Yale School of Management

Internship Spotlight: Hillary Bernhardt ’20

What are you doing this summer? We asked rising second-year MBA students to check in from their summer internships, where they are applying the lessons of their first year at Yale SOM.

Hillary Bernhardt ’20

Internship: Kellogg Company, Battle Creek, Michigan

Hometown: Kansas City
Favorite Yale SOM class: Yale Center for Customer Insights Discovery Project
Favorite professor: Gal Zauberman
Favorite New Haven eatery: September in Bangkok
Clubs and affiliations: Design + Innovation Club, Nonprofit Board Fellow, Ice Hockey

For my MBA summer internship, I’m working as a behavioral science intern at Kellogg for the Global Insights & Analytics division. My semester working on Yale Center for Customer Insights’ Discovery Project for PepsiCo along with my undergraduate studies in the social sciences—anthropology and economics—prepared me well for this summer at Kellogg.  My internship revolves around incorporating behavioral science into the market research as well as innovation and commercial processes at Kellogg.

My first project involves comparing and vetting research vendors used at Kellogg. For Kellogg North America, I have mapped out when various research tools should be used and what the best practices are for using each tool or research supplier. On the global side, I have collected case studies of how a new research tool can been used within the organization, in order to further increase its usage across Kellogg. In addition, I’m in the process of mapping out how behavioral science can be incorporated into current research techniques.  My second major project at Kellogg is creating trainings to upskill Kellogg’s researchers on how to incorporate behavioral science when they are planning tests or hiring research vendors.

There are four other MBA interns here at Kellogg for the summer, as well as a larger cohort of undergraduate interns. The MBA interns have regular coffee chats with general managers and VPs leading Kellogg’s brands and divisions. In addition, the Intern Speaker Series has included talks by Simon Burton, head of the Kellogg’s venture capital arm, eighteen94, and Jon Agay, who is an internal entrepreneur launching Kellogg’s ready-to-go smoothie breakfast, Joyböl.

On a trip for the MBA interns, we visited Kellogg’s Chicago office in the Merchandise Mart; met with one of our ad agency partners, Leo Burnett; and attended a Cubs Game at Wrigley Field. Kellogg and Leo Burnett have the longest standing company-ad agency partnership in the industry. It was great to witness that partnership in person and to see how the creative for a brand is developed and activated.

I came to Yale SOM with a background in education and economic development, and I am very happy, largely thanks to my experience at YCCI, that I have been able to work with several Fortune 500 CPG companies in the consumer insights space. The close interaction with marketing professors and industry professionals through YCCI, along with the application of behavioral science research methods for the YCCI Discovery Project, has positioned me well for a career in insights and marketing work post-MBA.  

About the author

Hillary Bernhardt

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