Graduate Interview: Marion Tanis, Research Consultant

KENNESAW, Ga. (Sep 25, 2018)Marion Tanis AnthropologyMarion Tanis graduated with a B.S. degree in Anthropology from Kennesaw State University in 2015. Today, he is a Research Consultant with a brand strategy firm, a path that started with an internship in New York and acquiring a Masters in Advertising and Consumer Behavior from University of Texas at Austin. Tanis is responsible for conducting qualitative research, building discussion guides, and managing projects that include interviewing, media planning, and survey development. Tanis’s career started when he and three friends participated in a focus group about comedians Key and Peele. “I ended up pushing and following the guy that actually came to interview me. He got my resume in front of the people in New York. About a year after that, the consumer research that he was doing on me, I was then living in New York, doing it with him on other people.”

He says, “Anthropology drove me to study culture…There's this intense need for human- centered research. It's got a tagline now: Human centered design, human computer interactions, design thinking, there's all those different things they call it, but in the end its just anthropology. I think it’s just our moment, personally. I just rode that wave here.”

Tanis argues that anthropology provides a much-needed perspective in his field, “People in business, people that make big decisions... there's still people out there in power that have no idea how human beings work or talk to one another or organize themselves or consume products or speak to each other, all of that. There's people that make big, huge decisions, that make a lot of money, that do great things, but they're just blind, deaf and dumb when it comes to how human beings interact.”

Drs. Sen and Williamson served as mentors during Tanis’s KSU career and encouraged him to “dive deep” with anthropology. Taking four research methods classes also prepared Tanis to take on graduate school and further his career. “Anthropology prepares you for any track that has to do with human beings. Anything that has to do with the human condition, anthropology can prepare you for if you can translate the skills from that research methods course into the right direction.”

Anthropology Alumni Dani Alexander (class of 2018) conducted and drafted the anthropology interviews as part of a practicum project.