Fall 2017 Newsletter

Happy Holidays!

It's been an amazing semester here at the Center. And while I've said this nearly every semester for the past 10 years, it has gone by faster than should be possible.  As we approach the New Year it's important to take time to look at the past year with gratitude. I am very fortunate to have a position that allows me to work with wonderful colleagues that inspire me daily, spectacular students who amaze me every day and friends and partners that are willing to share their resources; financial, time and expertise, to enhance the educational and career opportunities available to our students. 

The Center has experienced accelerating growth. We now interact with 60% more students than just 2 years ago.  Our financial partners in the industry and individuals provide resources that allow us to take more students to conferences, engage more students in case studies and seek unique experiences. 
The Retailing and Consumer Behavior major has grown to over capacity.  The faculty have done a wonderful job of continually refocusing the curriculum so that our students continually graduate ready to innovate and lead.  Over the next few semesters we will be adding faculty in order to maintain our high quality and to be able to handle even more students.
I am often asked to comment on the hyper pace of change in the retailing industry.  And of course many of you live in that change.  But I think it is often missed that the speed of change in the industry puts a real emphasis on the need to continually change our major, our program and our Center. I am continually grateful to all of our faculty and staff for their willingness to live in a constant state of change.
As you go through this newsletter I hope you will share in our sense of accomplishment.  Our students are well served and well prepared. They would not be without all of our supporters.
To our alumni I am asking this year that your consider paying it forward. You'll see more about that below. Let me say we are proud of what we were able to offer each of you and we hope you will help us continue to offer more to more students.
All the best,

Were you inspired by an instructor, participated in a case competition, traveled to a conference, had in internship, engaged with the Student Retail Association, or discovered a new path in the retailing industry?
The annual fund supports student life and learning experiences- from scholarships to small-group mentoring to career counseling, the fund provides vital and and immediate support to take advantage of "just in time" opportunities for students. 

When you give to the SoHE annual fund you are a part of something bigger than ever imagined- you are joining a community of Badgers just like you who say
yes, I believe in the School of Human Ecology and I cant wait to see what the next generation can do! 

Spotlight: Stellar Student Internships

Maheen Qurashi- Macy's
Connect with Maheen on LinkedIn 

Omni Buying Intern for Women's Active, NYC
Senior, Retailing & Consumer Behavior & Certificate in Entrepreneurship

I learned so much about the retail industry during those short 8 weeks as a Macy's intern. I learned how to communicate efficiently with cross-functional teams, how to work both the left and right sides of my brain efficiently, and how to use what I've learned in school in a real life situation. My biggest challenge throughout the 8 weeks was to learn how to speak my mind. Going into the internship I was extremely nervous about voicing my opinions as I didn't want to offend anyone. One day at Nike headquarters my supervisor took me aside and told me I should say what I think because they will value my opinion. With her help I was able to tell Nike why I think we shouldn't order as many SKUs of a certain color short than another. 

My favorite part of the internship was the intern project. This project gave me the opportunity to speak to executives in the company and prove myself. While at times it seemed stressful it was a perfect opportunity to find myself and embrace Macy's.

Post internship I will be working for the company in their Merchandising Executive Development Program role on my way to become a buyer for the company! I'm super excited to go back and pursue my dream!

Natalie Herold- Mes Ames Boutique
Connect with Natalie on LinkedIn  here. 
Buying/Marketing Intern, Madison, WI
Junior, Retailing and Consumer Behavior 

Through the internship I learned how to interact with customers, how to effectively communicate with vendors, and how to buy dresses for upcoming seasons. A large part of the internship was working the store floor, and this allowed me to get to know the target customer. Knowing who we were servicing really came into play when I traveled with the boutique to the MAGIC trade show in Las Vegas to buy styles for Spring/Summer '18. After working closely with such a diverse client base during the boutique's peak season, I was able to know which dresses our customers would and wouldn't like. 

My "Aha!" moment came a few weeks later when I was working in the boutique one afternoon. Some of the homecoming dresses that we had ordered in Vegas as immediates were on the floor and I helped a girl find a dress for the dance. She radiated excitement and self-confidence and, to know that I helped get that dress to our boutique, it was such a special moment for us both. That was when I really knew that I wanted to pursue the buying career path. 

For the spring semester, I will be studying abroad in Florence, Italy. Once I get back, I'm excited to say that I will be an Assistant Buyer Intern with Ross Stores, Inc. in their New York office for the summer of 2018!

