MA, Survey Research, 2013
Program Manager, Google
Vanessa Maturo is currently a Program Manager at Google where she oversees research studies that focus on making Google products more helpful. Prior to this role, Vanessa was a Survey Research Lead at Google where she ran tracking surveys to understand customer sentiment. Before working at Google, Vanessa was a Client Service Analyst at Gallup, where she specialized in survey methodology across a breadth of government, market research, and custom client studies.
Prior to entering the MPA program, Vanessa graduated from Saint Joseph’s University with Bachelor’s degrees in Economics and International Relations. Pursuing an MPA seemed like the natural next step. After taking several classes in her first semester, Vanessa discovered the Survey Research program and knew that it aligned perfectly with where she saw her career going in the next several years. To solidify her interest in research, Vanessa interned with The Pert Group, a market research firm in Farmington, Connecticut. After graduating from UConn, Vanessa worked as a Research Analyst, then as an Associate Research Manager at the Keller Fay Group, a market research firm specializing in word of mouth and consumer advocacy. There, she worked closely with designing and implementing custom surveys and the management of a large syndicated tracking study, as well as managing client accounts.
Reflecting specifically on her time at UConn, Vanessa notes that the MSR program was practical and was taught with an eye to application. During the program, she was trained in theory but taught to ask questions and apply her knowledge in a very practical way. It was very much on the job training, before the job. She is always thinking about total survey error and how decisions made at a program level can impact data quality and the insights delivered to stakeholders.
Vanessa’s advice for the current and future students is ro go beyond the classroom and think about how you would apply what you’re learning at work, imagine having a conversation with stakeholders – what else would you need to know to make a sound decision or to feel like you have enough information with which to take action? Look for classes that can round out your skills/knowledge a little more, e.g. project management skills have come in very handy and the capstone project as of the MPA is invaluable in learning those skills.
Vanessa resides in the Bay Area in California. She loves to play netball, knit and go on hikes with her husband. Otherwise, she can be found lounging with their two cats.