The University of Southampton
Psychology

Greg Simmonds BSc Psychology, 2014

Quantitative market researcher

Greg Simmonds's Photo

Hi, I'm Greg Simmonds and I studied BSc Psychology within Psychology at the University of Southampton.

I participated in the Volunteer Research Assistant (VRA) scheme, which was great to get involved in, and I think that gave me the confidence to apply for the role which I’m now getting publications with. It was also a great opportunity to see more about the lifespan of a research project as a whole; not just the essay side of things.

Why did you choose to study psychology at the University of Southampton?

I was looking to study psychology, as it was the subject I found most interesting from A level. My choice to study at the University of Southampton was partly due to a personal connection, as my granddad and father both studied here, so there’s a family history I was keen to continue. Now that I’ve completed the degree, it’s meant more to me to graduate from here than from anywhere else.

What did you enjoy about your studies?

The whole experience was massively enjoyable. Specifically, I thought that the choice of modules was great. All of the modules I got to choose in my final year were very interesting, and it was really good to be given that option.

How has your degree helped in terms of your career?

During my degree I was fascinated by the aspects of psychology that relate to visual attention and cognition, and the application of these theories to advertising. I recall one module specifically where we applied theories of visual attention to successful marketing, and it really spoke to me. After I graduated I joined Marketing Sciences, a Winchester-based consultancy, as Research Executive. This enabled me to put my learning into practice professionally, for example when working with blue chip companies to test whether new packaging attracts consumer attention and communicates the right messages.

Learning about research methods and data analysis has also been invaluable. It allowed me to ensure the research I did for clients was robust, and to judge whether the results were meaningful, as well as significant.

How did the role at Marketing Sciences come about?

I first heard about Marketing Sciences through the University, as they were part of the Excel placement programme; I had an interview with them at the end of my second year for a research assistant post. In the spring before I graduated I got in touch with them again to see if they had any permanent roles and – thankfully – they did. I started working there in June 2014, and have really enjoyed it since!

What are your plans for the future?

At the moment I’m doing a full-time masters in psychological research, as I’m interested in learning about new ways to interrogate and leverage data that market researchers aren’t currently using. Ultimately, I’d like to apply this knowledge within a market research agency, and give the best insights and guidance possible to clients based on their research.

What have you achieved as a result of studying here?

Firstly, getting a job straight after graduation was great, especially in the current market. I’d also previously worked with the Medical Research Council on the hospital campus, and have been published in two papers with them as a result. I think I’ve been able to achieve a lot with the department, largely because the research groups are so welcoming. Being the Academic President for the psychology course was a great confidence boost for me, too, and helped me to develop really valuable skills in how to present and talk to a wide range of audiences. That’s been immensely helpful in my career to date!

What did the role of Academic President involve?

If students had problems, they would come to me and I would liaise with staff to try to resolve them. Meetings were held every term about what could be improved, and we’d discuss student feedback. I had to set up and minute the meetings, so I had a lot of responsibility in that respect, but it was great fun as well and it enabled me to get to know fellow students from all years. It was also really interesting to see behind the scenes of the department, which made me realise just how much attention gets paid to every aspect of the course.

What other activities did you get involved with during your time at Southampton?

I participated in the Volunteer Research Assistant (VRA) scheme, which was great to get involved in, and I think that gave me the confidence to apply for the role which I’m now getting publications with. It was also a great opportunity to see more about the lifespan of a research project as a whole; not just the essay side of things. Something else I got involved in was the Southampton Science and Engineering Festival two years in a row, which was really fun: interacting with children telling them what the department and I do more specifically. It was nice to get families involved and interested in psychology, as it’s a science that can sometimes get overlooked.

Do you have any advice for future students?

Definitely just do it! There is a lot of fun to be had here and it is very well organised. I have nothing bad to say about the department or course at all… It has been great, and I’d do it again in a heartbeat.

Share this profile Share this on Facebook Share this on Google+ Share this on Twitter Share this on Weibo

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you continue without changing your settings, we will assume that you are happy to receive cookies on the University of Southampton website.

×