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Students Score Interviews, Summer Internships at National Retail Federation Event

February 06, 2023

Lasell University students from the School of Fashion and Longe School of Business attended the National Retail Federation (NRF) Big Show, an industry trade event at the Jacob Javits Center in New York City. Multiple students left the expo with interviews and job offers.

“I clicked with a recruiter at the Big Show who saw potential in me, which reassured me that I can be successful in this industry,” said fashion media and marketing major Kim Nguyen ’24. “The experience helped me define my areas of interest within fashion to marketing and social media.”

Students at the National Retail Federation Big Show

Spencer Villinski ’25, a fashion merchandising and management major, also left feeling confident in his career aspirations.

“I know now without a doubt that I want to be an executive officer at a large department store such as Macy’s, Bloomingdale’s, or Nike,” he said. He interviewed on-site with Nordstrom’s recruiting team in pursuit of their summer retail management internship.

The 13-student Lasell cohort attended both the Big Show and the NRF Foundation Student Program, the latter of which offered a “Get Hired” career fair. Erin Sheeley ’24 interviewed with Dick’s Sporting Goods and was offered a summer merchandising internship, which she is eager to start this May at their Pittsburgh headquarters.

Students at the National Retail Federation Big Show

Noelle Engrassia ’23 departed the Javits Center invigorated and eager to continue her pursuit of retail careers.

“The Big Show reinforced my decision to major in fashion merchandising, which is a hugely profitable industry,” said Engrassia. After graduation, she will work for Burlington Coat Factory as an assistant buyer in their New York office — thanks to an NRF virtual career fair held in October. With a job already in hand, Engrassia introduced her peers to the Burlington recruiter at the Big Show in hopes of connecting them to similar opportunities.

Classmate Savannah Nolan ’23 was fortunate to interview with a recruiter from BJ’s at the event, and remains in contact with the hiring team.

“I am inspired after learning what is out there as far as career opportunities,” she says, “I am also more confident for future interviews after networking at the career fair.”

Students at the National Retail Federation Big ShowLucia Gagliano ’25 not only landed an interview with UNIQLO, but also took advantage of the time in New York to attend an off-site interview with sustainable clothing company One432.

Lasell is a founding collegiate member of the National Retail Federation Student Association (NRFSA). School of Fashion Professors Catharine Weiss and Kristin Kinsky led this year’s trip to the Big Show, the largest retail trade event in the world with more than 35,000 professionals in attendance. This year’s program featured keynotes from designer Steve Madden, Macy’s CEO Jeff Gennette, and Saks OFF 5th President Paige Thomas, as well as an executive mentor experience — a set of small group-based discussions with executives from companies including Wayfair, TJX, BJ’s, and Nordstrom.

“This experience made me feel like I was on top of the world and that I can achieve anything I put my mind to,” said Nguyen. “I left so excited for my future, both personally and professionally.”