Five students from the University of Pittsburgh College of Business Administration recently attended the 2019 National Retail Federation Conference in New York City where they were able to develop valuable business relationships and build ideas.
Featuring over 16,000 retailers from nearly 100 countries, the National Retail Federation’s annual conference is one of the largest retail trade shows in the world. Held during January 13-15, the two-day program consisted of keynote speakers, panelists, networking opportunities, and a career fair.
The Pitt Business Career Development Office holds NRF membership and organized the students’ trip to New York City.
“The panelists touched on many industry topics that I frequently learn about in my classes at Pitt Business. It was incredible to hear that our classroom conversations were an accurate depiction of the knowledge and obstacles faced in the ‘real’ business world, says NRF Student Ambassador Sage Minton (Junior – Marketing & Business Information Systems).
On the second day of the conference, students were able to ask executives and retail leaders for career advice during the “Executive Mentor Experience.” This event allowed students to talk to these executives and leaders in a personal setting.
“Our table got the chance to meet and chat with Buddy Teaster, the CEO and President of Soles4Souls, an incredible social enterprise; Genny Suarez, the General Manager of Nordstrom at Roosevelt Field; and Dustin Bennett, who works in Supply Chain at Wayfair, to name a few,” says Morgan Kriley (Sophomore – Marketing).
Audrey J. Murrell, associate dean of Pitt Business and director of the David Berg Center for Ethics and Leadership, praised the knowledge and networking skills that students gained at the conference.
“The National Retail Federation Conference is a great way for our students to not only enhance their career development but to also learn more about the retail industry outside of the classroom,” Murrell says. “Our NRF student members have benefitted from the firsthand experience of going From the Classroom, To the City, To the World.”
Many students left the conference opportunities that will accelerate their careers.
“After attending, I have secured three interviews for Supply Chain and Merchandising Analysts internship positions that I will be completing within the next few weeks,” says Riley Kitchen (Senior – Supply Chain Management). “This event allowed me to use the networking skills I have developed over my college career and to meet more recruiters to potentially land a job in the near future.”
Each of the five students that were in attendance felt that the experience was worthwhile and would recommend the conference to anyone passionate about the retail industry.
“Not only did I have a great professional experience, but I was able to grow personally as well,” Minton says. “I flew for the first time, grew very close with the other four students, and got a chance to explore the city that I dream of living in one day. If I could do it all over again, I absolutely would.”
Pitt Business students interested in retail can sign up for student accounts with the National Retail Federation here: https://nrf.com/user/join