Amanda Galvin is a senior customer research consultant at LinkedIn. She has a proven track record in quantitative and qualitative research. Amanda Gavin has a masters in cognitive neuroscience from the University of Sussex. She uses her psychology and marketing research background to develop research studies and combine them with LinkedIn’s professional data to create actionable insights for customers so they may better serve members.
How did you end up at LinkedIn? What was your career path?
Understanding people’s motivations, thoughts, and behavior has always been a passion of mine. I am amazed how different people are and yet somehow we are able to connect, develop relationships, and get stuff done. Thus, I got a degree in communication from University of California, Santa Barbara, where I took classes about relationships, families, conflict, workplace interactions, and more – it was so much fun and practical!
After college, I immediately started my master’s degree in England where I could meet people from different cultures. I continued studying people, but this time I focused on understanding what happens unconsciously inside our brains. I graduated from the University of Sussex with a master’s in cognitive neuroscience and a group of amazing friends from around the world.
When starting my career, I struggled with what I wanted to be. It didn’t seem like there was an obvious role for my passion. A friend suggested marketing research as an option. I would collect real world data about people’s beliefs, attitudes, and behavior to help companies make decisions. I couldn’t believe I could get paid to do this!
My first job was at a boutique international market research agency called SKIM, where I learned a lot about consumer dynamics and their decision-making process. About two and a half years later, I joined LinkedIn as a research consultant providing insights about the world’s professionals to LinkedIn’s customers.
What are your responsibilities as senior customer research consultant at LinkedIn?
As a research consultant at LinkedIn, I develop research studies and combine them with LinkedIn’s professional data to create actionable insights for our customers so they may better serve our members.
These customers are typically digital marketers who are interested in understanding their target audience more, exploring a new topic to create thought leadership content, or trying to prove the effectiveness of their marketing on LinkedIn’s platform.
What is your advice for someone who hopes to work in a research role?
Being able to analyze and interpret the data is only half the job. The other exciting part is creating a story with the findings that can help your stakeholders understand the data and decide what actions to take.
Storytelling and client communication requires a different set of skills from data analytics. I find putting myself in my stakeholders’ shoes. Considering what their expectations, needs, and resources are really helps when delivering the insights and recommendations.
What is your favorite thing about working at LinkedIn?
My favorite thing about working at LinkedIn is the incredible talent I am surrounded by every day. I find my colleagues to be extraordinarily intelligent and inspiring, which motivates me to always be on my A-game.
For example, I once asked a coworker to pull some data for me from our database. When I received the data, it was clear that my coworker not only fulfilled my request, but also considered what I might use the data for and provided some additional data and context that might help me. It’s this proactive, strategic, and collaborative mindset that makes working at LinkedIn so amazing.
What is your career advice for other young professional women?
Always set goals for yourself. How can you accomplish great things if you don’t know what they are? Think about all the skills it takes – self-discipline, drive, motivation, organization, not to mention the skills specific to the goal.
I enjoy setting career goals as well as personal goals to keep me balanced. I especially like to pick things that I’ve never done before like taking a data-science class, running a half marathon, or glass flameworking. Goals give me purpose and something to be proud of in my daily life.