MA, Survey Research, 2016
Gina Cavato is from Chicago. She attended the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign for her undergrad where she received a Bachelor of Science in Advertising, a Bachelor of Arts in Spanish as well as a minor in Sociology. During her time in undergrad, she held four internships and participated in research work as a research assistant for two of her professors. Through her internships and research assistant work, she found her passion in market research. Since college, she has held a career in the market research industry and is currently a senior analyst in a market research department within an advertising agency. She is a fan of cooking and baking and considers the Food Network to be the most important cable channel offered. She is huge concert go’er and went to over 14 shows this summer alone.
Gina is a graduate student in the Department of Public Policy where she is currently completing the Master of Arts in Survey Research. Given her knack for research, she looked around for a program that catered to all of her needs in a graduate program while still being able to work full-time. The opportunity to complete a reputable graduate degree entirely online was the most attractive part of the degree, as the advertising industry often has long and questionable work hours. With the flexibility of the program, she has been able to complete her work during the days that best fit her busy schedule. She considers the Advanced Questionnaire Design, Attitude Formation and Survey Research Analysis and Reporting classes to have been her favorite and most intellectually stimulating courses.
Following her Master’s degree, Gina plans to continue to work in the field of market research. She loves that dynamism of the world and, with the influx of information available today, the market research field is one that is highly sought after and useful for almost all industries. The idea that her industry will always be at the crux of data and insights for human behavior is something that excites her each and every day.
Some useful advice for potential students would be to get absorbed in the culture and world around you. Public Policy, specifically Survey Research, relies on human instinct, interaction and observation. Being socially aware is just the start towards becoming a great public policy student.