it isn't).

Walk to bosses office.
Boss:  I need some professional advice
Jamie: Er, you have advice for me?
Boss:  No.  What do you think of this?

Jamie (thinking):
Cool.  I'm a go-to for advertising questions.  My boss thinks I'm as insightful as I do.  I'm flattered.

12:00 Lunch
Where to go?  Everyone is already bored with all the options on Ninth Street.  Even though we can never remember them. If it's Cosmic, I'll decline.  Their burritos are all rice.

1 comment:

Colin Butler said...

I spent two years eating all over downtown Durham. I am your untapped resource.