Workin' It is a weekly series where we ask RLG members about their various jobs, internships, and projects in the retail and luxury goods industries. This week, we ask Jessica Li about her internship with Michael Kors.
Tell us a bit about what you were doing before school.
I was a Senior Analyst at BAV Consulting, a brand consulting firm, where we helped clients understand the functional and emotional strengths of their brand. We advised on all things brand related when it came to assessing marketing/business issues including positioning, partnerships, merging of companies, customer segmentation, competitive analyses, etc.
Tell us about what you are doing over at Michael Kors.
I’m interning on the e-commerce operations team, where we are currently taking MK.com in-house from a third-party vendor and relaunching the site for US and Canada. The team is very lean which keeps my day-to-day pretty varied. Some projects are more technical, assigning facet values to Fall ’14 merchandise in ATG, and others are more strategic, evaluating the financial impact of offering free ground shipping. One thing I like most about the role is that it is highly cross-functional; most of our initiatives involve participation from MK creative, merchandise, marketing, and IT teams. With this as my first experience in the retail industry, it has been particularly rewarding to see how it all comes together.
Interning during the school year is obviously a little different than during the summer. How much time during the week are you spending at the Michael Kors offices?
I’m in the office two full days a week.
You took a class at FIT before coming to CBS. Was fashion something that you explicitly came to CBS to pursue or just an option you are exploring?
I did the Brand Management Experience certificate program at FIT a year before I applied to CBS. Taking classes with students who had more of a technical and design expertise was the closest I could get to experiencing the fashion industry without working in it, and was critical in confirming my decision to pursue a career in retail and fashion. So hopefully, I will be able to follow through on that!
What classes of yours have been particularly applicable to what you are doing in e-commerce operations?
Pricing strategy has been particularly relevant. The frameworks are insightful when considering customers purchasing behaviors to help identify strategic opportunities to maximize the gains on customers’ WTP.
You’ve been interning for about four months now. What’s your favorite thing you have worked on so far? What is your favorite thing you’ve learned?
One of my favorite things that I’ve worked on is a two year roadmap for MK.com and mobile, which has been a comprehensive functional analysis of e-commerce websites. It’s been a great learning experience exploring how to optimize the user experience and identify functionality that will drive customers to purchase. Overall, it’s been a great dive into the digital world and a tremendous learning experience.