• Share
  • Email
  • Embed
  • Like
  • Save
  • Private Content
Society for Cultural Anthropology presentation 05/10/14
 

Society for Cultural Anthropology presentation 05/10/14

on

  • 229 views

Practicing anthropology in the private sector has been ongoing since the 1970s, when the number of anthropologists graduating with Ph.D.s exceeded the number of available academic positions in the ...

Practicing anthropology in the private sector has been ongoing since the 1970s, when the number of anthropologists graduating with Ph.D.s exceeded the number of available academic positions in the U.S., and these anthropologists found employment in business and industry. In the decades since, the potential for anthropologists’ employment in the private sector is seemingly ever-increasing, as for-profit organizations continue to grow globally, encounter unfamiliar markets, focus more on customer needs, and require innovation. However, in a post-recession economy in which jobs are scarce, what are the opportunities for practicing anthropology in the private sector? This presentation is a discussion of the Detroit job market, trends in the business of innovation and the innovation of business, and implications for advancing the work of anthropology.

Statistics

Views

Total Views
229
Views on SlideShare
219
Embed Views
10

Actions

Likes
1
Downloads
0
Comments
0

3 Embeds 10

https://twitter.com 6
https://www.linkedin.com 3
http://www.linkedin.com 1

Accessibility

Categories

Upload Details

Uploaded via as Microsoft PowerPoint

Usage Rights

© All Rights Reserved

Report content

Flagged as inappropriate Flag as inappropriate
Flag as inappropriate

Select your reason for flagging this presentation as inappropriate.

Cancel
  • Full Name Full Name Comment goes here.
    Are you sure you want to
    Your message goes here
    Processing…
Post Comment
Edit your comment
  • There is a need for anthropologists and anthropologically-trained people in industry.Practicing anthropology in the private sector has been ongoing since the 1970s, when the number of anthropologists graduating with Ph.D.s exceeded the number of available academic positions in the U.S., and these anthropologists found employment in business and industry. The potential for anthropologists’ employment in the private sector is seemingly ever-increasing, as for-profit organizations continue to grow globally, encounter unfamiliar markets, focus more on customer needs, and require innovation. Job market is full of qualitative research jobs now... Looking for skills and backgrounds that are directly related to anthropologyRecent recession - But just a few years ago, I happened to start tracking all my applications on 12/23/10, and between then and (July 2011), I submitted 115 applications (of which only 31 indicated they were not interested – 73% no response) (about 19/mo or 1.5/day), had 12 interviews (10%), and took 4 (unpaid) skill tests (designing a project, analyzing data, presenting a project, conducting a focus group). Final result: 1 job! Friends who were choosing to delay graduating to stay in school as TAs or RAs because of the $14k/yr salariesProject example:Job was a local market research company... Senior Market Analyst... Qualitative research but not really... Plumber vs electricianThen, number crunching, measuring/testing/validating, not exploring/discovering Now, different/complementary skill sets
  • Lessons learned from 2011 job hunt – make relationships with people at companies who do interesting work, Having a portfolio and a track record, an electronic presenceFocused on design because research is intimately related to good product/service/experience/software design, and designers know it but may not be able to do itIdentified targets Initiated conversations What are you working on? – listening, looking for ways to understand goals, motivations, barriers, unmet needs, etc.LinkedIn, email, phone, web – people are willing to spend 15 minutes on the phone, exchange emails, have coffee – have something specific to ask (not what’s it like), make it easy for someone to respond positivelyMet mentors, colleagues and clients this way – am starting to get requests from students and recent gradsFound communities of interest, e.g., MeetupsHow can these “professional pieces” be incorporated into classrooms and training?Project example:Found an industrial design company, arranged a meeting through a mutual contact, kept in touch via phone and email, had lunch, kept in touch, landed a project almost a year later – I was the “research associate” on a project looking at what to improve on an industrial cutting tool – the project was already sold and they needed someone to conduct the research but they were also open to recommendations for changing methodologies. Instead of focus groups and a survey, I recommended site visits to truly understand how the product was being used in work contexts.
  • Ethnography or other methods as commodity and what to do about itMadsbjerg, The moment of clarity – reframing problems, sensemaking and interpreting instead of simply solving a problemhttp://www.stripepartners.com/ethnography-parallel-world/Project examples:Hired to do a handful of in-home interviews and type up notes. Not very interesting or involving. Easy to do. No input on discussion guide, analysis, final results, etc. Could do a lot of these types of projects.Hired to lead research on a project, had input on research design, execution and analysis, but had no opportunity to change/evolve ways of thinking. Can do a couple at a time, depending on scope. Clients may push back on best practice recommendations because they aren’t familiar...Hired to help a client understand a group of website users to design a new product for them – most rewarding, most involvement, trust from the client, teaching and proving value along the way, complete control over research design, execution, analysis and delivery, strategic partnership rather than vendor. Appreciative of each others’ skill sets. Can only do 1 or 2 at the same time, depending on scope.“cut through the bullshit” – helping them focus on what problem to solve and delivering on the promise
  • Project example:Client says they need to know how people experience their product so they know what to improveDemonstrated prior experience, they trusted me to design/execute/analyze/disseminate the right thingAfter presenting the results of the research and providing a report, I went back for a work session where they showed me new designs and I could fine tune them with the designers by helping them further interpret the insights from the research.Picture is an example from a project where an app for a car brand was being revised, and participants were doing an exercise to explain why they prioritized certain features and what was still needed. The client loved the exercise because it got them really close to how people experienced the features of the app – not how they were designed.Impact, not methodsThey tell me how useful and insightful the research has been for themClients are looking for help with the big unknowns – how people engage with the world – our unique capabilities – our impact. I prefer the projects where my work is valued for the impact it has on design over the incremental methodological improvements.
  • I call myself an anthropologist and research consultant, because 1) I’m proud of being an anthropologist and 2) it carries that mystique. Whether it’s an inaccurate stereotype (Indiana Jones) or a positive one, it opens the door to talk about what anthropology is and why it’s important to this project. There are still few positions labeled “anthropologist”, but there are opportunities to increase the knowledge. I’m in a position to be able to call myself an anthro and I take advantage of it.Project example:Coming back to the original title of this presentation... Kicking off the industrial design project I mentioned earlier – design team met with client team at their HQ to spend a day going over the research plan and understanding more about the product, sales and marketing. Doing introductions, I introduce myself as an anthropologist and one of the sales managers (from the South) says... Tickled about having an anthropologist on the project, whatever it meant to him.EntrepreneurFlying the plane while building itLearning from others
  • Going back to advancing the work of anthropology – how can we bring lessons learned back to the academy to help train anthropology students for working in the private sector? These 5 lessons came from experience after school, “in the real world” Where are anthropologists working, what are they doing, how did they get there? – study those in classes, reach out to them for networking and learning Developing portfolios (visual representations of work AND application opportunities), networks, conversational and cross-disciplinary skills – and learning the language and tools related to those. Because I work with designers and engineers, I find our disciplines overlap in what’s called user experience, and learning about that industry, discipline and tools makes it easier to talk, work and create meaningful things with them. Communicating the value of our approaches – why we do it these ways and what they get out of it How can the results be applied Find and define the work you want to do and the impact you want to have, and the appropriate title will follow. Good time to note that these themes are discussed in PA journal issue that I co-edited, and I’m adding my personal experience here.Current Special Issue of Practicing Anthropology, Journal of the Society for Applied Anthropology: Practicing Anthropology in the Private Sector, Vol. 36, No. 2/Spring 2014

