Life as a Research Analyst from an NYU Alumna

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Amber Smoczyk graduated from NYU in 2015 with a degree in Politics and Spanish, and now works as a Research Analyst at Cognolink.

Early in the second semester of my senior year at NYU, I interviewed for a job as a Research Analyst at Cognolink, a global primary research firm with an office in midtown Manhattan. As a double major in Politics and Spanish, I had been searching for positions with non-profits and government organizations, but Cognolink stood out to me as a unique company with opportunities for students of all majors. What I admired most about Cognolink was the company’s emphasis on its employees’ personal and professional growth. I started working this July and have been learning and training ever since. I’ve already taken on new responsibilities and will soon begin project managing and interacting with our clients directly, a rare opportunity for most entry-level positions.

Cognolink’s clients include many of the world’s top hedge funds, private equity firms, and management consultancies and our goal is to assist in their research and help them make smarter investment decisions. We act as a non-advisory partner, facilitating consultations between our clients and industry experts, who can provide them with valuable insight that is difficult to find elsewhere. As a Research Analyst, I am constantly studying a wide variety of industries, as our clients look at a diverse array of markets, from Brazilian agriculture to UK real estate to US oil and gas.

On a typical day I work on about five different projects.  Each morning, I review my assignments with my Team Leader and my Project Manager, who will also brief me on any new projects we may have received overnight. After answering emails and following up on yesterday’s work, I might start working on a brand new project. My research begins with a quick online search for news in the space the client is looking at, whether it’s telecommunications, automotive companies, or grocery retailers. Often, I will find a recent article describing a change in the management of a particular company, a sharp decline in demand for or supply of a certain product, or the release of a new technology. Familiarizing myself with the news allows me to approach the project in a more informed and efficient way. After doing my own preliminary research, I begin the task of identifying experts who could speak with my client and provide a first-hand perspective on the topic. Perhaps I will reach out to a former CEO in the sector my client is looking at, who could shed light on recent market events.  At this point in my research, communication skills come into play. A Research Analyst at Cognolink spends a great deal of time on the phone speaking with experts, so being able to speak professionally and confidently is of the utmost importance. The focus of our clients’ research is often quite niche, so it is important to ask the right questions in order to determine whether or not the expert would be a helpful resource for the client. If my own conversation with the expert goes well and I am confident they could contribute to the project, I will write up a short bio describing their qualifications and pass it along to the client. After the client indicates their interest in speaking with the expert, a phone-based consultation is scheduled. 

Working at Cognolink is an opportunity to learn about many different industries, stay up-to-date on current events, and get an inside look into the world’s financial markets. The company is growing now more than ever and the opportunities for growth and promotion within are readily available. Cognolink fosters a company culture of hard work balanced with plenty of fun. The company is full of recent graduates and young professionals, all eager to work together and create a welcoming office environment.

To learn more about the Research Analyst position, visit: