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Senior Project Manager: Inspire Me

By UCL Careers, on 30 September 2014

As part of our #UCLInspireMe series, Darren Ramsay, Senior Project Manager at Market Probe  talks to us about how he decided to work in Project Management within a Market Research company and shares some tips for UCL students who may be considering this as a career.

About Me:Darren Ramsay

After 4 successful years in TV and Media, presenting, modelling and acting the work started to dry up. Whilst I was in-between presenting roles at the age of 26 I decided to look for part time paid work. I saw an ad for a Market Researcher in a call centre which paid minimum wage but paid enough money to cover my rent and cover a few bills whilst waiting for the next presenting role to come along.

I got the job and began calling respondents and carrying out surveys. I actually enjoyed this and decided to turn down presenting roles in favour for work in the call centre. (Occasionally leaving to attend the BBC building in White City for presenting work as it was near and the extra money was always welcome.

How did I get the role I am in today:

A few months passed and I plucked up the courage to ask my Director if there were any career opportunities within the company and if so, were there any vacancies? He said they were looking for a receptionist. I decided to interview for this for this position. During the interview I was told that they wanted me for a more professional role and that I would be assisting the Associate Director.

I had the encompassing job title of Operations Executive. This basically meant that I helped tidy up all the projects that were running at the time. Checking tables, coding, data entry, validating etc. Working with the Associate Director was a huge learning curve for me and helped me grow professionally, paving my way to bigger and better opportunities.

After 4 months as an Operations Exec I saw a vacant position for Project Manager in the Face-2-Face department. I once again plucked up the courage to ask my director if I could apply. I had the interview and was accepted for the position. 8 years on and I am running the Face-2-Face department in the company as a Senior Project Manager.

What I like about the role I am in today: Market Probe

I love people! As a people’s person and I have the opportunity to work with so many different people every day. Not only do we have a call centre that holds 100 interviewers, I also have up to 500 staff around the UK working on Face-2-Face projects for me. I get to liaise with them on a daily basis building a good working relationship, rapport, trust and even friendships. This for me is rewarding. The interviewers enjoy what they do, they enjoy working for me and they get paid for it. Having a professional, fun, working relationship with the interviewers ensures they are  reliable, trustworthy, provide good quality interviews, with punctual work packs sent back to the office and research that my clients and I are thankful and grateful for.

I also secretively enjoy working for different brands like 3 Network. This is because I am a customer of 3 and it’s very interesting to read what thousands of other customers of 3 think about them.

What are my biggest challenges?

My biggest challenge at work is juggling the projects I am running.  This is a challenge because I have to factor in many, many stages for just one project.

My top tips:

GO-GET-EM-ATTITUDE!!! Working in Market Research is not something many study for. A lot of the people in this industry fell into their roles. Be brazen, quick thinking and have the ability to work in a pressured environment. My acting, presenting skills and most important, my ambitious personality helps me deliver all the above and more in my role.

To find out more about careers in Market Research, visit Careers Tagged. To get hand on experience of what Project Management is, sign up to the Project Management Skills4Work sessions.

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