Supporting the Next Generation of Leaders: Nordstrom Joins the 2023 NRF Foundation Student Program
At Nordstrom, we want to be a place where people can build long-term, rewarding careers. The environment and relationships we build with our people play a pivotal role in making Nordstrom a place where every employee is welcomed, respected, appreciated and able to be themselves. Last week, we joined the NRF Foundation Student Program for a 4-day event bringing together students and educators to engage with leaders in retail from the across the industry.
Talk and Tours
To kick-off the event, we hosted more than 200 students for Talks and Tours at Nordstrom in NYC. During the event, several Nordstrom leaders joined a panel discussion sharing their career journeys and advice for students starting out their careers in retail.
“I can’t think of anything more satisfying than spending time with our future generation of retailer leaders”, said Chris Wanlass, VP of Nordstrom NYC. He added, “Their curiosity, enthusiasm and passion for this business is contagious and gives me confidence about the road ahead.”
We also participated in an executive mentorship experience for more than 1,000 students, providing a platform for leaders across the industry to engage in round table discussions about their career paths and advice for future leaders of retail through mentorship. Leaders in various roles across Nordstrom including store leadership, program management, merchandising and more joined roundtable discussions.
Nordstrom Rack store manager, Isaiah Brown spoke about the mentorship program, “Participating in the mentor panel this year was so empowering. These students are the future of retail, and it was inspiring to speak to them and hear their perspectives.”
During the student program of NRF, our very own, Nina Barjesteh, President of Nordstrom Product Group spoke to an audience of students on what it takes to be a valued employee and how to best prepare for a job interview. Nina shared her insight saying, “The biggest thing that I look for when I'm hiring is curiosity. To me it's an indication that you are eager to learn and grow, no matter where you are in your career. When preparing for an interview, the question that you ask are an indication who you are and how great a job you can do.”
Nina also shared a few pieces of advice for students beginning their careers, “As far as advice that I have for new students entering the work world, is finding something you love or have a passion for, because you will find success within that. It’s also ok to take different jobs to explore what it is you have a passion for.”
NRF Next Generation
In addition to mentorship programs, we had the opportunity to celebrate the top five finalists for the NRF Foundation Next Generation Scholarship. Early last year, we provided a case study where students developed a proposal centered around private label brands, focusing on sustainability. The winning student, Megan Marr, was recognized as an emerging leader in retail for her outstanding case study.