Sandra Rodriguez is from Farmington, Connecticut. She has a rich career with a history of producing top-notch marketing and communications results – first in the banking and brokerage sectors and, for the past decade, on a non-profit workforce development board. She obtained a communications degree from Ithaca College in the 80s, and a Master’s degree from Rensselaer in marketing management in the 90s. After building a successful career in the marketing and communication industry, she felt the need go back to school. Through her research, Sandra was convinced that UConn had the perfect online program that fit her schedule and learning aspirations. “The online aspect of the graduate certificate program was an important factor,” said Sandra. “My life is packed, but this way I can mostly learn on my own time that varies quite a bit. At just four classes for a graduate certificate in Survey Research, I am not signing my life away or my lifetime savings. I can build the skills I want to have in this area at a great, internationally-recognized institution.”
To date, Sandra has taken classes in survey methodology and market research, but her favorite was in attitude formation. To her, this is a fascinating time in political polling to better understand how individuals form or maintain their ideologies. She finds it helpful to recognize how implicit bias plays a role in reconciling today’s realities.
Regarding taking a class online, she considers one of the greatest benefits to be the diversity of fellow classmates studying with her. They are from a variety of geographic locations and cultural backgrounds, and are often already working in impressive careers. “These peer perspectives can be helpful in gaining more broad and objective insight,” Sandra remarked.
Sandra recognizes that the market research industry has significant challenges in declining response rates, changing methods (i.e. land line telephones soon to disappear), and a decrease in people’s trust and willingness to give of their time. She thinks these challenges will impact survey result effectiveness over time. In the future, Sandra plans to use her knowledge to help evolve the ways people collect information to ensure quality and accurate research outcomes.