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College of Business Administration

Market Research Internship Program (MARIP)

Program Overview

Are you curious about why consumers do what they do? Do you enjoy observing the behaviors of others and reasoning their motivations? Are you interested in deciphering the meanings from seemingly unorganized data? Do you want to work as a research associate right after college in a world-class company like Lieberman Research Worldwide (ranked 17 in the world and headquartered in LA) or, do you want to be a freelance consultant? If so, we have the ideal program that will give you the necessary experience: The Market Research Internship Program (MARIP, hereafter).

Facts about the Program: Little known is the fact that our Marketing Research Career Track is listed first among U.S. programs, and it is only one of the two undergraduate programs in California, according to (, the most widely visited portal site for market research. In addition, our program has the Market Research Club, the only student club in the state of California, receiving spotlights from the industry and attracting frequent guest speakers and internship opportunities. In the heart of the career track is the MARIP. Started in 2011, the MARIP has had an excellent job placement record; all the students who successfully completed the program requirement were offered at least one position upon graduation.  Although we expanded the program due to popular demand, we kept it small at no more than 10 students in order to properly train them for the career in market research.

Facts about the Profession: Selected as the 3rd best career right now for college graduates, those in market research careers will enjoy a several times greater demand than average; yet “there are significant shortage of candidates who are properly trained, which makes candidates from business programs like ours are heavily favored,” according to MR professionals. As much as the job is promising, market research is not for everyone. We think we know some characteristics of the successful candidates, which is why we send out this call for applications. Please take the time to digest the information and see if you are have the quality and passion that we are looking for.

Objective of the MARIP at Market Research Lab and Means to Achieve the Objective

Ultimate Goal: Market research companies appreciate individuals who have positive attitudes and interpersonal skills, in addition to research capability. Thus, MARIP intends to produce highly sought-out individuals upon graduation by market research companies or firms that have in-house market research function. Internship experience here at MARIP promises to be the best training you will get for a career in market research. To achieve this ultimate objective, we utilize the following three means.

Specific Means: First, interns will be required to help faculty conduct research at the lab. Through the hands-on experience, interns will learn actual market research as they can peek into internal process of research. Second, interns will be required to be actively involved in the Cal Poly Market Research Club, the only student club in the state of California. MRC has been networking with market research professionals active at SoCal Market Research Association, which is a group of professionals working in market research industry in various capacities (president, project manager, business developer, data analyst, salesperson). By running the MRC club as you would run a market research company, interns will experience real world decision making and interpersonal work environment. This experience will help nurture professionalism, confidence, and leadership experience that you need. Third, interns will be required to experience a full scope of research from the beginning to the end with both academic and practical research. While academic research (i.e., IBM400) allows student demonstrate their ability to conduct scientific research and participate in various student research competitions and professional conferences, practical research through client firm consulting project (i.e., IBM409) will give them an opportunity to interact with a client company and work with them as they discover consumer insights for their client.

Job Description

General Rule: Interns can choose between 5-hour and 10-hour commitment per week for the internship depending on the amount of internship credits they desire. Interns will work primarily at the Behavioral Research Lab (CLA98 C6-10), but they may be allowed to work outside the lab depending on the type of work and the training needed. A certain structured task (e.g., article search) may be allowed to be done at home once interns have demonstrated an ability to perform a similar task successfully. Interns will be provided feedback on their job performance at least once a quarter as part of training. There is no compensation for their time; however, there are both monetary and non-monetary benefits that are designed to support their professional development. Nonetheless, the same work ethics and work place norms that are expected at a paid position will be applied to their work, and their performance and conducts will be monitored carefully. Poor performance or inappropriate behaviors will be pointed out and given opportunity to correct. Interns who fail to meet the expectations for successful career will face termination of the privilege to be trained.

Scope of Research Activities: Interns are expected to be involved in research from the beginning to the end of a research conducted by the faculty. Interns are more likely to be asked to be involved in multiple projects that are in the different stages of research process, at a given time.  Interns may be asked to search relevant articles in databases, proofread survey instruments, prepare electronic version of surveys using Qualtrics or Medialab, administer surveys, assist in managing consumer panel, transcribing and coding data, proofread final report, etc. Thus, it is important that interns are able to meet deadline, pay attention to detail, and are organized. Interns should also be flexible enough to accommodate staffing needs in other days. For example, from time to time, there may be a study that requires several hours of presence in the lab prior to Friday.  

