On April 15, 2014, student fellows of the Center for Risk Management Education and Research had the opportunity to listen to and discuss with Bob Goodpaster, Vice President, Chief Global Knowledge Officer at The Hershey Company. Mr. Goodpaster shared about his career and how he came to work in market research within the Hershey Company, where he has been for the past eleven years. He shared valuable knowledge about the twists and turns his career has taken and how that allowed him to pursue market research as a career. Mr. Goodpaster then shared a brief overview of the history and values of The Hershey Company.
Mr. Goodpaster’s next topic covered the evolution of market research due to the advancements in data collection and analysis. New career paths have developed due to this evolution. He explored the various industries and fields in which careers related to consumer insights, advanced analytics, and predictive analytics will be available. Mr. Goodpaster shared his hope that big data analytics will someday be able to predict the trends in the market and not only be used for analysis. He also shared the challenges that this data poses to analysts and examples of how this new technology has been able to help The Hershey Company make decisions. Mr. Goodpastor then allowed the student fellows to ask questions about the topics he covered. The students discussed topics with Mr. Goodpaster that included big data analytics, The Hershey Company’s advertising policies, and diversifying their portfolio to embrace the trend toward healthy food options in the United States.
The student fellows that had the opportunity to attend Mr. Goodpaster’s presentation enjoyed learning about new career options and were grateful for the discussion that Mr. Goodpaster facilitated. Kassie Curran, 2014-2015 student fellow, said, “Hearing from Mr. Goodpaster about career opportunities in consumer market research and how a large food company manages and analyzes big data in order to better serve its customers was a learning experience students don’t often get. Making connections with industry experts is one of the biggest benefits of being a fellow of the Center”.