Society for Cultural Anthropology presentation 05/10/14 Society for Cultural Anthropology presentation 05/10/14 Presentation Transcript

  • TOP 5 LESSONS LEARNED WORKING AS AN ANTHROPOLOGIST AMY GOLDMACHER, PH.D. ANTHROPOLOGIST AND RESEARCH CONSULTANT AT AMY GOLDMACHER, LLC SCA Biennial Meeting, May 10, 2014
  • 5. There is a need for anthropologists  UX Research Director  Ethnographic & Trends Research Manager  Social & Behavioral Science Director  Ethnographic Researcher  User Researcher  Human Machine Interface Researcher  Between 12/23/10 and 07/15/2011:  115 applications  31 indicated not interested  73% no response  19 apps/mo or 1.5/day  12 interviews (10%)  4 skill tests (unpaid)  1 job offer in July 2011  Left in January 2013 to start own business Job market now Job market not too long ago
  • Website LinkedI n Conver- sations Events Email 4. Networking is key
  • 3. Anthropology is more than a method Client needs someone to perform a function (methodological) Client needs someone to perform project functions (methodological and analytical) Client has problem, asks for help (problem framing, sense making) tactical strategi c
  • 2. Meaningful work comes from impact
  • 1. Anthropologist is but one professional identity  Hired Gun  Sword  Digital Anthropologist  Ethnography Expert  Concept Skill (sic)  Research Associate “We’ve got ourselves a God-damned anthropologist!” - Client team member at kickoff meeting
  • Advancing Anthropology  There is a need for anthropologists  Networking is key  Anthropology is more than a method  Meaningful work comes from impact  Anthropologist is but one professional identity  Seek out others - where are they working, what are they doing, how did they get there, what cross- training is necessary?  Develop experience (internships, for- credit work), portfolios, conversations, cross-disciplinary relationships (language, tools), industry networks  Articulate the value of anthropological approaches (return on investment)  Describe the outcomes, results, applications, benefits Top 5 Lessons Advancing Anthropology
  • Tweet: @solidgoldmacher Email: amy@amygoldmacher.com Web: www.amygoldmacher.com Thank you.