The real impact of survey research: Eniko Marcus
The real impact of survey research:
Born in Hungary, Eniko Marcus originally studied animal husbandry in school with aspirations of being a veterinarian. After living in three other international cities, Marcus settled in Starkville in 2019 with a role far from animal life and plans to stay.
Marcus began working at the SSRC’s Survey Research Laboratory in April 2021 as a call center supervisor. Even with no prior research experience, Marcus found the transition into the position to be smooth. After shadowing the three other supervisors, she was ready to work on her own.
“It’s very straightforward. It seems like so many things you have to monitor, but when you are sitting down and actually doing it, it’s easy to follow,” Marcus said.
On a day-to-day basis, Marcus oversees the interviewers in the call center who interview phone respondents on the current survey the SRL is conducting. At maximum capacity, Marcus is responsible for all the call center’s 18 stations. She also works to log important data for the center and serve as a support system for the staff.
One challenge of the job, Marcus said, is just getting people to answer the phone, and then be willing to complete the survey. In the age of cell phones, most people are not inclined to answer a call from an unknown number, and the interviewers can sometimes work for hours with no completed surveys. Marcus encourages individuals to participate in the research as much as possible because of the meaningful impact it can have.
“If you want to change things, you have to give your opinion,” she said. “And if you don’t give that, nothing is going to change.”
Marcus believes in that impact, as well as the impact her interviewers are having on those they survey.
“It’s not just about the survey. They do the survey, but they do more than that. They listen to people,” Marcus said.
Though she is well into her career, Marcus decided to enroll as a student at Mississippi State University in January and wants to continue prioritizing her education in the future. She said she would encourage any others who are able, to continue learning and studying.
“They always say, ‘knowledge is power.’ If you have knowledge, if you study, then you can do something,” Marcus said. “You can change the world and make it better.”
Looking forward, she plans to stay in Starkville for the future and continue to grow her career.