Eddie Accomando received his B.A. (Phi Beta Kappa) in philosophy from the University of Dallas with a concentration in languages and an M.A. (ABD) from Southern Methodist University [SMU] in cultural anthropology. He has been researching human behavior and market trends for 18 years, creating unique research methodologies that reveal the reasons behind decision making and high-tech product adoption. He has worked with companies such at Verizon, GTE and Texas Instruments, and now runs his own business, Anthroconsulting.
Q: Could you speak a bit about your business, Anthroconsulting?
Anthroconsulting was created as a way for me to blend my work in corporate market research endeavors and my academic service. A social science degree brings with it a nice set of marketable skills. I focus on start-ups, and small and medium-sized businesses that may not be able to afford a full-time Market Research or Customer Insights department, and set up programs that they can administer themselves. Students get to watch the consulting process in real time and learn the direct application of research methods. My clients like the control that it brings to market strategy, the reduced cost and improved quality. In most cases I can create a world-class research program by avoiding organizational resistance through reasoned argument and a third-party perspective. I will be moving into a collaborative workspace in Downtown Dallas in January 2017 to expand my reach.
Q: As an undergraduate philosophy major at UD, what has been your greatest takeaway in life from studying that discipline?
I am still taking things away! Philosophy really is the guide of life — that is more than my fraternal motto. Everything we do is of higher quality when we examine ourselves and how we fit into the world around us. The study of the human condition in American and Western Civilization, Literary Traditions and Philosophy courses really provide a “spiritual vocabulary” that allows graduates of UD to describe and understand our successes and failures after matriculation. The unexamined life is not worth living. My baccalaureate degree is a huge part of my social identity.
Q: What led you from philosophy to get an M.A. in anthropology? What then led you into market research?
Philosophy of Man really captured my imagination. The trip to Rome in spring of ‘90 and my concentration in languages developed my natural interest in other cultures. Cultural immersion in the Rome Program did more to satisfy wanderlust; I found myself to be a good practitioner of the “when in Rome” concept, a good trait for any anthropologist to have. Spending time understanding the benefit of a broad worldview that encompasses many different traditions was always appealing to me. I have always seen anthropology as a kind of applied philosophy. It was a natural next step for me, and SMU is a premier school for anthropology with complementary intellectual challenges and a rigorous program. The focus on cultural relativism and scientific evidence has allowed me to apply the same deep dive to other cultures. American markets can be treated as subcultures and there is clear value in applying anthropological techniques to understanding them.
Q: How have your two liberal arts degrees served you within the business world?
Immeasurably. Not everyone gets implications. When a story or principle applied from a liberal arts education takes root, it can have a transformative impact on business culture. I have seen ideas that initially seemed remote or academic in nature become talking points for senior leaders in Fortune 500 organizations. At its root, business is a story, and classic ideas remain relevant.
Students, are you interested in speaking with alumnus Eddie Accomando or learning more about marketing trends and human behavior? Contact UD Alumni Relations at firstname.lastname@example.org.