Did you know that our CEO, Nicole Huyghe, studied to become a horticultural bio-engineer?
Apparently, there is a secret link between plants and nature and applied statistics and research because our newest team member comes from the same background. Milena Casey, our new Research Executive, also studied biology. “I love biology, but after doing a research master’s for a year, I got a taste of academic research. It wasn’t my cup of tea, at least not in the long term, because it’s very internally focused. After all, you don’t have customers. I felt that I needed a more dynamic environment,” says Milena.
After she decided to leave academia and biology, she did a Master’s in Business Management. Quite a switch, but for her, it made perfect sense. “After business management, I did a graduate scheme at Anheuser-Busch InBev, the world’s largest brewing company. I started as a management trainee, then went into sales as a Sales representative. Within two years, I was promoted to National Account Manager,” she explains.
During COVID, like many of us, Milena realised she wanted to try something different and to see options beyond sales roles. “I was looking more and more into consumer insights. I became super interested in people’s behaviour. While I was working in sales, the things that fascinated me the most were linked to people’s decisions, attitudes and behaviour,” shares Milena.
“I started applying to different agencies, but I felt very enthusiastic about Boobook from the start because it had a more strategic and consulting approach than typical market research,” she continues.
Being half British, half Serbian, and growing up in Belgium, Milena wanted a dynamic international environment that would be challenging and empowering simultaneously. “For me, it was important to work in a global company with international projects and clients because it’s just so much more interesting to work in this environment,” she admits.
After the first interviews with Eva Vandenberge (Insights Director) and Nicole (CEO), Milena got the assignment to do three cases: segmentation study, conjoint results analysis and customer experience research. “I worked at home and in the office on these assessments, and I had to present them to the team. It was a positive experience throughout the whole process. I felt I would get along well with everyone from the start. I think that’s very important. Also, the fact they were so meticulous with the assignments, I could tell that they were professional,” Milena reveals.
Even though she has never worked as a researcher in a business context, Milena doesn’t think she is an absolute beginner. “I want to get more experience in qualitative research, and I’m excited to learn more about it. Considering my Master’s degree was in research, I already have solid quantitative experience. I also see as a big plus my sales experience because I know how to communicate with clients, and I understand a lot of needs of the sales and marketing departments,” Milena replies.
In the beginning, Milena will work closely with Eva, eventually becoming independent and managing a Research project herself. “I’m looking forward to getting project management responsibilities, but at the beginning, I’ll learn by supporting Eva and the rest of the team. I want to grow into my role, and boobook seems like an ideal company where I can learn and evolve,” says Milena.
If you are looking for a new challenge, check out our vacancies. We’re always looking for passionate analysts, data scientists, marketers, and researchers to join our team as collaborators or as a part of our core team!