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Donor Voices: Sarah Zurilla

August 6, 2019

ProdegeMR has reinvented the market research process by taking a respondent first approach. Our diversified recruitment methods and world-class consumer engagement model comprised of over 100 million registered members globally fosters member retention and ongoing participation. This extends many benefits to our clients; allows for delivery of recontact surveys, longitudinal studies, in-home use tests, and on-going research programs. We’re grateful for their support of Women in Research and excited to highlight ProdegeMR’s Senior Director—Sarah Zurilla—in this installment of our Donor Voices blog series!

Sarah Zurilla

Sarah Zurilla is Senior Director at ProdegeMR where she oversees the Research Solutions group and is responsible for meeting client needs in the areas of Survey Programming, Fieldwork Management, Translations, Coding, Data Processing, and Data Visualization. As a leader and a client-facing member of the ProdegeMR team, she strives to inspire and motivate others on a daily basis. For Sarah, successful leadership requires two actions: 1) forging a personal and professional connection with team members and 2) leveraging each person’s strengths “to ensure that you have a successful and motivated team.” In her experience, Sarah urges that you can’t have one without the other; taking the time to get to know and understand team members on a deeper level allows a leader “to fully understand what motivates [team members] and what each individual’s unique strengths are.”

“Great leaders inspire and motivate others; I strive to do both every day.”

Prior to joining Prodege in 2016, Sarah led the Consumer Project Management team at Hall & Partners in NYC and she feels fortunate to have worked with incredible women in the industry since day one of her research career. Her emphasis on the power of leveraging one’s own strengths is drawn directly from experience; even at some of the earliest points of her research career, utilizing this skill allowed her to hone and craft a personal career path unique to her needs and vision. This empowered insight and agency over her career was made possible by a network of mentors, both women & men, from whom she sought advice and guidance then, and continues to reach for to this day. One of the best career (and life) lessons Sarah feels she has learned from her mentors and role models came from her grandmother: “hard work always pays off.” In Sarah’s own words: “she was definitely right!”

“To be an effective leader, you must leverage each person’s strengths to ensure that you have a successful and motivated team.”  

Outside of personal mentors, role models and coaches, Sarah has followed Sheryl Sandberg’s career closely and has read Lean In multiple times for inspiration. She was similarly inspired by the book GRIT in which Angela Duckworth explains that the secret to success is perseverance and determination, takeaways that resonate in her daily approach to life. For Sarah, authenticity and curiosity are key. She urges others to “stay knowledgeable about new technologies and embrace learning.” In addition to staying informed, Sarah’s recipe for leadership success includes determining the individual skills of her colleagues and how to best elevate them within her team.

“Be authentic to who you are, be aware of your own strengths and choose roles that allow you to elevate them.”

Sarah has attended a number of WIRe events and has enjoyed hearing from and connecting with incredible people within the industry. In her experience, WIRe events are as much an opportunity to meet up with friends and colleagues as they are an opportunity to forge new connections. The opportunity for sharing and collaboration is echoed in a project dear to Sarah’s heart—ProdegeMR’s recently launched Data Visualization service, which helps clients quickly deliver results to their stakeholders in an engaging manner. For Sarah, the best advice she could offer women in the industry who are striving to enter leadership roles is, “Be authentic to who you are, be aware of your own strengths and choose roles that allow you to elevate them.”

Are you interested in learning more about corporate donorship opportunities with WIRe? Contact Michelle Andre for more information.

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