Jennifer Goliss is the Director of Marketing of the Ryerson Retail Alumni Association, an Assistant Buyer at a leading apparel retailer and a recent Ryerson University Retail Management graduate.
Since starting her first job as a retail Sales Associate in 2006, Jennifer has held a number of roles, including In-Store Visual Merchandiser, Manager In Training and Customer Service Representative, with 5 different major retailers. She says that each step in her career was vital to getting her where she is now – that’s why she encourages students and recent grads to get as much in-store experience as possible.
Your in-store experience will help you better understand the operations of the company as well as its customers, products and merchandising. And don’t forget that the customer experience comes directly from the people they work with in-store!
Jennifer also recommends doing as many internships as possible to find out what you like – and what you don’t like. After completing a Manager In Training program at an electronics retailer, she learned that management, human resources and electronics were not areas she wanted to get into.
Networking is also key in the retail industry, she says. Whether you’re networking on-campus with employers or with your colleagues at work, the most important thing is to continue developing those relationships after the networking event or after you’ve left that job.