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?
- Always make a goal list. Short term, Medium term, and Long term. You’d be surprised at the power of manifestation!
- Take action and take risks. You learn so much quicker this way! And always take accountability even if it’s a failure.
- 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.
- 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.
- Travel!!! Even if you need to take unpaid days! You won’t regret it.
- 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.
- NETWORK! Get to know as many people as you can in your industry and never burn an bridges.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.