Photo of Sue McPoland

About Hasbro

Industry: Toys and games 
Location: Pawtucket, Rhode Island  
Company size: 5,600 employees

Meet Sue McPoland, Former Director of Global Consumer Insights at Hasbro

Q: Do you work directly with the students doing their corporate residencies at Hasbro?

A: Yes—on the Global Consumer Insights team, two residents report to me. We have Northeastern residents who work in other departments as well.

Q: What qualities do you look for in a corporate resident?

A: For all residents, I'd say it's important that they have an interest in our company and the consumers we work with. For a role in Global Consumer Insights specifically, they need an innate curiosity, always asking “Why?” and wanting to get to the bottom of things. They need a level of comfort in working with data, and an ability to look at disparate sources of information—whether it be qualitative insights, quantitative data, or syndicated sources—and glean insights from that to tell a clear story that will drive decision-making.

Q: What makes a corporate residency different from a standard summer internship at Hasbro?

A: Northeastern students are with us for a longer period of time—typically six months—which allows them to really become contributing members of our team. It's not like handing an intern a special assignment over a summer and that's the extent of the relationship. We have an onboarding process, and then the MBA students jump right into the day-to-day working life of the company, where they have specific responsibilities.

Q: What's an example of a responsibility you'd entrust to an MBA student?

A: A recent trend in the insights industry is that companies are bringing capabilities in-house for efficiency. Our tools at Hasbro have become more user-friendly, which allows us to do work ourselves that we previously would have done with external partners. But in order to be successful at that, we need the right people, so that's where we turn to our Northeastern residents. They help to manage research using our in-house tools, including the design, programming, analysis, and reporting of projects. They're involved in all phases and they get the complete experience of seeing a project through from start to finish.

Q: Do you typically hire residents into long-term roles?

A: We can't always guarantee an open position at the end of the residency, but a number of residents have been hired here and risen through the ranks, which is really nice to see.

Regardless of whether a resident comes to work for us long-term, a position in Global Consumer Insights is a great learning opportunity and a chance to build experience that is valuable to potential employers. A role in this field may be a bit more of a niche market than, say, marketing or finance. But there are many different roles that students might be interested in where experience in research and insights will be beneficial. An understanding of the role of insight and analytics is a skill that any major organization or early stage venture is going to value.

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