The landscape of retail management and fashion merchandising is evolving at warp speed and the need for retail management professionals has never been greater. Domestic and global retail marketplace changes and advances in technology have put retail professionals front and center in pioneering commerce and customer relationships in the Information Age. Consumers now have a world of options for procuring goods and services—often by using a device in the palm of their hand.
Choices In Courses And Careers
Our retail management program places great emphasis on instilling a passion for implementing best management practices in the workplace thus preparing you to become a leader in the field. In addition to the strong theoretical business base provided within the school, you will receive a rigorous education to ensure you are ready to enter the fields of buying and planning, product development, sales, marketing or store management.
You will also enjoy support and guidance from Whitman’s high-profile Retail Advisory Board, whose membership includes senior executives from Macy’s, Bloomingdale’s, Ross Stores, Hudson's Bay Company and Kohl’s.
Like many Whitman students, you may choose to double major to broaden your skill sets and expand your career options. All Whitman majors are highly complementary to retail management. Many retail majors elect to double major in marketing, which opens up opportunities in product promotion and packaging. In addition, a newly developed concentration in digital retail strategies is now available for retail majors in conjunction with Syracuse University’s School of Information Studies.
As a retail management major, you will participate in a variety of learning opportunities outside the classroom that bring the curriculum to life. Among those are the Martin and Phyllis Berman Lecture Series, which brings prominent ceos and top level executives to campus to meet and address the student body, and a variety of supervised field trips that enable you to explore the current business environment. Our program places great emphasis on the benefits of practical experience. Though we encourage and support students in gaining industry experience throughout their four years at Whitman, our internship requirement is fulfilled between the junior and senior years. The internship culminates with a written business analysis and oral presentation you prepare and present to a group of industry executives and faculty members.
Clubs And Connections
Whitman’s retail majors consistently find that participation in Syracuse University’s chapter of Enactus, a global non- profit organization, helps develop leadership skills through learning, practicing and teaching the principles of free enterprise on campus, in the community and beyond.
In addition to the myriad of benefits gained through Whitman’s clubs and student groups, you will receive support and guidance from our high-profile Retail Advisory Board members. Many of the board members were students at Syracuse University themselves. You will find the networking connections available to Whitman retail majors through this advisory board are invaluable during and after your Whitman education.
Primed For Placement
The many opportunities to gain hands-on experience and expert perspectives, combined with comprehensive and timely coursework, helps to build compelling resumes. Whitman’s dedicated Career Center team provides a full spectrum of preparation and placement services to support you as you go before potential employers. Whitman’s retail management majors consistently secure promising positions at leading brands including Lord & Taylor, Kohl’s, Macy’s, Ross Stores, Saks Off 5th, The TJX Companies and Target.
Retail Advisory Board
Accomplished industry professionals share their time and experienced perspective as members of the Advisory Board to help enhance the program and its offerings.
Karen Alberg Grossman ’71 | MR Magazine
Richard Arnstein | Macy’s
Maureen Baltazar ’89 | Hermes of Paris
Jonathan Greller ’92 | Hudson's Bay Company
Angela Guillaume ’00 | Macy's Merchandising Group
Henry Grethel ’54 | HG Design International
Danny Lieberman ’85 | Fila
Gene Manheim ’76 (LAW) | Herbert Mines Associates
Tim Miner | TJX Companies
Meg Newhouse | Ross Stores
Eric Rothfeld | REI Capital, LLC
Jason Sherman ’02 | Gilt Groupe
Lauren Steinke ’89 | Kohl’s
Scott Udell ’06 | London Jewelers
Ian Wichman ’92 | LF USA (A Li & Fung Company)
Lynn Zeplowitz ’89 | Retail Consultant