Young Pros Spotlight
Will Howard, Age 25
Senior Research Associate, Ipsos
What is your proudest professional accomplishment?
Working on a top priority research project which included hands on involvement by my firm’s Global Head of Health. The bar was set at a high level, one of the core members of our research team was out, and naturally time was at a premium. I played a large role in seeing the delivery of the project through, presenting to the client, and the team received incredibly positive feedback, leading to new business.
What is your biggest professional challenge?
Illustrating the ability to do high quality work, multi-task, and project manage with tacit responsibility despite being fresh in the industry. At this stage you have no long standing reputation to fall back on, so you have to perform!
How has being an ARF YP member impacted your career?
It’s given me a lens into the industry at large. I’ve learned about research techniques and trends which I likely would have missed in my day to day work capacity, and it’s provided inspiration to learn more. The ARF YP illustrates that there is more than your personal status quo.
What’s your favorite event you’ve been to?
It might be unoriginal, but the December 2017 YP Boot Camp was really superb. The learning opportunities, ability to network with peers (as well as our seniors), and sense of occasion were unlike any professional event I’ve been to.
When researching a topic you know nothing about, how do you get started?
I don’t have a particular formula, but generally I start broad and begin to hone in on specifics until a comprehensive pictures emerges with the level of resolution I’m looking for. I find if I start with something particular I will circle back for more general context and then dive back in again.
What’s an example of a company/brand that you think is doing a great job?
Patagonia seems to be a brand that can do no wrong at the moment. It’s waved its flag as a benefit corporation since day one, and despite its meteoric rise in popularity (amongst a certain urban, business casual crowd) my understanding is that the ship is still run by good people actively working to help communities and the planet. What can I say? I finally got a sweater.
What is your favorite restaurant in your city?
This is a very important subject, but despite how invested I am in this arena I can’t say I have one favorite. I haven’t been to enough and I go the same places too infrequently. I will say this: Most inspirational for my own cooking, The Finch; best food deal, A&A Bake and Doubles; place I’m really looking forward to, Cosme (Enrique Olvera, of Pujol CDMX).
What is your favorite show/program?
I watch far too little TV (I feel like I’m missing out on contemporary culture haha), but The Wire is all around tough to beat.
What’s your dream job? (If money was no object, what would you do?)
Running a successful portfolio of restaurants akin to Danny Meyer’s Union Square Hospitality Group would be pretty good, I have to say. He has been able to spread his brand with a small and growing empire of fast casual establishments while overseeing individual restaurants that maintain their reputation for producing cuisine at the highest level. Having that influence and community is something else!
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