HRSM grad lands dream job in Milan

For some recent college graduates, a job overseas is a distant aspiration — maybe even a pipedream. For Danielle Minter, it’s a fast-paced reality.

Minter, who graduated in 2013 with a bachelor’s degree in retail management, has been working for the past year for the Luxottica Group, the largest eyewear-maker in the world. And for just over a month, that means she’s been living in Milan, where Luxottica is based.

“I worked on the buying team for one of our retail brands — Sears Optical,” Minter explains. “With a recent company reorganization, I was given the opportunity to be a part of a new global buying team with four others from the North America office.”

It’s a big job. Luxottica itself might not be a household name, but the eyewear brands it owns are widely known — among them are Lenscrafters, Oakley, Pearle Vision, Persol, Ray-Ban, Sears Optical and Target Optical.

“We are a completely new team — we have an end goal to streamline processes and create global product assortments, but how we get to that point is undefined,” Minter says. “It can be daunting at times, but for the most part is incredibly exciting.”

Life in Milan is exciting, too.

“So far, I can tell you that dining is truly an experience — every bit as amazing as people describe it,” Minter says. She has been traveling whenever she can, and she’s working on her Italian, too.

Minter never set out for an overseas career. Instead, it was her interest in fashion and retailing that set her on her current path.

“I always loved fashion and wanted to be a designer when I was very young,” she says. “I heard a lot about buying as I got older, and my interest really peaked when my high school accounting teacher got me involved in buying for our school spirit shop.”

From high school in Ohio, Minter came to South Carolina to study in the university’s College of Hospitality, Retail and Sport Management. She was also in the Honors College and joined the Fashion Board, where she served as president her senior year.

“I graduated from the biggest high school in Ohio, so I really enjoyed a different atmosphere at USC — having small class sizes and communities like the Fashion Board and the Honors College to quickly get to know my professors and peers,” she says. “The positions within Fashion Board really pushed me and developed my leadership skills.” Among the projects Minter worked on at the Fashion Board was USC Fashion Week.

If there’s one professor Minter can point to as having had a big impact, it’s Sallie Hook Boggs, a senior instructor in the retailing department.

“I can’t imagine my experience without the support of Dr. Boggs,” Minter says. “I took several of her classes, and she was my adviser all four years in Fashion Board. She was and still is full of wisdom and encouragement to go after my dreams.”

As for others who might be eyeing an overseas career — or any seemingly daunting career goal — Minter says go for it.

“My advice is to really go after the thing that challenges you the most,” she says. “Those have been the most important opportunities I’ve had both in school and my career.”

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