Sunam Ikhlaq - Research Manager

When did you start with Trinity McQueen?

I joined almost 4 years ago. I spent the first couple of years in our head office in Leeds before being drawn to the glamourous life of living in the big smoke. Luckily I was able to stay with the company by relocating to our London office.

What skills have been the most useful in helping you progress?

In the world of market research you have to expect the unexpected. We’re dealing with real people and real lives and with the best intentions this doesn’t always go to plan. I have learnt to develop my skills of patience, thinking on my feet and staying positive throughout. It’s not what happens, it’s about how you deal with it that matters.

Who have you turned to for support and advice when you’ve needed it?

Trinity McQueen is an incredibly supportive place to work. Everyone is really approachable from Managing Director to Line Manager. Current colleagues are a wealth of support and everyone gets stuck in to get the job done. They very much feel like friends as well as colleagues.

What has been your biggest challenge in your career to date?

There was a phase where I was working on research projects in a sector where I didn’t feel I was playing to my strengths. I didn’t feel confident or knowledgeable and therefore always felt out of my depth. Trinity McQueen is great in that there are key specialisms to focus on and you, to an extent, have the freedom to work across the sectors that you are passionate about and interested in. Media, Retail and anything Kids & Family related is what I love and therefore this is where I feel I can add value.

What wouldn’t you change about your career?

I did a Master’s degree in Human Resource Management and so the route into a career looked pretty certain. But I wasn’t sure it was for me. I was on the bus and just so happened to pass Face Facts Research, a fieldwork agency in Leeds. I ended up giving them a call to see if I could get some work experience and they said yes. I thoroughly enjoyed my time there but really wanted to make sense of the findings rather than handing them over to an agency. Fast forward 6 years that is exactly what I’m doing. Working there really helped me appreciate the world of fieldwork and this is something I always keep in mind when I’m designing recruitment material. 

What would you go back and tell your younger self?

Be brave and take advantage of all the opportunities life presents you as you’re not guaranteed to get them again.

What advice would you give to someone wanting to develop their career at Trinity McQueen?

Don’t be scared of having an opinion and challenging others. This is encouraged here and it’s much better than sitting on the fence.
Chris Handford