Supporting a Client's Business Goals with Remote Financial Research
The past few months have been both inspiring and challenging for me as an intern at Samuel Associates. During my internship, I learned the importance of adapting in the face of ambiguity, having a mindset of growth in everything that I do, and the impact of policy on people.
A Real-World Case Study
From a real case study with our client, I quickly realized that to impact policy, it is important to understand how it is made, its ramifications, and who influences public policy in Canada.
I dedicated a significant amount of time with my research team to analyze potential ways to implement meaningful changes based on existing regulations, policies and legislation. Understanding these instruments of government and conducting both qualitative and quantitative research is essential. This information is at the foundation of our commitment as researchers to provide high-quality research, service and communication products for our clients.
Agile Research in the Remote Work Era
Working in a government relations consulting firm requires the ability to be highly adaptive to ambiguity. Furthermore, company-wide systems and structures to help organize work are essential. During COVID-19, working using remote technologies and online video conferencing has proven to be an invaluable experience. This is especially true when working with other researchers, staff, senior associates, and when planning discussions with clients. Our research team worked collaboratively to brainstorm ideas and adapt to our project’s changing requirements to overcome this challenge.
Our research team also learned how to work in a dynamic and fluid environment throughout our assignment. For example, combining academic research, online collaboration with colleagues, and report editing allowed me to understand and anticipate our client’s needs while implementing meaningful changes to our evolving research project.
Continued Challenge and Growth
During my time at Samuel Associates, I learned that having a mindset of growth was the key to success. I wore many hats and learned to always think three steps ahead in the project. I appreciated learning about high-level strategic thinking and why it is so essential when working on such complex projects.
I was challenged to work in an environment that exposed me to numerous ideas, systems and methods of thinking and working. It also pushed me to better understand the inner workings of the Canadian government. Above all, I learned valuable leadership skills from senior executives working in the firm to organize online meetings and conduct independent research.
I was privileged to work with team members who came from diverse academic backgrounds and experience. By working together, we elevated our performance and ultimately achieved our goals. I found my internship experience extremely valuable because I was able to have my voice heard, ideas incorporated into the research and participate in advancing financial policy discussion through our client-work to the Government of Canada. I obtained a stronger appreciation of how firms in the private sector, like Samuel Associates, influence government policy.
Supporting and Guiding the Client's Business Goals
Initially, our client came to us with a goal, namely, to obtain senior-level meetings with government officials. Our team was tasked with conducting independent research to support the client’s need for further insight into their industry to guide their organization’s evolving mission.
One benefit of conducting research is that it provides a deeper understanding of an industry and reduces risk while making critical business decisions. We also conducted domestic and global comparative research to measure the efficiency of different financial regulatory models. This then informed the client in identifying and proposing new governance models. The real benefit of conducting comparative analysis was the ability to make specific and data-driven recommendations to the client.
Academic research was crucial in the client’s decision-making process and in continuing discussions with government authorities. I took away an understanding of the role research plays in implementing organizational changes. I also learned first-hand how research improves a business’s ability to demonstrate credibility to a sophisticated government audience.
The Benefits Beyond this Project
Our research and its results may show that other businesses with similar goals can benefit from professional consultants such as Samuel Associates. By gathering information from various credible sources, a company can gain further insight into its market and use strategic information to gain a desirable advantage. Independent academic research conducted by government relations firms provides answers to key business questions and serves to elevate discussions within the larger commercial sector and government.