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Lucy Mathes: Ready for her retail career to take flight
The College of HRSM prepares leaders and scholars who drive the economic engines of SC, the nation, and the world.
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Ready for her retail career to take flight

Lucy Mathes admits to getting nudged by her father, who works for a retail and advertising agency based in Seattle. She was encouraged to read and keep up on current retail events while growing up and was pushed by him to land a suitable internship while in college. It worked. The senior retail management major and advertising minor is now well on her way to making it a family affair.

The decision to attend the University of South Carolina was an easy one for Mathes, who fell in love with the school and the state on her campus visit. USC also provided the best retail degree opportunity in proximity to her hometown of Alpharetta, Georgia.

This past summer, Mathes landed an internship at Walmart corporate headquarters in Bentonville, Arkansas. One of 40 summer interns in the merchandising area, Lucy was assigned to oversee and assist with projects in six departments in branding and product development.

Working in an office environment, Mathes also got hands on experience in the layout center (a mock store where employees get to work directly with products).  The interns toured distribution centers while there and also met with corporate executives, including Walmart CEO Mike Duke, about their work experiences and how they got to where they are today.

Assigned a pair of projects for the summer, Lucy was tabbed with rebranding new packaging in crafts while also researching wedding trends. After putting in work all summer on improving customer interaction and following trends, Lucy "s work was continued by the corporate office after she left which gave the senior Gamecock a very gratifying feeling that all her hard work had paid off.

By the end of the summer, Mathes had impressed her bosses enough to land a spot on the Walmart corporate jet and a business trip to the west coast for a few days. Hand picked out of a pack of eager interns, Lucy and her team met with the Walmart.com project innovation executives in San Bruno, California. From there, they went into stores and did some competitor shopping before ending the trip by going into local trendy shops in downtown San Francisco.

"I was really excited to be selected for this trip. It was so neat to learn and see what a real business trip is like and get to experience it with a great team.”

The path of a retail buyer or product developer is one that has piqued Lucy "s interest as she moves forward in her final year at Carolina and begins preparation to start her career.

"Implementing what I learned in class into the real world was certainly eye opening. I am strongly considering going back because I had a great experience and the culture is outstanding. Seeing what a buyer does on a day-to-day basis was really neat to see and something I "d like to pursue in the future.”

Visit HRSM's College News Page for more news like this.

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