What year did you graduate?
Did you have any area of emphasis?
I minored in Sociology.
Why did you choose to study Design and Merchandising?
I always knew I wanted to find a way to work in fashion, and when I found out I could major in something that combined creative and business skills with an exciting variety of career paths, I was sold!
What made you choose Drexel for the Design and Merchandising program?
The co-op program combined with a love of the great city of Philadelphia factored in to my decision to choose this program. When I found the Drexel Design and Merchandising program, and heard about the unique experiences from past students, it sealed the deal.
What was your favorite class? Why?
It’s hard to pick a favorite class! I could list so many off the top of my head; from Design I to Senior Buying, I found a way to love something about every class. If I had to pick, I would have to choose Computer Integrated Merchandising Management (CIMM). The whole class built up to the final project, which simulated several different career paths that out major prepares us for. It was also where I learned I wanted to go into Merchandise Planning as my first career path!
Where do you work and what is your current position?
I work as a Senior Allocation Analyst for the TJX Companies.
What do you love about your job?
I love that from day one, I was trusted to drive business. The job is not black and white; I have to make decisions based on both past trends and future forecasts. I work with a great team of buyers and merchandise planners who all help me drive my personal and career development. I learn more on the job every day, and that is what continues to drive my passion.
What Co-op(s) did you do? Position?
I had my co-op at Lagos, where I was a Retail and Operations Associate. There I analyzed monthly sales reports and customer data, helped visual merchandising strategy when new product arrived, coordinated in-store events, and promoted sales. I stayed in the position and helped onboard new associates and co-ops through graduation. My experience there is still so valuable, and to this day, I am thankful for the outstanding women that shaped me there.
Any unique experiences during your time at Drexel? Extra internships? Involvement?
I would have to say that the Fashion Show Production classes and directing the 2018 Fashion Show was a totally unique experience that I will always remember. It challenged me to grow my leadership, problem solving, and creative thinking skills. All in all, it was a rewarding experience to work on from start to finish with an amazing team of peers.
Any advice for current students?
Get the most out of every class, and utilize your professors. The quarters can go by in the blink of an eye, but as Drexel Dragons, you are so fortunate to have such a wealth of information and learning opportunities at your fingertips. The classes and professors that challenge you the most are the ones that can truly impact you to the highest extent.
If you could give any advice to incoming first years, what would you say?
Get comfortable with being uncomfortable; this is when you will grow the most. Have a positive learning attitude in all that you do. Both of these tips are what helped me get the most out of my Drexel career (and help me in my current role). People always remember a hard worker who faced every challenge with a committed, positive attitude. Also...have fun!
What are some of the most important things students should know about the retail industry when looking for a co-op or their first job?
Co-op hunting and job hunting can be mentally and emotionally exhausting, but once I gathered a Drexel team of support around me, my options opened up. Simply put, you don’t know what you don’t know. With classes and deadlines, it can feel overwhelming to think you have to get to the next step all by yourself. News flash, you are not alone! You have incredible professors, Academic Advisors, and team at Steinbright to help you through every step when you put in the effort. Utilize them!
I had a major “a-ha” moment during my final in-person interview with TJX. I was in a group interview surrounded by impressive candidates who studied Economics, Accounting, Marketing, etc., when I realized this: my (and your) unique Drexel Design and Merchandising experience is a major differentiator from the competition. Whether it is the classes you loved the most, the extracurriculars you participated in, or the co-op/work experience you cultivated, it all sets you apart from the crowd. We take such a wide variety of classes in this program and create so many incredible projects. When you showcase this effectively to potential employers, you can market yourself as a unique candidate.