For over 15 years, Courtnie has been a strategic consultant for some of the world’s leading brands. She brings a deep research expertise and a truly collaborative approach to her work with clients including Chase and Fidelity. She earned her undergraduate degree from Michigan State and an MBA from Oakland University.1. What brought you to work at/in Market Research?
I always knew I needed to do something with math, but I also wanted something creative, which is exactly what this career allows me to do. As I’ve grown, I’ve realized just how much I enjoy the strategic side of the business: pushing myself to think five steps ahead, anticipate challenges, and help clients creatively and proactively problem solve.
To drive client relationships forward, you need honesty, integrity, and mutual respect. Developing a deep level of trust takes time, and effort. Sometimes it’s not easy, but it’s so worth it. Don’t give up. If it doesn’t work at first, I will try new communication styles and approaches to create that relationship. It’s that tenacity and commitment that speaks volumes to even the toughest critics.
The strongest mentors (I believe you should always have more than one!) in my life are outside of the industry, which I think is important so that you can have a neutral person to confide in, give advice, and act as a source of inspiration of what you can bring to your own industry. It can be harder to find the right one and to start those relationships, but you’ll be surprised at how willing others are to help and invest in your personal and professional development if you just ask.
4. We talk about “The CMB Difference” a lot to clients. What does it mean to you?
When you’re in a professional services industry, it can be easy to forget to take care of yourself, but it’s really important. CMB is as committed to its employees as we are to our clients. Our culture is supportive, transparent, and engaging, which shows in our relationships with one other, our clients, and our work. I feel like I’ve always been here.5. Tell us about a project/initiative you’re particularly proud of. What about that experience helped you to adapt, innovate, and/or grow?
One project that stands out was when I was working at Toyota Financial Services. I was developing its online community, with the goal of engaging with our tough-to-reach demographic. In launching this relatively new format, I was faced with an increasingly restrictive budget (remember the financial crisis of 2008/2009?!), and securing executive buy-in all while trying to think innovatively and creatively, as well as challenge myself to structure research in a sustainable way. This experience affirmed my ability to push myself outside the norm, tackle large initiatives, and be ok with uncertainty, which is critical to growth and innovation.
I’ve applied the lessons I learned at Toyota since. Currently, I am leading a team at CMB to support a major financial services brand developing a system and process for getting research insights on a quick and consistent schedule. We have had to innovate and grow as individuals and as a company to ensure that we are able to execute this important initiative with the high-value and quality research that CMB is known for. It’s exciting to be a part of.
6. If you could have any superpower what would it be/What’s your superpower?
Fly. My husband and I love to travel (in fact, his first Christmas present to me was getting his first passport so we could travel together). It would be great to save that time and money on transportation and get to explore my destination more.
And in the time of COVID-19, I think everyone’s superpower is the ability to just hold it all together (whatever that means for you and your family). Taking that a step further, being the guide and the calm for my teammates and clients is something I really try to strive for every day and would like to say is a superpower. I always try to be a duck: calm above the water, no matter how quickly my feet are peddling below. Maintaining that balance is that’s what having great mentors and managers are for.
7. Show us what a typical day in the life of Courtnie looks like.
To learn more, reach out to Courtnie here.
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