Chad Hendricks- Amazon
Connect with Chad on LinkedIn here.
Customer Service Operations Management Intern, Seattle, WA
Senior, Retailing and Consumer Behavior & Leadership Certificate

Different business units operate in different ways, and there are many different units at Amazon. One has to be able to adapt to different situations at any given moment, and being able to empathize and recognize who or what team you're speaking with, will be a key driver for a successful meeting. I had great managers and mentors, but they didn't hold my hand. I had to know what needed to get done, and effectively manage my time to ensure goals and deadlines were completed when they needed to be.

There were many parts of this internship that were incredible. The project I worked on, the events Amazon put on for us, the other interns from across the world I got to interact with during and outside of work, friendships that were built while hiking, kayaking, and exploring a new city, and all the memories made.

I have accepted a return offer and am very exciting to go back to work for Amazon in June '18!

Read about additional Retailing and Consumer Behavior student internships like Chad, Natalie, and Maheen's here.


Lorna Nagler
Fall 2017 Alumni Executive in Residence

Lorna Nagler served as the Center for Retailing's Alumni Executive in Residence in the fall.  Lorna's storied career was an asset to the role and to the students interested in exploring the retailing industry. 

SoHE alumna Lorna Nagler (Retailing '78) served as fall 2017's Alumni Executive in Residence for the  Kohl's Center for Retailing . Throughout the semester, Nagler traveled back-and-forth from her Florida home to UW-Madison to share her industry expertise and work individually with Retailing and Consumer Behavior (RCB) students. "My one-on-one time with the students was so incredible," states Lorna. "Their approach to case studies and the innovative thinking was well beyond my expectations. The future of retailing is bright!"

Students in enrolled in SoHE's Consumer Behavior, Intro to Retailing, and Global Consumer courses spent time with the retail and apparel industry veteran. "Having the opportunity to meet with Lorna Nagler was hands down one of my favorite moments in college thus far," notes Leah Kate Levy, a RCB student on track to graduate in 2020. "I walked into my meeting hoping to learn about  her-to pick her brain on every triumph and mistake she has made and how I could potentially become half as successful as she is. Instead, I walked away learning more about myself."
In addition to student mentoring, Lorna's residency included presentations at the  Retail Leadership Symposium, the  Women in Leadership panel, and brown bag "lunch and learn" sessions centered on trends and other consumer topics.
Lorna's dedication to her 2017 residency is based on her experience as an undergraduate at UW-Madison. "One of the most impactful classes I had when I was a retailing student was when a former student came to speak to class about her experiences in the real world," she explains. "It was inspiring to me and I hope that with my presence back on campus I might give that same spark that fueled me in my 38-year career."
Thank you Lorna for an amazing semester!
An Interview with Alumni Brittany Zoll
Director of Brand Partnerships, INDISTRY Media

Brittany Zoll is a 2010 graduate of the Consumer Science-Retailing program. In this interview, Brittany provides her background as UW graduate and advice for future leaders of the retail industry.

What was you favorite part of your program?
I loved having the opportunity to travel to different corporate headquarters and going to New York for the National Retail Federation conference!

How did you get your first job and what did you learn from it?
I went to career fairs and networked with several recruiters but finally landed my first job from BuckyNet, UW's online internship and job database.  I learned A LOT!!! My first job started in a training program where I learned about several different departments and then after, was placed into the department that best suited my skills.  I became an Associate Buyer in the Beauty division.  I was the youngest person in my department by 10 years.  It was difficult at first because everyone was so much more experienced than I was and I was expected to jump right in.  I learned a lot in a short amount of time mostly from trial and error. 

If you could give advice to your college self what would you say? 
1. Always make a goal list. Short term, Medium term, and Long term.  You'd be surprised at the power of manifestation!
2. Take action and take risks. You learn so much quicker this way! And always take accountability even if it's a failure.  
3. Put yourself first.  Take care of yourself. Do not get to a point where you feel burnt out. Leave your work at work and be sure to love your life outside of the office.  
4. Be open and honest to your managers and teammates.  It can be difficult to be confrontational or share your opinions at times, but you need to be able to speak up and provide helpful feedback.  
5. Travel!!! Even if you need to take unpaid days!  You won't regret it.  
6. Don't look to Instagram or Facebook for expectations of how your life should be. Let's be honest, people just use it to show off the best parts of their lives.  Everyone will always think the grass is greener but stick to your goals and your gut on how to live your life.   
7. NETWORK! Get to know as many people as you can in your industry and never burn an bridges.
8. You won't love every single part of your job.  Sometimes you have to do things you hate.  But that's just how it goes.  
9. Take a pay cut for a job you have always wanted to do.  If you have been in Planning for 10 years, but decided you are no longer interested in it and want to go into Styling, do it, even if you have to start from the beginning again. Sounds scary but it's not worth staying in a job you hate just because it pays well.  
10. Never stop learning! Know what is happening in the world and read every single day.

