What year did you graduate?
Did you have any area of emphasis?
I majored in design and merchandising and minored in business administration.
Why did you choose to study Design and Merchandising?
I loved the combination of fashion and business.
What made you choose Drexel for the Design and Merchandising program?
I was drawn to Drexel for the coop program. I also liked that D&M had such a wide variety of classes both creative and business.
What was your favorite class? Why?
Presentation techniques (I think – it was a long time ago!) I remember getting to create a collection visually. We had to draw the garments, go to a fabric store and get swatches and put together a linesheet book. I remember it being really fun and I loved it being hands on.
Where do you work and what is your current position?
I work at the Anthropologie Home Office based in the Navy Yard in Philadelphia. My current position is Senior Director of Global Operations. I have two different focuses – the main operations for our business ensuring we execute the buyers vision and get products to our stores and on our website. I also focus on our international partnerships.
How long have you been with your company?
January 10th is my 20th anniversary. I started in the year 2000. I started working there during my junior year of college and have been working there ever since.
What do you love about your job?
Lots of things! The culture and the people are a large part of what I love, and also what has made me stay with the company for so long. I love that we offer products to customers an unimagined experience.
What Co-op(s) did you do? Position?
My co-op was at the Anthropologie Home Office. I was hired as the intern for Apparel buying. At the time, there was one buyer, two assistant buyers and me! I primarily helped with paperwork and photographing and organizing samples.
Any advice for current students?
My biggest piece of advice would be to remain curious. Especially given all of the changes in the retail world the past few years, and with the growth in technology, there are always going to be new things to learn. It’s better to learn creative thinking than memorizing facts. No situation will be exactly the same, so knowing how to come up with the best creative solutions in each situation is very valuable.
If you could give any advice to incoming first years, what would you say?
I would say any experience is a good experience. Whether it be a class, a networking event, a job, they are all a good experience. Even if you intern somewhere and learn you don’t like that type of company or that type of role, you learned something. It will help make decisions for the future in what you do like and what you are looking for. Sometimes even the more challenging experiences or relationships help you learn the most. For example, a challenging boss may make you learn what you want to be like as a boss in the future.
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?
The biggest thing in the retail industry right now is change. Understanding that retail is not the same as it was several years ago, asking questions to understand the history of what worked and what did not work will be helpful to understand what may or may not work in the future.