QRF has connected with multiple commerce students who interned in the retail industry and asked them about their experience. Next up in the series is Virginia Parry, a fourth-year commerce student who interned at TJX this summer. Keep reading to hear about her unique position and advice for recruiting!
1. Tell us about what you did this summer.
I worked as an Allocation Analyst for TJX Canada. Allocation analysts fall within the planning department to ensure that the optimal product mix is sent to each store by looking at sales data and market trends. This role allowed me to develop my ability to extrapolate findings through data analytics while also teaching me to be comfortable making decisions when the answer isn’t always black and white. We called this “working in the grey” and it was something that I hadn’t really faced in previous roles. However, becoming comfortable and confident enough in my decisions really helped me take on more responsibilities. Specifically, I was a part of the New Store Planning team, which required me to monitor inventory levels and assortments going to all new stores being opened across Canada. TJX has a very unique off-price business model, which is something that I found exciting so that my day-to-day responsibilities always looked a little different.
2. What interested you about the retail industry?
I love how dynamic and fast-paced it is. It is also an industry that allows me to integrate my business background with my interest in fashion. And I know that in the future, should my interests change, this industry has so many different opportunities that I could explore, from tech to food, all of them could provide a very different insight on the industry. Further, since the current retail landscape is changing so dramatically I find it both interesting and challenging to be entering the industry at this time. However, I think that finding the right company with a strong business model and commitment to innovation could yield some really unique and valuable opportunities.
3. What’s your number one tip for people new to on-campus recruitment?
Be sure to push yourself outside of your comfort zone and take the initiative to make memorable connections with the recruiters. Establishing consistent and genuine communication habits will help a lot! I think that staying open to learning as much as you can and making sure that that the companies understand that would really give you a leg up. I think that they are looking for people that show enthusiasm about the position as well as a someone who is open to taking on its challenges and can adapt to whatever is thrown at them. That being said, recruitment is a stressful time of the year so be persistent and try to get out as many events as possible but stay positive and open-minded about the opportunities being made available. No matter what the outcome is going through the networking and interview process is an amazing experience that will really help shape your skills for future job opportunities. Lastly, I think that you should definitely make sure you take time to find a company that is a strong cultural fit rather than just signing up for all the big names that you recognize.