Did you know that Ryerson’s Ted Rogers School of Management has 13 undergraduate programs? That’s so many programs! As someone who watches a lot of Dragon’s Den, I can appreciate all types of businesses. Also an avid shopper, I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to learn about the Retail Management program from a fourth-year student when I got the chance. Read on to read the first part of my interview with Adriana.
Jenna: Tell me about yourself!
Adriana: My name is Adriana Martinez and I’m from Oakville, Ontario. I’m in my fourth year of the Retail Management program, and I’m minoring in EBusiness.
J: Can you tell me about the Retail Management program in one sentence?
A: The Retail Management program just gives students the opportunity to explore a lot of different areas of the retail industry—it’s a very unique program where you have the opportunity to get hands-on learning experience through projects that our professors bring in because they worked in the industry, and they have a lot of contacts.
J: It’s been a while since you applied, but can you tell me why you were first initially interested in applying for this program? What about it caught your eye?
A: I worked at a retail store from the time I was 14, and it was something I was really passionate about. I really love talking to customers, I love getting new products and doing inventory and thinking of, why are we getting this product at this time of year and in the quantities that we’re getting? I had a lot of questions, and I just thought how cool it would be to be the person in that office making all these decisions. I really didn’t even know Ryerson had this program until grade 12 when my friend and I flipped through the handbook, and I was so shocked to see the program was specific to retail.
J: I was looking at the website while writing these questions, and I saw that there is an opportunity to complete an internship or a co-op in the program. If you have done a co-op or internship, can you tell me about it?
A: I can talk about the process of getting an internship, but my internship got cancelled last year because of COVID-19. There is an RMG 799 course that gives you internship prep. It is a whole class you have to take in the winter semester of third year that helps prep you for the internship. You go over some Excel, some interview tips, resumé tips, and you have people come in from the Business Career Hub to help you. We had a lot of guest speakers and you also have networking opportunities in that class. You get practice talking to industry professionals and giving your elevator pitch. Now in my fourth year, I’m really happy that I put in all that work in third year because it made me much more prepared for applying to jobs now for after graduation.
J: Within the past year, how has retail management adapted to online learning?
A: A lot of my professors have been really good about bringing in guest speakers and having industry professionals talk to us. We have to do a little write-up about the guest speakers to ensure we’re all staying engaged. Because of the shift that the retail industry is seeing due to COVID, they’re also adding a lot of e-commerce projects. I don’t think this was something that was so heavily emphasized in our program beforehand. Now we don’t have the option to just focus on brick and mortar, we have to focus on e-commerce and brick and mortar together, and just really emphasizing omni-channel retailing.
Do you want to learn more about the Retail Management program? Part two of this interview is ready for you to read!