Student Leader Says that Willingness to Get Involved has led to Finding her Passion

May 15, 2020

Morgan Wallen shares that while she didn't know exactly what her career path she would take, getting involved was key to finding her way.

In deciding where she would attend university, Morgan confronted the question as she does all things – deliberately and analytically.  “I spent months of my junior year of high school researching similar retailing, fashion merchandising, and management programs before coming across the retailing and consumer sciences (RCSC) program.  Once I stepped on campus and into McClelland Park for my initial advising appointment I was hooked. The University of Arizona and the Retailing and Consumer Sciences program became my dream.” 

Morgan Wallen, senior in the Retailing and Consumer Sciences program, is the quintessential leader in all aspects of her involvement at the university.  Since a freshman, she has been an active member of the National Retail Federation Student Association (NRFSA), a member of her sorority, Kappa Kappa Gamma, and serving as a member and, most recently, as chair of the Center’s Student Advisory Board (SAB).  She is also currently working in the Center as one of our student associates.

Like many students, she did not know precisely what she wanted to do in the retail industry but she knew she would find it.  Through the wide variety of activities available in the academic program and Center, she was able to start making connections and figuring out her passion.  “I knew coming into this program that I didn’t need to know exactly what retail career path I wanted, but through the coaching, leadership opportunities, and industry connections, I knew that the academic program and TJLC would help me find it. I can confidently say that after four years, it has done just that and then some.

Through all of these activities, she credited her going with the Center on its annual trip to New York City in association with the National Retail Federation Big Show, as having a tremendous impact on her future career path.  These trips were collectively a turning point for her.  “I was fortunate enough to attend the NRF Student Program three times and our Center study tour twice. The first year I attended, I was a bright eyed freshman who had never been to New York City. To say I was blown away would be an understatement. I never thought I could have been given that opportunity during my first year of college, but it was here that truly opened my eyes to the world of retailing and all of its opportunities.”

A major benefit for students engaged in the Center’s activities is access to great internship opportunities through our partner companies.  Morgan took advantage of this access, as well, by securing one of the few spots with Nike.  “I have always been a person who thought I could have great potential, but it wasn’t until I was truly put to the test during my summer internship at Nike where I saw this become a reality. I was challenged to think outside the box, push the limits of what retail is known as, and truly become a part of the team in just 12 short weeks. Becoming immersed in Nike’s company culture as an Associate Merchant intern gave me all the confidence in myself that was missing.”  Due to her performance during this internship, Morgan will be heading to Portland and Nike’s corporate headquarters as an Associate Merchant after graduation.  As she has demonstrated in all aspects of her involvement on campus, she is certain to have great success in this new role too.  “I watched the dream I had been striving for the previous three years become my reality. I gained connections that helped me grow professionally, and utilized mentors to help me grow personally. I became a more driven student of retail and truly watched my hard work come to fruition. It was a summer I know I will never forget.”

In May 2020, Morgan will graduate and move on to the next step in her professional journey.  It is one for which she is well prepared and will represent the university, the academic program and the Center extremely well.  “The TJLC has without a doubt shaped me into the incoming young professional that I am today. Through our amazing connections and supportive staff and faculty, I can successfully say I have landed my dream job and made connections that will last a lifetime.”