Where Do Buyers & Brand Specialists Get MBAs?



hi everybody Friday's with sanding this is fridays with sandy – our beloved john byrne we've got a candidate here named Julia she works at a store everybody loves Nordstrom and before that she was a brand specialist at Amazon and then she worked for Microsoft so we've got some great brand names here uh-huh Julia you want to just introduce yourself quickly and tell us what you do at Nordstrom so I handle a subset of product it's kind of our top product or our evergreen what do you deal with customers do their suppliers do you deal with other supply chain people in the easiest way possible I deal primarily I'm kind of the liaison between getting the product to the stores and working with the suppliers to get it there so once we choose the product and I'm the one who is ensuring that we're getting it there in timely manner that we're saying good so we've got we've got these great brand names Nordstrom and then Amazon and Microsoft here are the stats we've got a 35 from Washington State University ok so we've got a three five and got a six 20 GMAT which is kind of a boo-boo so we've got these great brand names we got a35 Washington State is a respected public school I think it's public right yeah and so the 620 GMAT is the boo-boo what okay here's get my tough love out of the way immediately said this before I'll say it again she keep taking the GMAT you take it three times four times five times it's real important you've got a lot going for you that's the one boo-boo you could get that get that up to 680 or even 700 you'd be a much more powerful applicant people okay that being said why don't you tell us what your target schools are so right now our Dartmouth Georgetown and Oxford and then trying to say like a little bit more realistic would try for something like Boston College Boston you or Imperial okay yeah I think they're rich schools I think what you need to do is you've got the 620 GMAT that's the real booboo on this and my advice is always take that and keep retaking it you know it's a pain in the neck when you're doing it but it's a once-in-a-lifetime yeah like getting a flu shot I just got one so I just got one of those these are ones for older so it's on my mind I think you've got so could you tell us you you work at Nordstrom as a quote/unquote replenishment buyer could you tell us what that entails I am the liaison between the suppliers that work in the product from and then making sure that we're paying through the store in a timely manner you know like within our budget or up tier and give you this I had this problem with your resume I'm having a little bit now if you'd be able to describe these jobs in a real person to person way you know like they'd get rid of all the business jargon just talking you know in in a conversational way or what you do I mean like fire I mean I kind of have a feeling for it but what is there besides that at the most basic level I'm in charge of our most popular product and making sure that it's always in our stores on time and in the right amounts yeah so you don't work in a store you work at the headquarters yeah so how many stores do you oversee um 240 in the US and six in Canada yeah you see that's an important statistic that helps people understand immediately you go well I work at the North German headquarters I oversee about 250 stores in North America and I got to make sure their own don't wanna add our shoes yeah that's the way you should and that means doing this this and this what what do you want to do after a business school right now I would in the direction of retail consultancy just because I feel like in my current career I've gotten to see kind of the e-commerce side I've got to see the brick-and-mortar side I've gotten a really well-rounded holistic view of a retail environment that's changed Oh like rapidly and a lot in the last I'd say 10 years so what's a job you want right after a business school you should be able to nail that question I would like to work just I would like to go immediately into a like associate position or consulting position out of consulting firm in their retail division yeah so that could include like McKinsey BCG or paying do they have retail divisions Young does yeah when you get interviewed by these business schools it helps to be really savvy about that yeah you know I'm interested in management consulting the big three and firms have Davitt powerful divisions McKinsey for instance you know they hundred people doing this that may be an understatement but you know blah blah blah okay yeah definitely that's how to get by on your interview here are some interview questions that people are likely to ask someone with your background what's the corporate culture at Nordstrom it's it's a family rival family owned and operated company and so there's a lot of promote from within and there's a lot of longevity at the company so that fosters an extremely tight knit and positive environment but it's also very classically run corporation how is that different from the corporate culture at Amazon um I would say it's versus brick-and-mortar in a way I feel like Amazon operate that a much faster clip it's a much quicker pace in order to make decisions because it runs a lot more like a start-up Nordstrom has a lot more of very tried-and-true business practices especially from a customer experience that's very diplomatic so how about Microsoft I would liken Microsoft somewhere in between the two it definitely it moves a lot faster than norm as well but I feel that it too is a much more classically corporate environment than what I experienced at Amazon yeah which one did you like most um from a learning perspective Amazon I mean you're thrown you know you have thrown to the Lions and in the role I was in it was kind of jack-of-all-trades role the brand specialist role they like into kind of just owning your own business so you're dealing with every facet of business from finance to marketing to sight merchandising to the buying aspect everything so from a learning perspective that was great from a culture perspective I really enjoy Nordstrom yeah good maybe this question about corporate culture comes up a lot do you you introduced a new term which is family owned or paternal family like that's a good term usually that the corporate cultures they're either hierarchical or flat and hierarchical sounds like Nordstrom which is more traditional yeah and Amazon is flatter Phil what you eat yeah eat what you kill or both so those are those are good terms could to describe corporate cultures okay I think the real issue you got a lot to like you've got these great company experiences you're you're you come across as the type of person you want to be which is someone involved in the kind of consult you know major can mbb consulting that's all positive the art part is just the GMAT okay in your current state with a 620 you're gonna have a hard time getting into you're you're gonna have a hard time getting into your target schools I mean I just look at what the even the lower ones on your list which would be you in BC your GMAT scores are well B C's average GMAT is 667 and he uses 682 yeah so that's what you should be looking for so your story yeah my advice to you is unfortunately pretty simple get a better team at school everything else about you is just real solid and thank you Julia that was an interesting bio and an interesting story we'll be back next week with Friday's with Sandy and if you want we're gonna post this video and if you want me to give you a capsule summary of your resume you can post it in the comments part of this if you want the full monty treatment you know say that you're available for that and we'll get in touch with you adios

3 thoughts on “Where Do Buyers & Brand Specialists Get MBAs?

  1. Great video Sandy, I always love your work. I don't need a "full monty", but I would appreciate your first impressions as to whether or not I am H/W/S compatible.

    *730 GMAT
    *3.9 GPA
    *Undergraduate in Marketing and Minor in Middle Eastern Studies from BYU Provo
    *Commissioned into the Army (ROTC), I've been here 5 years. I've worked my way up to Captain as of this year. I am in special operations, specifically psychological operations. This is the "winning hearts and minds" wing of Spec Ops. I have done a lot of work with locals to build rapport with the US and her allies. I've got two deployments overseas under my belt as well as plenty of Platoon leadership experience.
    *Fluent in Persian (Farsi)
    *Extracurriculars: I served a LDS mission in Canada (English), I have been a volunteer firefighter for 3 years, I volunteer for a veteran crisis hotline, and after college I did a Fullbright in the Middle East (I had to get an "Educational Deferment" on my commission from the Army)
    *Goals: International Brand Management
    *30 year old white male

    Thanks for your help!

  2. I agree with Sandy. Her GMAT is too low for any of the schools she has in mind. Even the European ones – Oxford and Imperial College have an average GMAT of 670 to 690

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