Picking The Right Degree

When I stepped into the University of Arizona (U of A) I had one goal in mind, find a degree that will teach me skills I can actually use. After spending the last two summers interning at two different companies, I am very happy with my degree choice.

Retailing and Consumer Sciences is not the most popular degree at the University of Arizona. In fact, when I found it I was just searching through the many options the university offers in hopes something would jump out at me. After meeting FullSizeRenderwith my advisor I was excited but unsure. I thought, wow, a degree that focuses on business but in a way that makes it specified. I was deathly afraid of diving into a degree that in the end would just act as art on one wall of my house. We’ve all heard the stories of individuals that graduate and end up in a career that has absolutely nothing to do with the four years of education they had just received.

The Report Card Is In

When I arrived on the campus of REI I was immediately thrown into the mix. I sat down with a co-worker and she began to run through some of the many daily tasks she performs and what they entail. I noticed as she was talking through everything I was understanding almost all of what she was telling me. The terminology was nearly identical to what I had been learning, the math used the same principles as the class I just finished, the excel sheets weren’t foreign, the thought processes weren’t alien and the analytics weren’t overwhelming. If I’m honest, this was my biggest fear coming into this environment. I was worried that there was a possibility that I had bit off more than I can chew. Thanks to my decision to continue my education at the Terry J. Lundgren Center for Retailing (TJLC) located at the U of A, I have been able to turn what could have been an overwhelming situation into an opportunity.

What’s Next

As I gear up to head back to the university for my final semester I will focus on the aspects of my internship that have caused me the most difficulty. I have kept a journal of the details of my struggles so that I will ensure father time doesn’t erase them from my memory. This will allow me to ensure I ask the instructors and professors the right questions, focus on the applications of each assignment and most importantly get the most bang for my buck at the U of A. Education is all about growth, this experience at REI has done nothing but amplify the fact that my education has assisted me in so many different ways. As my tenure at the university comes to an end I am able to reflect on what an amazing decision it was to undertake a degree in Retailing and Consumer Sciences. If you are searching for a degree and aren’t sure what you want to do when you grow up, don’t fret. Be patient, ask questions and read up, because in the end it may end up being the most important decision of your life.

I am an eight year veteran of the United States Army. I served my country as a Forward Observer during two tours - in Iraq and Afghanistan. I am a senior at the University of Arizona and will be graduating December 2016 with a B.S. in Retailing and Consumer Sciences. This summer I'm working as a Merchandising/Buying intern at REI's corporate headquarters in Kent, WA.