Where can you see yourself in the next couple years or where do you see the retail industry? 
I see myself as a successful entrepreneur in the next couple of years.  I plan to have businesses involved in fashion, consulting startups, creating mutually beneficial brand partnerships, and  worker retention.  I see myself traveling to several new countries and continents to learn about more fascinating cultures and build a bigger international network.  I also want a family so quite a bit to juggle in the years to come. 

Connect with Brittany on LinkedIn here.

Brittany in Europe!

Trends in Europe
Summer 2017 | Edinburgh, London, Paris

Trends in Europe is a faculty-led summer study abroad program that was designed to broaden students' understanding of global retailing and Europe's influence on consumer fashion trends. By stepping foot in an unfamiliar territory and navigating their way through, students began to see and understand the world of consumerism in a new light. Students learned about retailing and witnessed fashion product trends throughout Europe in Edinburgh, London and Paris. 

Read more about their adventures here.

MAGIC Apparel Trade Shows
August 2017 | Las Vegas, Nevada

T he annual opportunity for students to experience apparel trade shows in August did not disappoint for 2017! Students were provided the unique opportunity to meet with a variety of brands and
manufacturers, shadow buyers, attend trend seminars, meet with fashion directors and explore new technology which all augmented their learning outside of the classroom.

Click here to learn more about the experience. 

Experience China Study Abroad
Spring 2018 | Hangzhou, China

This spring, a group of UW-Madison students will study abroad in China for the semester and experience retail from a global lens.

The unique program supported by Zhejiang International Studies University (ZISU) will fully immerse students in the Chinese culture while they live off campus in the city of Hangzhou. 

In May, Dr. Nancy Murray, Faculty Associate in Consumer Science and Academic Director of the Center for Retailing, will travel to China to teach an accelerated course for the students entitled Product Development Strategies in Retailing. In addition  to classroom learning, students will experience first-hand apparel and textile production, sourcing, quality, and compliance operations while visiting a variety of Chinese and US-based organizations. Any partners, friends, or alumni that would like to provide opportunities for students in China or Hong Kong during this time (May 7-25) are asked to contact Dr. Murray at nancy.murray@wisc.edu.

Click here to learn more about the experience.

National Retail Federation 

Student Challenge Competition  

The University of Wisconsin placed two teams in the top 25 for this year's  NRF Student Challenge competition, with one moving on to the top 12 teams in the nation. The business case competition revolves around the retailer, STORY, in New York City. This space changes like a gallery, sells like a store, and advertises like a magazine. The teams created a partnership plan and theme with 3M and STORY to bring to life 3M's products. Both teams were offered the opportunity to attend the National Retail Federation Student Program conference in  New York City this upcoming January.

Team ST[Chapters]RY: Top 25 Teams in the Nation
Danielle Talatian: Sophomore: International Business, Marketing
Rachel Ross : Junior, Marketing and Management
Sarah Aik: Junior, Retail and Consumer Behavior
Amy Grisa: Junior, Retail and Consumer Behavior
Team ST[Dogs]RY: Top 12 Teams in the Nation
Danielle Weber: Senior, Retailing and Consumer Behavior
Tori Rustad: Senior, Retailing and Consumer Behavior
Elizbeth Wanzer: Senior, Retailing and Consumer Behavior
Megan Lund: Junior, Retailing and Consumer Behavior  

"By competing in the NRF student challenge, we hoped to gain more insight into the retail industry and work on planning and implementing our own ideas within a company. Our prompt was to get people to know that 3M doesn't just make Post-it Notes.  Therefore, we wanted to relate 3M products to various chapters of people's' lives such as their first job, first home, and first kid.  Our favorite part was applying everything we learned in school to one integrated project such as developing new products, creating a marketing plan, designing the store, and forecasting revenues. This project pushed us to think creatively and analytically on how to draw customers into the store for products they can easily buy online. While we were not semi-finalists in the competition, we learned valuable lessons about the retail industry, STORY New York, and 3M. We now are more confident when developing business plans and feel our teamwork skills were refined through this experience." 

-Team Chapters

Dogs STORY Team: Danielle, Tori, Elizabeth, Megan
Next Generation Scholarship Competition

UW Students are the Future of the Retail Industry!

Brian Lucksinger, Senior, BBA in Marketing and Kathryn (Katie) Steib, Sophomore in Retailing Consumer Behavior placed in the top 25 students in the National Retail Federation Next Generation Scholarship Competition. Brian is a top 5 semi-finalist and will be interviewing in NYC this January to see if he can earn the largest honor and scholarship. Both Brian and Katie will be attending the NRF Foundation Gala where they will be congratulated on their accomplishments. 

Katie created a unique subscription service for a retailer and Brian created an emergency contingency plan for a retailer. Both had original and creative ideas and overwhelmed the judges with their ability to grasp the industry as well as their executive presence! Congrats to you both!

