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Meet the team: Introducing our 2018 new starters

2018 was a big year for Swift, not only did we expand and refurbish our facilities, the team continued to grow with not one, not two but five new starters!

Rosemary Folkard became our first Head of Insight and was joined in the research team by Merly Simon, our latest Research Executive. Lucy Stoneley became the newest member of our data collection team whilst Ben Morton and Elizabeth Carr joined our DP team. Now they're all fully settled in, we caught up with them to find out how they were getting on and what they thought of Swift.

Describe what your job entails on a day to day basis:

Ben: Normally this would be either scripting / checking surveys or processing the data collected from our research into data maps or analytical tables. However, more bizarre tasks can crop up on a day to day basis e.g. decorating for Halloween and sniffing tablets to make sure they're fragrance-free!

Merly: On a day to day basis it varies from: consulting clients about project requirements and objectives, designing research methods such as questionnaires, monitoring fieldwork progress, analysing data, translating and presenting results and advising clients on how they can best make use of results.

Elizabeth: I script and test our web and phone surveys as well as processing the data when it comes in.

Lucy: Managing the fieldwork operations for one of our longstanding sensory panels - as well as supporting the fieldwork management for a variety of other projects.

Rosemary: Every day is different!


What attracted you to come and work at Swift?

Ben: First and foremost, I really liked the idea of being employed by a business that works on a global scale from the heart of Yorkshire, a place I have grown up and love. On top of this I wanted to transfer skills that I had picked up from my degree in forensic science to a different environment and as the role is highly analytical and requires a forensic attention to detail, I thought it was a great match.

Merly: When I first read that the company offered a 'boutique and bespoke' service – I was quite intrigued by the idea. Most importantly the fact that Swift have years of experience working with clients on sensory and personal care, was something that I wanted to get my hands into. The second main factor was the team itself. The fact that field, CATI, DP are all in one building was a great attraction, as I can I just pop over and say hi. I didn't have that luxury in my previous work-building.

Elizabeth: Free Parking! Having worked for places before where only the managers were given spaces, I liked that everyone was able to park. It gave me the impression things were done fairly in this company. I also liked the idea that it was a family business.

Rosemary: Moving from client-side, I wanted to join an agency that starts with the clients' objectives, and then develops a tailored, personalised approach to fit, using both tried & tested and new ways of doing things. This is very much Swift's way of working. They also have a fantastic range of clients and ambitious plans for the future.


What were your first impressions when you started?

Ben: I was very nervous but that soon eased once I met all of my workmates and discovered how friendly and personable, they all are. I knew the job itself would be hard before taking on the role and this was consolidated from what I saw during my infant time at Swift. However, with the help and support provided, I saw this as a challenge I could rise to!

Merly: That Swift were a lovely bunch of people to work with and everyone was super friendly :-). Swift offered a great work life balance in terms of flexitime, plus discounts from Perkbox which I use quite often for cinema tickets.

Elizabeth: The first day was really interesting because we got to see a little snippet of what every department does which helps you to understand the business better and get a good understanding of how the whole process works. Everyone was really friendly, helpful and supportive especially in those first few weeks when there is a lot to learn! Straight away I knew I was going to enjoy working at Swift!

Lucy: Everybody seemed really nice and I thought that it was a very fast paced environment where I would be able to learn a lot.

Rosemary: Everyone was very busy but they still had time to make me feel welcome. It immediately felt like home!


What have you enjoyed most so far about working at Swift?

Ben: Definitely meeting so many new people each with totally different personalities and stories but all with the same aim of collaborating together to produce high quality work.

Merly: Each project that I have worked on has brought its own sets of different challenges, which makes it even more interesting to work on different solutions as a great team.

Elizabeth: It's very different to what I've done in the past, so I've enjoyed the opportunity to learn new skills and progress. I also enjoy all the cake that is brought in! :-)

Rosemary: The problem solving and teamwork. However carefully a project is planned, unforeseen things happen and it's great the way everyone pulls together to solve any issues when they do.


What's been your greatest achievement at Swift so far?

Ben: Working out ANOVA (Analysis of Variance)! I've never used statistical models like this in SPSS before, but I think I'm getting there with it!

Merly: Still to come...

Elizabeth: Starting up the Swift Insight Instagram! It still has a long way to go but I am proud of what I have done with it so far.

Rosemary: Tricky to answer as my proudest moments have relied on great joint working across project teams of all the departments here at Swift, and the client.


Has anything surprised you / shocked you?

Ben: The loyalty of the clients! I think it's amazing how with certain clients you finish one project and within hours of that we have another job on the go with them! It shows the trust they have in Swift and satisfaction they're getting from our work.

Elizabeth: I think I was quite surprised by how many products and services require market research. It makes sense but I hadn't thought about how everything has fragrances, even your toothpaste, and how vital this data can be to a client.

Lucy: How much people love fabric conditioner!

Rosemary: The willingness of the senior management team to build/amend our facilities to tailor them to the needs of our clients. And how much coffee & cake we get through!


What is unique about working at Swift that you haven't experienced working elsewhere?

Elizabeth: You know everyone who works for the company. I haven't been in a position before where I could just chat to the directors of where I work. It's nice because it means everybody is approachable and I believe it creates a good atmosphere to work in.

Merly: The fact that Swift has their own in-house team and state of the art facilities such as laundry labs, sensory labs, booths, group discussion rooms, (which had been recently extended) allows for wider opportunities to work on very interesting projects across hair care, laundry personal care, fragrance etc categories.

Lucy: The projects we work on are so varied and no two days are the same.

Rosemary: The variety – after 25 years working in food & drink, it's great to work on so many different product categories.


If you could sum up Swift in 3 words, what would they be?

Ben: Unique, friendly & driven

Merly: Friendly, unique, & interesting

Elizabeth: Teamwork, friendly & welcoming

Lucy: Friendly, challenging & ambitious

Rosemary: Passionate, dedicated & Yorkshire!


Is there anything else you'd like to tell the outside world about working at Swift?

Ben: No one day is ever the same and the job really keeps you on your toes! And beware... it's a GDPR minefield!

Merly: It's a great place to work, everyone is hands on and very friendly. You feel like you are part of a family when you work at Swift :-). I enjoy the free onsite parking, it's something that I treasure having worked in London previously (no more tubes...)

Rosemary: There is a great team at Swift. There are so many experienced knowledgeable people who work really hard to achieve the best results for our clients.


Interested in coming to work for Swift? Take a look at our current vacancies.