An education at the University of South Carolina College of Hospitality, Retail and Sport Management is never limited to just classrooms and campus. The latest opportunity for real-world experience came in January, as a group of Department of Retailing students visited New York City.
The students, accompanied by College of HRSM faculty and staff, attended the National Retail Federation’s annual conference, known as the Big Show. The event included a program designed especially for students who are pursuing a career in the retail industry.
The students also enjoyed two unique experiences made possible through the Department of Retailing Advisory Board. Board member Vince Dell’Osa, president of Ralph Lauren Retail North America, led them on a behind the scenes tour of the Ralph Lauren flagship store on Madison Avenue and offered a chance to speak with other executives.
The following day, board member Matthew Sanders, senior vice president wholesale of Hugo Boss, took them through the Hugo Boss showroom, giving them a look at the upcoming winter collection.
"The USC Department of Retailing continues to work collaboratively with our business partners, providing engagement opportunities for our students," said Department of Retailing Chair Jeffrey Campbell. "The trip to New York to meet executives from Ralph Lauren and Hugo Boss in a one-on-one setting gives our students a unique opportunity to learn from executives across important aspects of retailing including buying, planning, allocation, supply chain, store operations, merchandising, and many others. We look forward to future trips to engage with our business partners and Advisory Board members."
The group also met with NYC-area HRSM alumni at an evening gathering at the Mason Jar (unofficially known as "the Gamecock bar" in the city).
The students returned to Columbia delivering rave reviews of the NewYork City experience and more excited than ever to pursue their goals.
"I'm so thankful for all the connections I made this weekend and I can't wait to jump start my career in the industry," said student Madelyn Gilliam.
Gilliam’s fellow student Grace Di Nicolantonio agreed, adding "I’m so grateful to be a part of this college that truly supports me and is always offering new and exciting opportunities."