“Just Retail” The Importance of Work Experience

My name is Emma Coyle and I work at the Urban Outfitters store on Walnut Street.

My name is Emma Coyle and I work at the Urban Outfitters store on Walnut Street. My official position title is Senior Team Leader (STL) and it is a full time position with benefits. When asked what I do, I of course tell people my place of work and title and then, brush it off by saying “it’s just a retail job,” but it’s not! What I do in my position is much like what an Account Manager does in an agency setting. This job started out for me three years ago as simply a job to make money while in school to help pay for tuition. However, it has blossomed into a three-year position where I have made many positive connections and a positive brand for myself.

Now, I know many people’s eyes are rolling around in their heads thinking “Congrats, you’re working in retail.” However, I’ve learned more about leading a team, disciplining and holding people accountable, and managing at this job than I did at my Advertising Internship at a small firm last semester. I manage a staff of 76 people, which includes ensuring their scheduling, work performance, and payroll is correct. I was able to be forefront and hands on in the hiring and training of new employees.

In the end of September, we had only 36 employees and I led the hiring process for seasonal hiring and was able to reach our goal of 75 sales associates. I learned and worked the back office hiring system and taught it to our manager as well as reviewed hundreds of resumes and video interviews, scheduled and conducted in-person interviews, called each individual with an offer, and initiated on-boarding by completing their I-9s.

I am hands on at my job whereas at my Internship I was merely there to observe or given menial Google Analysis tasks that I would make a report out of and that would be the end. I did not get to present my findings whereas at work, I am constantly analyzing sales and explaining why that number is what it is and making changes accordingly. I analyze yearly sales, weekly sales and daily sales, store sales and company sales, and department sales and class sales. From these numbers and current trends, we decide how to merchandise. That is the thing I love about my job, it allows me to be both analytical and creative!

Aside from my what I believe would be a seamless transition from my STL position to an Account Manager position, by working for the brand with my connections, I have limitless access to Urban Outfitters Home Office. I’ve made connections with people from Home Office, who offered to promote me for a job there. I’ve declined due to my school availability, which they would not be able to work with because of their office hours. However, I have those connections for life, because they have worked with me and appreciate my work ethic.

So yes, I do just work in retail but I am extremely grateful for the experience it has given me. It is my simple retail experience at Urban Outfitters that is going to make me a great Account Manager.

One comment

  1. Hi Emma. Your internship sounds great, it sounds like you got a ton of experience and got to work for such a well-known organization. It sounds like managing that number of staff would be intimidating at first, but it must have been a really great experience. It sounds like the PR/HR tasks will be useful to you in your future career.

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