Alumni Spotlights: Chandler Carter

CYBERSECURITY & DATA -This spotlight series features T. Howard Foundation (THF) alumnae working in Cybersecurity and/or Data and Analytics roles.

Chandler Carter (THF ’13) (THF ’19)
Senior Research Analyst, NORC at the University of Chicago

Please describe your role.
I work as a Senior Research Associate at NORC at the University of Chicago in their Public Health department. The majority of my time is spent analyzing social media data to identify themes related to tobacco control in order to understand consumer behaviors and attitudes and to better inform tobacco control policies. My work also involves program evaluations, randomized control trial studies, surveys and focus groups on a range of topics including Covid-19, maternal & child health, mental health and misinformation.

What do you enjoy most about your company?
I enjoy the passion that my colleagues have for working collaboratively to make a social impact.

In what way did this type of work interest you and how did you get started?
I’m drawn to this type of work because it has a positive impact on communities around the country. I started my career in media market research, building both quantitative and qualitative skills. It began with my T. Howard internship at A&E, where I did research around new media distribution. Then, my first full-time job at a media research firm, which specialized in multicultural audiences, Horowitz Research, helped me gain experience in survey development, management and analysis. At WebMD, I learned to use syndicated data sources to craft actionable insights. When I went to grad school, I pivoted towards public health research through my studies in health communications and media effects. This is where I studied the role that media plays in influencing attitudes, behaviors and beliefs, particularly how it can effectively deliver important public health messages in an era of misinformation.

How has your affiliation with the T. Howard Foundation influenced your career?
T. Howard provided me my first paid internship during undergrad, where I learned invaluable lessons about how to stand out in the work place and network effectively. I’ve carried those lessons with me through my career and have gained great mentors and received recognition because of it. T. Howard also helped me land a research internship with The New York Times where I was able to expand my network and learn data science skills that I’ve applied in my current position.

What personal attributes have been essential to your career success?
My curiosity has been essential to my career success because it leads me to dig deeper, to question data and to learn new skills to support my team.

If you were entering this career today, how would you prepare to facilitate entry?
I would connect with organizations like T. Howard to get internship experience in research and develop my professional network. I would also take courses on various research methodologies.

In one sentence please describe what work/life balance means to you.
Work/life balance means having the space in your schedule and your mind for activities and down time that allow you to live everyday as if it were the weekend.

Are you an early bird or a night owl? How does this show up in your working habits?
I’m an early bird so I tend to work on the tasks that require the most attention first.

How do you re-charge at work?
If I need to re-charge at work, I’ll generally take a walk outside, do a short plank, and/or meditate.