Forethought seeks “best and brightest” data grads
As one of Australia’s top market research firms, Forethought Research needs to recruit top talent to help big brands utilise customer data for critical insights, which is why it came to Melbourne Business School recently.
“We like to recruit the brightest and the best, and they tend to come from MBS,” said Forethought’s Katherine Marguccio, after pitching her company to our Master of Business Analytics students. “I think MBS graduates have a definite edge over other graduates that apply for our analyst roles.”
Forethought, which has developed US-patented technology for measuring brand emotions, has been partnering with the MBS Master of Business Analytics program to have students complete their industry practicum with the company as part of their studies and to work in an analytics role after graduating.
“I think the mixture of applied learning and an industry-based practicum really allows your MBusA students to stand out,” Katherine said. “This year, we had four students work for us on a practicum, which is really great because it gave us a feel for them before commencing the recruitment process.”
One star MBS recruit already at Forethought, Brad Trewhalla, who Katherine describes as “just brilliant”, did his practicum with the company in 2015 before becoming a Forethought analyst.
Helping Katherine at the recruitment session were Forethought colleagues Sara Cincotta and Michelle-Joy Low, who completed her undergraduate and PhD studies in Financial Econometrics at the University of Melbourne.
“Our clients are looking for solutions that are adapted to their business needs,” Michelle-Joy said. “So we have people with all sorts of skills sets in our teams, not just technical specialists. We’re talking about psychologists, business analysts and marketing experts, who come together to craft a solution that’s very pointy and actionable from a business perspective.”
Forethought used its multi-skilled teams and patented technology to help Kmart increase store traffic. In a 2015 article, the company’s founder, MBS alumnus Ken Roberts (MBA 1991), said survey respondents helped it identify how Kmart could market itself more distinctly using the emotions of pride and anxiety.
“Respondents felt more anxious about not living within their means if they were not shopping at discount department stores,” he said. “So, they feel less anxious shopping at Kmart than at Myer or David Jones. The other driver is the pride they get from successfully living within their means.”
Among the nearly 20 other companies at MBS in early October to offer similarly interesting and challenging opportunities to our talented MBusA students were Woolworths, Coles, BP, CBA, KPMG, AT Kearney, Quantium, Roy Morgan and Melbourne-based start-up Envato.