05 June 2017

#AltAc Anthropology Careers - The draw of experiential design firms

Paul Heartly, a Toronto native and anthropologist, gave unique insight into his hiring PhDs for an 'alternative' career.

In a 2015 interview for Alt-Ac Advisor, Heartly stated: it is interesting how many post-ac/alt-ac job seekers I talk to have struggled just getting the courage up to inquire about the job. The willingness to try may be the single most important characteristic of a successful post-ac/alt-ac job search.

Idea Couture is an international experience design firm. Idea Couture may be unique among other market and experience research organizations for its focus on hiring anthropology PhD graduates as market researchers.

Having worked as a contractor for this firm in the past, one of the most interesting outcomes was to see how applied anthropologist used and packaged anthropological knowledge, theory, methods, and their approach into the field of market and experiential research. It was also insightful to learn how we as anthropologists worked to gain deep understanding of situations, people, and the greater context despite our truncated time in 'the field'. I think I was most shocked to see anthropological and ethnographic concepts that I learned long ago weave their way into client documents.

Does the existence of Idea Couture, and research firms like it, signal an ever growing awareness of anthropologists practical skills? What's stopping you from stepping out into Alt-Ac territory?

Quick links and further reading: