Fresh out of college, Siobhan Fitzgerald ’14 has landed a full-time position at Saks Fifth Avenue, a designer retail outlet located in Manhattan. As an employee at the company’s Fifth Avenue Club, Fitzgerald is tasked with helping managers conduct customer service responsibilities and maintaining client relationships that are vital to the company.
The Saks Fifth Avenue chain is represented internationally and is considered one of the premier destinations for luxury shopping. Located in the major cities throughout the globe, the company offers high-end merchandise shopping and prides itself on superior customer relations. As an outlet for designer clothing and accessories, the company is at the forefront of its industry.
This environment is one in which Fitzgerald will be exposed to extensive clientele interactions, offering her the opportunity to practice the communications skills she has been honing for professional work. As a media and society major, she has learned how to manage contacts and engage potential buyers.
“For this job, I need to be very well-organized and have great communication skills,” she explains. “Understanding our clients and how to handle them is crucial because they’re spending a lot of money and expect nothing less than perfection.”
She plans to continue to involve herself in the department store in order to further her connections in the industry. In particular, she hopes to pursue the Saks Fifth Avenue company’s Executive Excellence Program.
Fitzgerald says, “This past week I got to work with a few celebrity stylists, which was very exciting. My favorite thing about my job is the people who I get to work with and meet.”
However, Fitzgerald already has had the necessary experiences to succeed in the industry. The previous summer, she interned at DFS Group in Hong Kong, which was a similar position in customer service as well as in the environment of a major department store. She credits this valuable opportunity with helping her land the job at Saks Fifth Avenue. In addition to her internship, Fitzgerald also completed a semester abroad in Hong Kong during her junior year. These opportunities sparked a developing interest in international business.
“It wasn’t necessarily what I learned in the classroom but more of what I learned from having conversations with my professors and career services,” she reflects.