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James Manning Smith - Life at Futuresource
My working life started a few years after graduating from university, following the completion of a master’s degree and a year living in Asia. I wanted to find a job that could compete with my prior few years of pushing myself academically and on a personal level by moving to a developing country. I wanted a role where I would be engaged daily.
I interviewed for Futuresource in June 2016 and two weeks later I was embarking on my career as an analyst. Over the last three years, my role at Futuresource has developed significantly. I’ve grown into and been pushed to take new challenges, with support from not only my line manager, but colleagues across the business. I now manage the Mobile Technology team, mentoring two graduate analysts with responsibility for a number of research services and a number of key accounts, making a measured impact on Futuresource as a business through client engagement. Through hard work, I’ve been able to gain a reputation both within the company, but also externally as a trusted researcher and thought leader on a number of technology areas.
My day-to-day work-load has become increasingly varied as my responsibilities have expanded. In the first three months of 2019, I have attended Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, researched and project managed three reports received by over 20 clients, delivered two custom market research briefs, held two client de-briefs, presented to prospective clients and presented at a conference in London. In an average month, the Mobile Technology team and I will publish at least two reports, receive a 3-5 enquiries for press commentary, conduct 40+ industry interviews and help a variety of clients out with ad-hoc questions and research. Whilst at the core of my responsibility is to remain an expert in our specialist fields of smartphones, wearable devices, tablets and VR headsets, each week we aid our clients in understanding a variety of technology developments, geopolitical trends and gain an understanding of their competitor’s strategies.
Travel was and remains one of the key selling points of my role at Futuresource, and I have been lucky enough to have visited several fascinating countries thanks to my business travel. One of the most important long-term objectives for analysts is to gain and develop a strong network of industry contacts across the globe. One of the best ways to maintain and develop these relationships further is through face-to-face meetings, which often results in analysts being sent across the world to create strong research partnerships. In 2018, I travelled to Japan, Las Vegas, Barcelona and Berlin and in 2019 I have travelled back to Barcelona for the third year running, and I am actively planning trips to Finland, Berlin, China and if I can fit it in a trip to Los Angeles and Silicon Valley.
Like many graduates I left university with a toolkit of skills and began trying to find a job that would not only utilise my degree but keep me learning on a day-to-day basis and offer broad and varied long-term development. I knew what I wanted to get out of my career but was not sure what industry would provide this. Through Futuresource I have gained some amazing experiences and had some great exposure to the technology industry. Alongside the great professional experience, I have made some great friends both in terms of colleagues and in terms of my wider network of industry contacts. I have always had something exciting or challenging to look forward to whilst at Futuresource, whether it’s a trip, a new project, a client presentation or a company night out. I have always been able to ask for support from colleagues at all levels of seniority, gaining access to years and years of professional market research and business management experience, a means of education and development which is often overlooked in larger organisations.
My career at Futuresource has certainly challenged me, but it has offered a lot of reward in terms of job satisfaction. Leaving university, I hadn’t greatly considered market research as a career path. However, as I develop as a researcher, an analyst and a team leader I gain more and more satisfaction in this career. Futuresource has, in my three years at the company, been incredibly supportive in terms of providing the right opportunities for me at the right time and I am excited to see further generations of analysts follow my path of progression.
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Here at Futuresource Consulting we deliver specialist research and consulting services, providing market forecasts and intelligence reports. Since the 1980s we have supported a range of industry sectors, which has grown to include: CE, Broadcast, Entertainment Content, EdTech and many more.