Why This Growing Retail Giant Wants To Hire Data-Driven Business And Economics-Related Majors was originally published on WayUp Guide.
Juan was a finance major in college. Mallory
majored in supply chain management. Neither of them studied anything closely
related to retail or fashion, but it turned out their dream job actually is at
Ross is an off-price retail leader and an ideal
destination for economics, business, and supply chain majors to work after
To find out how they made the journey from Finance
to fashion, from Supply Chain to style, we sat down with them to talk about
their role as Merchandise Planners at Ross Stores, and how the Company offers
so much more than just a job.
What It Means To Be A Planner At A Retail Giant
Ross is a company
that capitalizes on opportunistic buying. Basically, that means they find
vendors with overruns or cancelled orders both during and at the end of the
season. Ross’ team of strategic Buyers work directly with those vendors to
negotiate the best deals, which are then passed on to Ross’ customers.
That model of business has brought Ross
immense success in the retail industry, even at a time when other retailers struggle
to compete against online shops. And that success hinges on the analytical and
strategic work of people like Juan and Mallory.
“The Planner role is very analytical and heavy
on Excel skills,” Mallory says. “We really focus on the part of the supply
chain that looks at forecasting and developing strong plans. We’ll look at
trends and match them with opportunities.”
While the Buyers are the ones scouting great
product, the Planners are responsible for forecasting trends based on market
and historical data, and—of course—planning out which product to flow to
certain regions based on opportunities they find. And this type of work, as you might’ve
guessed, is actually perfect for people with analytical and business
educations, like Juan and Mallory.
“So many of the finance skills I learned
apply: vlookups, index matches, charts,” Juan explains. “It’s an analytical
role so any type of math or business class I had does help with my work.”
But, as they both stressed, it’s not just the
skills that make the role a match. It’s the Company’s culture, too.
How Ross’s Collaborative Culture—And Amazing Perks—Make The Role Even Better
It certainly helps for both Planners that the Company’s
culture of work-life balance, supportive team environments, and amazing
benefits are essentially designed to be perfect for new grads.
For example, the Company offers both a
generous paid time off package in addition to holidays and even a week-long break
for the Buying Offices. The entire buying and planning offices shut down during
the last week of December, and during the summer, the offices close at 1 o’clock
“I cannot emphasize the corporate culture
enough,” Juan says. “We leave at 1 o’clock on Summer Fridays and during the
winter we have that break. It’s those little perks that really make me feel
In addition to their emphasis on work-life
balance, the Company offers programs to build and invest in your financial
future. The company’s stock purchase program lets Ross employees get a discount
on the stock price (have you seen the stock performance recently?!). Plus, Ross
offers a 401k program with a generous company match to help you plan for
That eye on the future of their employees
makes sense, too, because Ross provides a clear, upward career path—and the
training and development required to get there. Ross has a strong training
program when you first start with the Company and built-out learning programs for
each time you move into a new role.
“There is a lot of growth within the Company,”
Mallory says. “I know plenty of people who started off as interns, then went
full-time, and have now moved up into more senior roles. It’s really clear
where the growth is and what the next steps are.”
And whether you’re working closely with
mentors, making high-impact business decisions in a supportive environment, or
just enjoying a casual team outing on a Summer Friday, when you’re doing it at
Ross, you’re a part of a group that really does care.
start “planning” your future? Check out open opportunities at Ross Stores on