Tiffany Bailey describes herself as someone who stumbled into marketing research, and claims she would have been an NKU student forever if she could have been. While she had multiple interests, nothing seemed to fit in terms of a career, and she worked through six majors – biology, chemistry, pharmacy, accounting, advertising, graphic design – before landing on marketing. Specifically, it was her experience in Dr. Aron Levin’s Advanced Marketing Research course, where an "aha" moment became the start of her career aspirations.
Bailey joined Directions Research shortly after graduating from NKU in 2002. Starting as a staff assistant, her career progressed to project management and then analytics after a break in 2007 to earn her Master’s in Marketing Research from the University of Georgia. She moved further into client services in 2011, and seven years later, Bailey is now a Vice President and Owner, acting as a trusted consultant and business partner, designing qualitative and quantitative research methodologies to address strategic business objectives.
Bailey credits much of her success to the Marketing Research Partnership Program (MRPP) at NKU. “I came into this business understanding so much more than I would have otherwise,” she says. “The connections with local businesses through the MRPP gives students the chance to apply their classroom knowledge to real corporate issues. You execute a full research project on a smaller scale, and you learn the foundations of that process. Then when entering the work force and someone talks to you about your potential role—whether it’s in project management or analysis—you’ve already done it.”
NKU is the only school regionally which offers an innovative program allowing students this ability to discover the market research industry firsthand. For over 15 years, MRPP has been giving students the skills and experience to become the next generation of marketing research professionals through hands-on learning with client research projects, networking events, and a mentor program. Over 140 students have been connected with some of the top marketing research companies in the world, including many in the Greater Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky region.