An interview with Mackman Group's researcher, Amanda
Amanda joined the Mackman Group in 2008 and is a senior figure within our research team. She has an up to date enhanced CRB (Criminal Records Bureau) check in place for social research projects. Amanda specialises in satisfaction surveys and social research, with particular strengths in data collection and data analysis.
Q: What is your working background?
A: After graduating in London I worked for the V&A as membership officer and volunteer coordinator. We had over 20,000 members and I handled all of their details and coordinated members’ communications and some events.
Q: What is it like working at Mackman?
A: Mackman is an ambitious organisation. Everyone works as a team and there’s never a dull moment!
Q: And your job?
A: The wonderful thing about research is that it is always varied. I enjoy analysing data because I can never foresee the outcome and the client is presented with precious results which make a real difference to improving services and/or future decisions. I recently worked on the International Customer Services Satisfaction Survey for Twinings for the sixth year and it was a good experience for me to see the project through from start to finish. We managed to improve on response rates and we produced a thorough piece of research. Online surveys are so much fun to set up and supervise.
Q: How would your colleagues describe you?
A: I’m diligent, I have an eye for detail and I’m well organised.
Q: You are also an established Suffolk artist whose work has been widely exhibited including at Kettle’s Yard and the Royal Academy. When did you first realise you were an artist?
A: I was always painting and drawing as a child. I won my first drawing competition when I was 8 years old and was always really determined to go to art school. I studied art at Suffolk College, then Norwich Art School and completed my studies with an MA from the Slade School of Fine Art.
Q: How would you describe your work?
A: I am a contemporary painter specialising in oil painting. Working in subtle tones, my work is concerned with themes of stillness; the floating subject and the relationship between painter and nature.
Q: Where can we see your work?
A: I exhibit as often as I can. Most recently I was selected by Gallery Violet to take part in an exhibition celebrating the Dedham Vale and Stour Valley – ‘Constable Country’. It’s always a bit nerve-wracking, unveiling a new series of paintings, but the exhibition attracted people who appreciate the quiet, contemplative moments in nature which continue to inspire my work and which I depict in my paintings. My website, built by my colleagues at Mackman, includes a News & Events section which I keep updated with upcoming exhibitions. The site also features a portfolio of some of my paintings - www.amandaansell.co.uk
Q: How does your art feed into your work at Mackman?
A: Life is a balancing act. When I’m being creative, I can absolutely be myself – it’s calming and uplifting! I think that having a creative outlet helps me make good decisions at work and in life generally.
Q: Such as?
A: Waiting for the right local job rather than panicking and rushing back to London.
Q: What are your future goals?
A: I strive to be better at everything – I am a perfectionist. I would like to be painting masterpieces when I’m an old lady!