Katie Steib
Connect with Katie on LinkedIn here!

Brian Lucksinger
Connect with Brian on Linkedin here!
Lands' End Sponsors Student Competitions
Business and Design- Real World Experiences 

Future of Retail Case Competition
This fall, Lands' End brought a question to some of the top students at the University of Wisconsin-Madison to design the best fitting room experience for their customers and new stores! 24 students- 5 teams total- presented their ideas on November to 14 Lands' End professionals. The winning team was comprised of Ellie Schueller (Junior), Mikayla Elliott (Junior), Nick Birkby (Senior), Natalie Herold (Junior), and Brooke Bartaczewicz (Sophomore).

Students also spent time with the Center for Retailing after the case competition concluded to visualize their experiences with Adobe Spark and share via LinkedIn. View Natalie Herold's post here.

Design Challenge 
Lands' End also sponsors an apparel Design Challenge for students in the Textiles and Fashion Design program in December. Students design an outerwear garment for Lands' End while keeping the customer, brand, quality, and value in mind. The Lands' End design team presents the challenge and criteria to to students, meets with them to discuss concepts and provides feedback and mentorship throughout the process.

Companies interested in sponsoring or creating case competitions for students can contact Jerry O'Brien at gobrien@wisc.edu.

IDEA Incubator  
Adobe and Infegy Atlas, Digital Storytelling in Retail

The IDEA Incubator in the School of Human Ecology is a space for undergraduates, graduates, faulty and partners to collaborate on ideas, projects, and discussions. With the vast space filled with tables, chairs and whiteboards, the incubator provides tools that help these collaborators conduct research and bring their results to life. One of the tools the IDEA Incubator's staff provides training and support on is Infegy Atlasa social listening tool curated to provide students and faculty to conduct consumer research on different topics, brands, events, etc. Once the gathering of the data and analyzing consumer insights is complete, we encourage students to bring this information to life using a variety of different Adobe tools. While most of the Adobe programs are rather intimidating, the IDEA Incubator's staff supports users with step-by-step instructions that make the software easier to comprehend and stories easier to tell.

Click  here to go to an Adobe Spark page showing the utilization of Infegy Atlas in Professor Nancy Murray's Global Consumer Class. 

Women in Leadership
Women, Wellbeing and Thriving: Trends & Transformation in the Consumer Space

On Wednesday, October 18th,  the School of Human Ecology's  4W Initiative  and the  Kohl's Center for Retailing  co-hosted  SoHE's 2017 Women In Leadership Panel Event entitled   Women, Wellbeing and Thriving: Trends & Transformation in the Consumer Space

Click here to read a student-produced blog about the experience. 

Retail Leadership Symposium
Fall Semester 2017
Thank you to the following companies for presenting in the Retail Leadership Symposium during the Fall 2017 semester. Your presence on campus and in the classroom benefit our program, and most importantly, our students and their futures in the retail industry! 

Von Maur
Kwik Trip
Lorna Nagler
ULTA Beauty
Milwaukee Tool
Ross Stores
Lands' End

Click here to read student-written blogs about the retailers' visits to campus.

Thank you again to all of the individuals and organizations. 
You are what makes our program great!
The students involved with the Student Retail Association at the University of Wisconsin-Madison are at the forefront of industry, networking and engaging the local community. Students of all majors with a variety retail sector interest fuel this organization with 180 active members. Email sramadison1@gmail.com to setup a student info session or collaboration for our Chicago or NYC Industry trips.
Info Session with Girl Wonderful

Visiting ULTA Beauty's Headquarters on our Annual Chicago Industry Trip
Bowling Fun at Union South!

Tour and Cooking Class at Hy-Vee's Madison Whitney Way Store

Danielle Nicole Handbag Project
UW Students bring a designer handbag to campus!
A group of students from within the Student Retail Association have been collaborating with New York designer,  Danielle DiFerdinando of Danielle Nicole Handbags, over the past year to bring you an exclusive Wisconsin tote bag! This team has developed and worked with Danielle from concept, design, licensing, retail partnership, marketing, and now launch! The tote bag launched at the University Book Store's physical locations as well as online, early November. The tote bag is currently  available at uwbookstore.com! 

A portion of the proceeds will come back to the Student Retail Association to support the club's New York Industry Trip to the National Retail Federation Big Show and  Student Program Roughly 42 students will be impacted by attending this trip through industry exposure as well as professional development. It feels good to purchase something that supports other Badgers! Only 200 bags were made and about half are left. Get one while you can!

Connect with the Student Retail Association on Facebook to stay informed on the latest news and events. 



Kohl's Center for Retailing