This summer was one of transformation and development. Although our students faced setbacks and challenges throughout the Pandemic, many took on opportunities to grow and take their professional development to another level. Our Student Advisory Board (SAB) ambassadors have shared their summer experiences and how in a time of stress and uncertainty, taking on an opportunity was the highlight of their summer.
Mandy Schwartz is a new member to SAB, and is a Senior studying Retailing and Consumer Science (RCSC). Mandy spent her summer gaining retail experience through working at two boutiques on University Boulevard, Colette and 816. From receiving shipment, tagging, steaming, content creating, and providing excellent customer service, Mandy took on a lot of responsibility. Mandy also took on several visual merchandising tasks, including dressing the mannequins and color coordinating for windows as well as on-the-floor displays. Mandy believes the skills she has learned from working retail will only expand her knowledge - she hopes to pursue a career in Social Media Marketing or Visual Merchandising after graduation.
Emily Moore, Chair of SAB, spent her summer interning at Stock Farm, a private golf club in Hamilton, Montana. Emily’s role was Merchandising Assistant, which allowed her to learn multiple skills such as merchandising, buying, inventory upkeep, and other moving pieces that come with running a small, specialty retailer. “I have learned so much about golf that I never thought I would know, which is a plus!” Emily took a chance, traveled 1,236 miles from Tucson, Arizona, and stepped out of her comfort zone to explore a great growth opportunity.
Dominique Jablonski, the SAB Internal Affairs Chair, has been on the board for two semesters now and is also a senior studying Retailing and Consumer Science, with a minor in Environmental Studies. Eager to learn and elevate her skillset, Dominique took the opportunity to intern for Crate and Barrel at La Encantada, in Tucson, Arizona. Taking on a store merchandising role, Dominique learned the ins and outs of the business and had the opportunity to shadow every operating role in the store. This gave her opportunity, flexibility, and provided her with extensive knowledge to demonstrate retail proficiency. Working through COVID-19 in a store setting exposed her to extraneous factors and the ever-changing environment in the industry, she realized not every day looks the same in retail. “It was cool to see how leaders in the retail industry reacted to the problems posed by COVID-19 and how they continue to overcome challenges that continue to affect the business.” Dominique was able to learn a lot from taking on one opportunity, and for that she is grateful.
Skyler Wicke, third semester SAB ambassador, is a senior graduating this Fall with a major in Retailing and Consumer Science. This summer Skyler had the opportunity to travel to New York City while interning remotely for Macy’s in a buying role. Skyler was placed in the beauty department with a close-knit team who worked with vendors such as Smashbox, NYX, and Urban Decay. “Each day I would analyze data, meet with vendors, and work closely with Excel. I never expected to fall in love with this role as a buyer.” Skyler’s experience allowed her to dive deep into her learnings, which gave her confirmation that this is what she wants to do after graduation.
Our students are a perfect example of turning setbacks into an opportunity, enduring to create learning experiences that will cultivate growth in future endeavors. We are left inspired and motivated to experience learning in different ways and levels through these stories. Our Student Advisory Board members are a great reflection of what the future of retail holds - passionate leaders.
Are you a Retailing and Consumer Science alumni who would be willing to share your experiences with current UArizona students? Email us at email@example.com!
Author credits: Paulette Estrada, Senior in the Retailing and Consumer Sciences Major