I had the opportunity to travel to New York City with the National Retail Federation Student Association (NRFSA) in January 2018. It was such an enjoyable and impactful experience that opened my eyes to all that the Big Apple has to offer. Before going on the trip, I had my mind set on pursuing a specific career path, but this trip helped me to discover the many different roles available in the retail industry. Our time was composed of a study tour, the NRF Student Program, and the NRF Retail’s Big Show. We were also given some free time to explore the city and have fun! During free time I visited the MoMA, the Museum of Natural History, Central Park, and even got to see Wicked on Broadway, a total dream come true. Not only was it a cool and exciting experience, but also a great opportunity to supplement the information learned in RCSC courses at the U of A.
The study tour included Winston Retail, REI SoHo, Nike SoHo, Global Brands Group, and Macy’s Herald Square. Each retailer shared with us about how their company runs, how they uniquely stay competitive in the changing retail landscape, and lastly they happily answered any questions we had. I walked away from each stop on the tour with wise words of advice from the executives who so graciously took time out of their schedules to meet with us. Some highlights from the tour include checking out the in-store experiences at Nike SoHo, visiting the Empire State Building to learn about brand management with Global Brands Group, and having lunch with the main man himself, Terry Lundgren at Macy’s Herald Square.
The NRF Student Program was packed full of inspiring speakers and information sessions on excelling as a professional individual in the retail industry. My favorite speakers included Shark Tank’s Daymond John who motivated me to “Rise and Grind” and Rachel Schechtman of STORY who shared her unique and creative vision. Next we met with executive mentors in small groups which was a great opportunity to network and to ask any burning questions. The NRF Student Program was concluded with a career fair filled recruiters from companies we know and love like Disney, Warby Parker, Target, Nordstom, and more. The last day we attended Retail’s Big Show, the world’s largest retail conference that is filled to the brim with the biggest names in retail and the latest and greatest ideas. It was so inspirational to hear from some of the most impactful players in the industry and to get a glimpse into what’s next in retail. I can confidently say that I left this trip feeling motivated to work hard in my classes, gain all the experience I can, and to prepare myself for a future career in the industry I love.
Retailing and Consumer Sciences Major