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Career Center

Andrea Albright

K-State graduation year: Spring 2005
Degree: BS Apparel and Textiles Marketing, BS Apparel Design and Production
Other degree received: MBA at the University of Arkansas – completion Spring 2015
Current Employer: Wal-Mart
Position: Vice President of Intimate Apparel

How many times, if any, did you change your major during college?

Once, I started as a psychology major and switched to Apparel and Textiles second semester of my freshman year.

Describe the process of choosing your major.

Taking a lot of electives in multiple colleges to find what I was passionate about.

Did you complete an internship or have related work experience prior to receiving your job?

Yes, two internships, one at Debenhams in the UK on the international team serving the Middle Eastern countries and another at Testrite Sourcing in Taiwan working in the home division.

Describe the process of finding your first job.

A lot of career fairs, networking with my personal and professional connections, and a ton of interviews.  The process at many corporations can be daunting and long.

Briefly describe a typical day at your job.

There is no typical day, it is different every single day.  One day may be supplier meetings, another day may be strategy, another day may be store or market trips, or you may have a day that entails all of the above.

What do you enjoy most about your job?

Its never the same, it is always changing.

What advice would you give someone interested in your field?

Do an internship first, make sure you are comfortable with the time and pace needed to be successful.

What were the stepping stones that led to your current career?

A lot of time in entry level positions and cross functional support roles.

Has your career path taken any unconventional turns that you never would have expected?

Yes, I have always been a buyer/merchant and I found my self in a product development role.  Completely out of my comfort zone but absolutely the right thing for my career.

How many changes in your life situation (marriage, family, changing location, etc.) affected your career path

I am married (2nd marriage) with 2 children.   We have lived in NYC and are now located in Bentonville, AR.  It has made me prioritize more efficiently on what is really important to me.  I don’t think I have watched TV in 2 years (children’s shows excluded.)

What job have you enjoyed the most and why?

My current role because of the scope and complexity of the business.

What were the major lifestyle changes your first year out of college that made the transition hard from college to the world of work and how did you adapt?

Real responsibility is by far the biggest change.  This is your life and there is no one to push you to attend class or good grades.  It is 100% up to you and the lifestyle that you want to live.  You can and will get fired if you do not perform.

What tips do you have for current undergrads about opportunities they should take advantage of while in school?

Use the library and attend any guest lectures that are offered.  You will never again have that kind of access to that much learning.

Was there a specific class you remember that sparked your interest in your career direction?

Math for merchandising.

What didn't college teach you that you wish you would have known before you started your career?

Microsoft Office (excel, PPT, etc.)

Do you keep in touch with your college classmates? How have those relationships influenced your career?

Yes, most of them work in the industry and it is a very small circle of people.