This social life

Staff Spotlight – Getting to Know Karen, Research Manager

In our Staff Spotlight series, we get up-close and personal with the members of the Listen + Learn Research team to find out who they are and what their job roles involve.

Where are you from, and where do you call home?

This is a tricky question to answer, and I always hesitate to answer when asked. I attended the University of Alabama for undergraduate and graduate school and met my husband in Washington, DC. Since being married, we’ve lived in many places – Cape Town, London, Antwerp, Dublin, Chennai and now we are in Copenhagen. Our kids were born in Austin, Texas, but I’d hardly call it home. We love travelling and can’t wait for the next adventure.

What does a typical working day look like for you?

That is one of the things I really like about working at LLR. There is no typical day. Every day begins with a new set of challenges and problems to be addressed. We strive to do our best work every day, and when our clients are happy, I know there will be a team of cheerleaders giving high fives on Basecamp to make it all worthwhile. Lately, I have worked on several projects related to mental health and the effects of Covid on our day to day lives. I jokingly commented I’m ready for a project about chocolate and lollipops, but in truth, I think the work we do on mental health is vital.

What is most challenging about being a Research Manager?

Writing a report that genuinely meets the client’s needs and is just not regurgitating findings from the code frame we’ve developed. We work very hard to communicate a compelling story backed by solid proof points. I want it to be a report the client can instantly dive into and find meaningful information that will inspire solutions and action items.

What makes Listen and Learn Research different from other places you’ve worked?

No short-cuts. Everything we do, we do to the absolute best of our ability, and we are entirely transparent with our clients when things are not going to plan or if we have an issue. Jeremy and Mike are absolutely intent on work-life balance. If they sense we are working too late, they pipe in and ask if help is needed or suggest it is time to call it a day. They also encourage us to take time to eat healthily and exercise. If you are a meat lover (like me), you will probably learn more recipes that include kale than you ever care to know. But thankfully, those conversations are balanced by many photos of cupcakes and French cheese.

What’s your favorite expression or proverb?

If my grandmother in Alabama described a situation as a “fruit basket roll over,” you knew the problem was a complete chaotic mess, and it was best to stay out of it. I’ve tried using this expression a few times, and it is usually met either with silence or “??.” Perhaps an emoji of different sizes and shapes of fruit rolling every which way is needed.

Best fun facts about you? 

I am a certified antique appraiser and know entirely more than any person should know about pewter and Bellarmine baard jugs.

To find out more about our talented team of social intelligence professionals, get in touch with us at contact@listenandlearnresearch.com.

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