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Name: Rachel Russo

Company: A luxury retailer

Position: National Training and Recruiting Manager

Length of Employment: Two years

Degree: BA Education & BAH Psychology

Where did you go to school?

I completed my BAH in psychology with a minor in child & family development at the University of Guelph and then went on to complete a BA in Education at York University.

What drew you to your current field?

Retail was never a field I thought I would end up in. I took a sales associate role with lululemon as a part-time job and fell in love with retail. I love the interaction with customers and finding that perfect piece that will make a difference in their lives.

How did you find your current position?

In business, it's all about networking and who you know. I reached out to my network and found a past colleague who had previously worked with a manager at my current employer and asked her to pass on my resum├®. However I didn't stop there. I also went into a store to meet with the manager. Through both of these avenues, I was able to connect with the regional manager of Canada. When I met with my current employer, there was not a position for me; six months later they gave me a call with a new position!

Tell us about your responsibilities:

I am responsible for recruiting and training for the retail division. I support the district managers and the stores in both of these areas of their business. From a recruiting perspective, I support the stores with any aspect of the hiring process from job fairs to new store openings to filling existing positions in our current locations. In my training role, I am able to create new trainings that are implemented into our stores. The training programs range from managers to new hires and include everything they need to know to be successful.

What is the most challenging aspect of your job?

The most challenging and rewarding aspects for me are the same: the people. When you are working with people, every situation is new and you need to always innovate and change to ensure you are getting the best out of your people.

What skills have you learned through your work experience?

The true learning and growth comes from the real-life dynamic work experiences. I have learned people management, people development, recruiting, sales, P&L statements, operations, customer service, and the list goes on.

What do you think it takes to be successful in this career?

Drive and passion! I can't teach someone these skills. If I see someone who has these two skills coupled with an egoless learning attitude, the sky's the limit.

Is there one accomplishment you are most proud of to date?

My accomplishments live in the success of my people. One of my past successors has gone on to be a national training manager and he has shared with me that when he doesn't know what to do, he thinks, ÔÇÿWhat would Rachel do?' Now that's success!

What are your future career aspirations?

To become a director of people. I would love to be able to look at the big picture of a company in regards to people and culture and develop ways to make it better.

What advice do you have for students looking to land their first job?

Always tailor your resum├®, your email, and your cover letter to the position you are looking to be hired for. If you send your resum├® out to more than one company via email, never send it as a group email. Always research the company prior to heading into an interview with them. Finally, you always need to think of how you can stand out from the competition!