Running MRC: Through MRC, interns can put what the learned to the test in the real world. Thus, Interns are expected to be active in Cal Poly Pomona Market Research Club as an officer (; and attend professional meetings (MRA, APPOR, PMRG, etc.) for networking as the experience will bolster their qualifications for professionals upon graduation. Running the club is an integral part of the training that MARIP provides, as market research companies needs all kinds of talent just like any other organizations. Interns are required to attend Market Research Club’s meetings on Tuesdays (12:00 – 12:50) and expected to take a leadership role, which may involve attending E-Board meeting. The time spent for MRC will be counted towards internship hours.

Additional Obligations for the Interns Outside the Lab

Although helping faculty with research awards interns with valuable learning experience, there is no better way to learn than from doing one’s own research from the beginning to the end under the guidance of capable faculty. Thus, we require interns to initiate a research project under the guidance from the faculty by having them enrolled in the following special courses that we have in place after their basic training is done.

  • IBM400 (Spec Study UD Students: Research Proposal Development) (2 credits)
  • IBM400 (Spec Study UD Students: Data Collection and Report Writing) (2 credits)
  • IBM409 (Marketing Research II) (4 credits
  • IBM499 (Marketing Research Practicum) (4 credits)

Upon the successful completion of the research project in IBM400 courses, interns are expected to submit their research to one or more of the research competitions and conferences, some of which are listed below.

  • MAPOR Fellows Student Paper Competition (September)
  • PAPOR student research competition (October)
  • GfK Next generation researcher competition (October)
  • Cal Poly Pomona Student Research Competition (January)
  • California State University Student Research Competition (May)
  • Direct Marketing Association’s Marketing Edge Research Submit (May)

By having the experience of presenting their research before the professionals, interns will be able to differentiate themselves from other candidates in the job market or grad school admission.

Benefits of the Internship Program

  1. Successful interns will be given the faculty’s full support for job application (including Dr Jung’s comprehensive letter of support).
  2. Partial assistance for travelling for professional conferences;
  3. Full support for the travel grant application for a presentation at conferences.
  4. Will be mentored for curriculum and career guidance
  5. Earn CITI certificate.
  6. Learn many research skills needed to conduct a market research.
  7. This internship experience is eligible for being used for Internship Courses (IBM441/442) for up to 4 credit hours.
  8. Will be listed in Market Research Lab Linkedin site as well as its main page for maximum exposure to market research industry
  9. Gain necessary experience required to obtain Professional Researcher Certification designation if you intend to pursue it in the future.

Basic Qualification

Successful interns should possess the following qualifications.

  1. Open to all the students majoring or minoring in College of Business Administration, Cal Poly Pomona.
  2. Should have positive attitude and excellent work ethics with enthusiasm for learning
  3. Good interpersonal skills and the ability to thrive in teamwork environment
  4. Good communication skills (oral and written).
  5. Strong attention to details
  6. Must have already taken STA120 (Statistics) and IBM301 (Principles of Marketing Management) with B or higher.
  7. Previous or concurrent enrollment in TOM302 (Managerial Statistics) with B or higher grade.
  8. Should not be more advanced than a junior standing (should have at least one year before graduation).
  9. Minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 (candidates with lower GPA may be considered if exceptional qualities in other dimensions are demonstrated).

Preferred Qualification

  1. Excellent work ethics/integrity
  2. Willingness to take initiative.
  3. Previous or concurrent enrollment in IBM408 (Marketing Research I)
  4. Cumulative GPA of 3.5 or above for major subject.

Selection Process, Application Materials, and Contact Information

Selection Process and Deadline: Applications will be received for four weeks prior to the start of each quarter. Review of the applications will start immediately. Selected applicants from the review of the application materials will be invited for a face-to-face interview. A decision will be made within a week after the interview.

Application Materials: If you are interested, please send (1) a cover letter detailing why they should be awarded this internship, along with (2) a most recent resume (with GPA), and (3) unofficial transcript to Dr. Jae Min Jung at Direct all the questions regarding any aspect of the MARIP internship program to Dr. Jung.