Whitman Voices

Introduction

Internship Spotlight: Samantha Pupatelli ’17

Internship Spotlight: Samantha Pupatelli ’17

Samantha-pupatelliFor Samantha Pupatelli ’17, an accounting and retail double major, two separate internships at TJX Companies have helped gain a tremendous amount of insight and knowledge about how accounting impacts planning and buying. Pupatelli’s first internship was in buying, specifically buying ladies knits for Marshall’s and T.J.Maxx, two of TJX Companies’ brands. She said she always thought buying was product-based and was surprised how numbers-based the process was.

“I was at an advantage since I’d taken accounting classes and under-stand profit and grow margin terms,” she said. “I had to calculate the turn and profit margins and the buyer with whom I worked was surprised I knew how to do that!”

She credits this internship for helping her pass the heavy accounting courses she took subsequently. Pupatelli had a second internship in the planning department at TJX. This time, she analyzed what products were selling where and helped decide where to send certain items for sale.

“Accounting came into play here, too, because we did budgets,” she said. “I participated in weekly meetings with sales to determine how things should be allocated.”

She added that she even took trips to the stores themselves, to pull products and take pictures of where they were placed and how they were displayed to help inform their decisions.

“I really enjoyed my time at TJX, including the intern group project,” said Pupatelli. “While those who were studying fashion merchandising focused more on the psychological and marketing aspects, I was more focused on the numbers and sales data. My boss said I had a more analytical mind and that I really understood the planning side more than most!”

Pupatelli said she plans to work at PwC this summer and will pursue her master’s degree this fall, as well as begin sitting for the Uniform CPA Exam.

Kerri Howell

Kerri is director of communications and media relations for the Whitman School. She is responsible for managing all internal and external communications with students, faculty, staff, alumni, members of the business community and other key stakeholders.After receiving her B.A. from State University of New York at Geneseo, she went on to earn her M.S. in communications management from Syracuse’s S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications, where she has served as an adjunct professor in the public relations department since 2004.