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Intern Life: Skills I Learned at Hanover during my internship.

Tina Chao

One of the first things any new Hanoverian must learn is using time efficiently. This is because the majority of projects are designed and assigned to researchers withthe expectation that it takes a set standard number of days to complete. Planning out your time effectively in order to deliver excellent quality on-time is therefore one of the most critical skills one must learn at Hanover. There are guides available and daily check-ins with supervisors, but ultimately it is up to the researcher to make sure good progress is made.

It definitely takes some time to get used to. During my first real week following a week of training, I probably took at least twice the amount of time it would take a seasoned researcher to complete my assignments! Procrastination is not the problem; rather, it’s perfectionism. Everybody at Hanover is a perfectionist, so researchers must assess the most important questions to the client and then prioritize their time accordingly. No one will ever be able to write absolutely everything they want to write. Using time efficiently is therefore one of the key skills I developed the most during my time at Hanover. With practice writing the same type of report, I have been progressively cutting back the amount of time I need to produce the same level of quality and detail.

I have also acquired several new skills more specific to Hanover thanks to the Learning & Development department. During training, for example, I learned more about some important and commonly-used functions embedded in Excel that make any data analysis much less headache-inducing and time-consuming (specifically text-to-columns and pivot tables are lifesavers). Another L&D training session was led by a volunteer who shared his expertise on how to calculate market sizes for the less conventional, niche markets where limited data is available. This was also very informative, not just for me as an intern but for all those who attended including seasoned researchers.

I have also learned a lot from my team’s leadership. During a monthly meeting for the Market Insight Center researchers, one of the Content Directors presented on how to think like the client during the research process. The logic behind the presentation was common-sense, but it changed the way I thought about my projects and informed my writing and research direction for subsequent projects.

Overall, I have learned a wide variety of skills at Hanover. Chief among those is time management, which is, no doubt, a lifetime learning process. The L&D initiatives and team building opportunities at Hanover have also added great value to my experience here.

By Tina Chao, Research Intern, MIC

Tina Chao 2Tina Chao at Hanover's 2014 Day of Service

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