Importance of experience in the workplace

My name is Delaney Hollenbeck and I am 20 years old. I am a junior fashion
merchandising student at the University of Georgia. This is my first semester at
UGA. I previously attended school at Marist College. I absolutely love fashion
and the way it affects each and every one of us. I appreciate unique styles and
viewpoints. I also have a passion for animals and for basketball. I consider
myself a well-rounded person. School, my family, my faith, my friends, and my hobbies are
all very important to me.

My name is Delaney Hollenbeck. I recently transferred from Marist College in New York to the University of Georgia. I am a Fashion Merchandising major. I have learned quickly in two and a half years that the one thing that is sure to set you apart is experience and a good attitude. When I say experience, I don’t necessarily mean just getting a job. Experience encompasses a wide range of things including volunteering and pure attendance. When I got to college, I realized that this is one of the most competitive and cutting edge majors that is offered. I knew I needed to start somewhere. Since I was an athlete in college as well, I knew my time was limited but I needed to attend anything and everything that I could make it to. Luckily, my school offered a plethora of different opportunities including industry professional speakers like Amy Levin of College Fashionista and volunteer opportunities like working backstage at fashion shows. One of my favorite opportunities that Marist offered was a chance to attend Betsey Johnson’s Reprise at Mercedes Benz Fashion Week in NYC. It was imperative to stay on top of opportunities like these in order to get experience in every spectrum of the industry. As soon as I found the time, I began applying for jobs and internships. My fashion professors couldn’t stress enough the importance of working retail. It teaches you a lot about the general public and the steps it takes to be a successful retailer. I landed a job at Anthropologie in the summer as a sales associate. Although I didn’t have prior retailing experience, I still had a lot of talking points in my interview because of my volunteer work. You gotta start somewhere! In the same summer I applied for an internship working in wholesale at America’s Mart in Atlanta. It was very interesting getting to see both the retail and the wholesale sides of the business and why they are both so important and how they differ from one another. Although the internship had me doing a lot of grunt work, I did learn the ins and outs of purchase orders, appointments with buyers, account databases, and cold market calls to people who didn’t necessarily want to hear my spiel. Through the experience I gained in my internship, I learned what I did not want to do. To me, I find this information just as valuable as finding what you DO want to do. At least I could scratch one thing off the list. I was much more interested in buying, something that I think I would find exhilarating and challenging. I recently landed a job at Nordstrom which I thought would be the ultimate challenge for me since their sales associates work off of commission. It is much more competitive, yet I still found a great team of people that I worked with. I attended workshops that the company offered that helped me with my selling and helped me be more confident in selling designer clothing. All of the experiences that I have participated in have been somewhat intimidating, but I have gained so much by taking risks. Overall, there are many opportunities that you will come across, and the best advice I have is to go for it. You may not like every opportunity, but it will teach you something and it will help you make connections in the industry. A huge chunk of success will come from networking and the people you meet along the way.

Share on FacebookShare on Google+Tweet about this on TwitterPin on Pinterest