What interested you in your declared major/minor?
Coming from a family of entrepreneurs, I have always wanted to be an entrepreneur myself. I began my journey at Butler with an undeclared major, but I knew I wanted to be in the business school. I began taking courses in the Lacy School of Business and was inspired to declare my major into Entrepreneurship and Innovation. As I continued to take courses within the Lacy School of Business, I realized I also had a passion for marketing, so my junior year I decided to double major in both Marketing and Entrepreneurship. I felt as though the combination of my two majors allowed me to utilize both the left and right side of my brain. Entrepreneurship and Innovation allowed me to exercise my creativity while Marketing allowed me to think more analytically.
What experiential-focused opportunities did you have with your declared major/minor?
My favorite experiential-focused learning opportunity I had at Butler was the Real Business Experience (RBE) course as well as the Practicum of that course that was designed for Entrepreneurship and Innovation majors. RBE gave a small group of students and myself the opportunity to create and run a business. After this class, I moved onto the Practicum course where we scaled our business we had created in RBE. My team and I went on to win the 2019 Zotec Competition for our business, winning $9,000 on top of our $3,480 in profits. It was one of the most unique and exciting experiences I had at Butler and it allowed me to learn the most about starting my own business.
What do you do in your current position and how did Butler prepare you for it?
I currently work at Neiman Marcus Group in buying merchandising, specifically in high-end fashion. I am the main point of contact for the majority of vendors within my buying office. I oversee all online operations and I work closely with marketing to ensure our product is well represented across all marketing platforms. I manage relationships with over 50 different vendors; 15 of them being internationally based. Butler’s Organizational Behavior class taught me how to manage not only my relationships with my external brands, but also my relationships with the countless teams I work with internally at Neiman’s. Butler’s Supply Chain class taught me how to anticipate what is going on in the world and how it is going to affect our ability to get the products we need which ultimately shapes our sales plan. Lastly, my Corporate Finance class as well as my marketing background gave me the tools to understand our business plan and how to maximize it.
What are your long-term career goals?
Inquiring about my long-term career goals has always been a loaded question. I have several goals that I hope to accomplish one day. The first is to be a buyer. Within my current role, I am on the path to be a buyer and am lucky enough to be working under one of the most successful and well-known buyers within the fashion industry as a whole. The second is to take over my family business, Mama Mucci’s Pasta. We have been making authentic home-style Italian pasta for over 30 years and I am looking forward to carrying on that tradition. Lastly, I hope to start a business of my own. Since I was a child, I have always thought being an entrepreneur was the coolest profession you could ever have. I hope to accomplish all three of these career goals within my lifetime and I believe I have a great foundation from Butler to do so.
What advice would you give a first-year student as you reflect back on your experience at Butler?
As I reflect on my experience at Butler, I would advise first-year students not to worry if they want to go into an industry that may not directly align with a specific major or minor. I had always wanted to go into fashion, and I used to be so worried that not having a degree in buying and merchandising would exclude me from the opportunity to have a career in fashion. I am happy to say that this was not the case. Butler provided me with such a well-rounded education, that I felt qualified for every job I applied for post-grad, no matter the industry.
Not only did Butler provide me with ample knowledge and experience of diversified topics, but I was also surrounded by so many professionals that were willing and eager to help me get to where I wanted to be. When I had just about given up on having a career in fashion and was about to accept a job completely wrong for me, my career mentor, Randy Brown, reminded me that working in fashion had always been my dream and to not give up. When I asked one of my favorite professors, Matthew Caito, if he had any contacts in the fashion industry, he spent two days tracking down the contact of a woman he knew 25 years prior who had worked at Neiman Marcus (the same woman who put me in touch with the recruiter who eventually hired me to work at Neiman’s.)
It was the opportunities at Butler that gave me the encouragement and experiences that helped land me in the position I am in today. Butler has made all the difference in my life, and I am positive it will only continue to do so.