I often laugh at the fact that I’ve lived in pretty much every region of the United States at this point. I was born and raised in Southern California and, at a young age, knew that having a great education was something that I valued. Prior to college, I attended boarding school in a small town down south and, by my senior year, I was ready to pack my bags yet again and was dead set on moving to the East Coast.
Getting accepted to Syracuse was a dream come true. I’d heard amazing things about Whitman’s Retail Management program and of course CUSE basketball! Still to this day, there’s something about my experiences while in Whitman that have played a pivotal role in many decisions I’ve made in my professional life.
I had the opportunity to be involved in organizations like ENACTUS, in which I was a member of the presentation team for three years. I’ve had to tap into the skills that I learned from that experience many times–be it in meetings with higher level management or during calls with business partners from other companies where clear and concise communication is key. My Whitman experience would not have been the same without Delta Sigma Pi, which I joined the second semester of my freshman year and met some of my best friends while in college.
Having the experience that I did inside and outside of the classroom lead me to this amazing company called Target (you may have heard of it!). Red and khaki are our favorite colors and you’re probably located less than ten minutes from one of our brick and mortar locations. I interned at Target twice and accepted a fulltime offer right out of school, so it’s pretty safe to say my love for Target runs deep. In all seriousness, though, I’ve been working with Target in Minneapolis, Minnesota, for about two and a half years and it’s been such a wonderful experience. My core responsibility as a merchandise planning business analyst is getting the right amount of inventory to the right place at the right time. I’ve worked within the accessories business focusing on classic and contemporary handbags and most recently within the intimates business with packaged panties and shapewear.
Retail in general is ever changing and having the opportunity to be apart of such an innovative company has been amazing. I’ve lived through the layoffs of dear friends and mentors, repercussions of difficult business decisions and corporate restructuring, and I’ve also been given the opportunity to mentee new team members and even higher level management.
My career thus far has been extremely fulfilling and I’m not the least bit surprised by how much I’ve learned from all of the smart and capable individuals whom I call my friends and colleagues. However, if there’s one thing that I’d leave you with it’s that I never anticipated the difficult career decisions that I’d have to make once I was no longer being confined to a particular curriculum or timeline that college laid out for me. There is no such thing as being a sophomore full-time employee who has one more semester until junior year. There isn’t such a thing as majoring in this or that outside of the walls of a university. So for me, when I graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Retail and Marketing I assumed that’s where I’d stay. What I know now is that while I love retail and I’m extremely good at being analytical and strategic, there are other fields that I’d like to go into that are more on the creative side. For example I’d love to branch out into the communications field; something that over time has become a passion of mine that I’m itching to explore. While this is something that I am certain of now, it has taken the last two and a half years to really come to terms with the fact that it is okay to start over and try new things. It’s okay that I spent my time in college studying one thing only to wind up wanting to do something completely different. Though stressful at times, it’s been a joy navigating the postgrad rollercoaster. I can’t wait until retirement is staring me in the face and I look back on the amazing career I’ve had. I’ll be able to honestly say that Whitman, Target Corporation and whatever else follows was key in my success.