Activities and Organizations
Activities sponsored by the Center and its corporate partners offer you meaningful retail-related experience, teach you about the industry and retail careers, and build excitement about retailing.
The Kelley Retail Ambassadors
Each academic year (or possibly each semester as many of our top students study abroad for a semester) outstanding Kelley students, including Direct Admit Freshmen, Sophomores, and Jrs., whom have not made a job or internship selection and is highly interested in retailing will be selected to act as an ambassador to each of the corporate sponsors of the Center for Education and Research in Retailing.
The purpose of the KRA is to work with each of the Center’s sponsors to continue to build their retail brand at Kelley. To this end KRAs will:
- contact company recruiters and/or the designated representative on a monthly basis during the semester;
- be available for lunch meetings during company interview schedules to brainstorm possible new activities;
- help promote corporate events to ensure that scheduled activities at Kelley are well supported;
- attend the Career Fairs in the fall and spring to support the firm’s recruiting efforts;
- support Center efforts to educate Kelley students about careers in retailing throughout each semester;
- work with Center faculty to organize the National Retail Marketing Case Competition in the spring;
- utilize Center funds to attend retail company headquarters to engage in career shadowing opportunities;
- investigate the initial steps to building an alumni database of Kelley graduates who have entered the retail workplace.
At the onset of the fall semester the Center will host the Kelley Retail Ambassador Introduction Reception to offer company representatives and student(s) an opportunity to meet. This date is usually the evening prior to the Kelley Marketing Career Fair.
The Center for Retailing is excited to offer our corporate supporters this one-on-one networking opportunity, a chance to build new relationships or reinforce current ones, and grow their retail brand with great Kelley students.
The Kelley Bstore, sponsored by the Center and aligned with the KRA, is a student-run retail store offering a variety of Kelley-branded apparel that gives students an opportunity to apply their Kelley education in operating a real business.
Target Excellence in Business Leadership Program
To ensure that all Kelley students receive leadership training, the Center facilitated a generous grant from Target to establish the Target Excellence in Business Leadership Program. This program provides an organized framework to help all Kelley undergraduate students develop, hone, and highlight their leadership skills.
With the help of Target, the Center sponsors Bstore Leadership Awards, up to six $500 awards offered to dedicated Kelley Bstore Club members each fall and spring semester. Nominees must submit an application and 1,500-word essay specific to their Bstore experience—complete details, including the application deadline, are available from Prof. Theresa Williams at thdwilli [at] indiana [dot] edu.
Our corporate partners participate in sponsored classroom activities in courses such as M419 Retail Strategy. Typically lasting between a day and two weeks, these activities have included case studies, business simulations sponsored by Bridgestone/Firestone and Sears Holdings, and lectures by executives from American Eagle Outfitters and Kohl’s. In the 10-week stock project Abercrombie & Fitch sponsors for M419, students manage a $500,000 portfolio to learn how shareholder value affects retail strategy and vice versa.
Select Kelley students have also gone on fully paid field trips to the headquarters of some of our corporate partners—such as Macy’s in New York City and Gap in San Francisco—where they researched a case project and presented their findings and recommendations to executives. In addition to gaining valuable experience, they got to explore the company and the city.
The Center’s Executive Speaker Series brings an executive from a leading corporation to Kelley each year. In fall 2008, the CEO of Zappos.com told Kelley students about the importance of Twitter and customer service.
Kelley students also participate in competitions such as the ACRA Charrette.
Kelley’s Marketing Blitz Week includes a panel of retail professionals—from retailers such as Best Buy—who talk about their careers and companies and answer your questions. Marketing Blitz Week also includes a retail, marketing, and sales career fair.
Executive Education and Team Building
The Center periodically invites students to day or weekend seminars that focus on developing professional skills, such as teamwork, written and oral communications, time management, executive manner and dress, interviewing and resume writing, and how to market oneself. These seminars typically are held at Bradford Woods or a corporate headquarters.
To generate interest and excitement about retailing and help our students get to know each other, the Center has participated in events for new and prospective IU students and hosted a flag football tournament and lunar bowling.