Sep 11, 2017

A Summer Internship at Fisher-Price

Caroline Stern T'18By Caroline Stern T'18

If you asked me a year ago what I would be doing for my summer internship, I never would have guessed that I would be working for a toy company. Prior to Tuck, I worked in a very different industry—wealth management—at a private firm in Canada. For my summer internship, I knew I wanted three things: to work for a large public company, to put the general management perspectives I learned in my first year at Tuck to use, and to work with people who would challenge me and give me an opportunity to grow. So, armed with the Tuck network (Mattel’s Executive Chairman Chris Sinclair is a Tuck alumnus) and a strong interest in brand management, I was thrilled to land an internship at Fisher-Price (owned by Mattel Inc.). 

What was your favorite toy growing up? This was the first question I was asked as I started my internship on the Global Brand Marketing team at Fisher-Price. As the other interns and I began to reminisce about our favorite toys, it became clear to me how much fun we were going to have this summer! From riding around campus on Power Wheels to late night marketing calls with colleagues in Asia, my internship at Fisher-Price certainly exceeded my expectations.

Over the course of the summer, I became a fully-integrated member of the Newborn Marketing team. I led teams of designers, engineers, and researchers through the late-stages of the product development process for FP’s Fall 2018 line, I helped my team create our 2019 marketing strategy, and I worked with colleagues in Europe and Asia to ensure they had the data needed to execute their projects.

In addition to my team responsibilities, I had a group project with my fellow MBA marketing interns that focused on the question: How can Fisher-Price address price erosion? Price erosion is a hot topic with many big-box retailers fighting tooth and nail for the lowest price, driving their margins down in the process. This was a particularly difficult intern project and a very important one as price erosion has become a huge issue in the toy industry. We looked at this project as a learning opportunity and spoke with individuals from across the organization working in Canada, California, Arkansas, Wisconsin, and New York. Not only was it a great opportunity to meet more of our colleagues, but we learned a lot about pricing strategies and thinking outside the box. This project was a true testament to Mattel culture—everyone we spoke to was interested in our project and willing to help in any way they could.

Fisher-Price’s head office is in East Aurora, NY (a suburb of Buffalo). I had a great time exploring my new neighborhood, from biking to work every day to seeing a pre-season Bills game to hiking at Watkins Glen State Park, this summer was full of new experiences and adventures. As I reflect on my first year at Tuck and my summer at Fisher-Price, I can feel how much I’ve learned and grown in the past twelve months. I’m excited to continue this adventure and see where second year brings me!

Watkin's Glen

Waterfalls at Watkins Glen State Park

Global Tuck 'Tails

Global Tuck 'Tails in Buffalo with Gillian Wong T'18 and Dan Donaldson T'66

Caroline is a second-year student at the Tuck School of Business. Originally from Toronto, she went on to major in finance at Dalhousie University in Halifax, NS. Prior to Tuck, Caroline spent six years working in a variety of roles at Burgundy Asset Management. At Tuck, Caroline is a commissioner for Tripod Hockey, a leadership fellow, a Revers nonprofit board fellow, and a Tuck student ambassador. She also enjoys taking advantage of Dartmouth’s cabin system.