Merchandise Marketing Grad Michelle Miles Lands Job at Stein Mart's Headquarters in Florida (Interview)

February 23, 2016

Michelle Miles graduated three months ago with her Merchandise Marketing Professional Designation Degree from FIDM. She's now working at Stein Mart as a Merchandise Coordinator.

Tell us a little about yourself: Prior to FIDM, I was working in Boston as a Market Research Analyst. I decided to follow my passion for fashion and pursue a career as a buyer. I had been applying to jobs in the industry but was not getting anywhere, which is when I learned about FIDM's Professional Designation program. I was drawn to this program for its short length, focus on career, and reputation in the industry.


Where are you working? I graduated from FIDM in December and am settling into my new role in Jacksonville, Florida, with Stein Mart. I am responsible for updating receipts, running selling reports, processing purchase orders, completing advertising forms, maintaining and requesting samples and making signs for the stores.  


How do you feel FIDM has prepared you? I do not think I would be where I am now without FIDM. I was able to answer every industry specific question on interviews and had to weigh some job offers upon graduation. Working in the industry now, I am knowledgeable in meetings with upper management, know what everyone is talking about on the merchandising floors, and training classes are a review for me.  

How did you decide on your major? I knew I wanted to be a buyer, I enjoy working with numbers, and determining customer needs. I have a background in business and wanted to apply that to the fashion industry.  

Looking back, which classes at FIDM were most valuable to you? The retail math course and buying courses I use daily. Excel, trend forecasting and merchandise strategies were also valuable.  

Any advice for current FIDM Students? I would advise students to get as much experience as they can with internships, volunteering, going to speakers, and working in retail. I'm sure you are sick of hearing this but it definitely helped me. I enjoyed listening to speakers and meeting alums in the roles I aspired to be in. They are all great mentors, and experience will only add to your resume and knowledge of the industry.  

What is your biggest goal right now? Right now I am trying to learn as much as I can about Stein Mart's buying process, systems and how everything comes together.  

Anything else you’d like to share? I miss FIDM!

Categories: Merchandising & Marketing, Alumni News