Variety is Key
Sara graduated with a fashion merchandising degree, and a passion for retailing. After graduation, Sara held management positions with several major retailers, including Coldwater Creek and Babies R Us. Her early career experiences gave her the opportunity see the connections between her major studies and industry practices. Sara’s management positions also exposed her to diverse perspectives, and taught her valuable problem solving skills. Early in her career, Sara recognized the benefit of connecting with mentors along the way, and credits her mentors with helping her develop and grow as a professional.
Sara’s extensive store management experience led to her current position with Meijer, Inc. as the product flow coordinator for new stores. The company has plans to enter a number of new markets in the next few years, making Sara’s job challenging, as she works with Meijer’s merchant teams to discuss product lineup, presentation and execution plans for each new store. Although store management wasn’t Sara’s intended career path after graduation, she is very grateful for those experiences, noting that they gave her the perspective she needs to make good decisions in her current position.
In addition to her coursework, Sara credits an internship at Marshall Field’s (now Macy’s) and her position as a research assistant in the department of family and consumer sciences while at WMU for giving her an advantage in the job market. She advises new majors to “gain as much experience as possible in a variety of jobs. Always look for the positive in your roles and learn something from each. This way when you look for a long term position, you will have better knowledge of what drives you, and more realistic expectations.” Sara also recommends that aspiring fashion professionals look for career mentors early on and “ask questions, lots of them!” Sara remains connected to the WMU fashion program, serving as an advisory board member. She also is a frequent guest speaker in the fashion program.