Career Connections

Abbey Osterloo

Major: Apparel, Merchandising, and Design

Minor/option/emphasis: Event Management

Company/Organization: Iowa State University Bookstore
Company/Organization website:
Destination: Ames, Iowa
Timeframe: Summer

Advisor/Coordinator Email:

I was responsible for...
I was responsible as the assistant buyer for the West Cyde Boutique to continuously research trends and buy clothing for the boutique. I created the prices and markup and markdowns for every item in the boutique. I ran several reports to check sales, turnover, and ROI. In addition to buying, I was in charge of visual merchandising and created several displays featuring the newest items. I participated in numerous vendor meetings to examine new product lines and place purchase orders.

I accomplished...
By the end of the summer, I had spent several thousand dollars independently on clothing for the boutique. I was asked to stay on as the assistant buyer throughout my senior year as well.

I learned...
My greatest lesson is that there is so much more to buying than just the corporate world. I got to see an up close look at buying from a bookstore perspective as well as a small boutique perspective. There is so much to learn and learning truly never stops.

Advice for others...
My advice is to keep your options and your mind open. There are buying jobs and careers in many places that are apart from corporate positions. You can learn just as much, if not more, from a small buying firm other than large company buying teams.

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