Tapping Into the Retail Industry at Wharton

Posted By SWatts on Dec 23, 2013 |

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Tapping Into the Retail Industry at Wharton

Retail in America has undergone vast alteration in the past decade, from the emergence of Internet commerce to retail quality improvement and customer satisfaction. The retail industry, though enormously competitive, is one of the most widely untapped yet promising sectors for future MBAs. Online retailers show extremely lucrative potential as the emergence of technology has catalyzed several promising online start-ups. E-commerce sites such as Amazon.com, for instance, are predicted to be one of the future’s fastest growing retailers. Other in-store retailers, such as Apple Inc., have dominated retail through customer service and innovation and have subsequently been named the most profitable retailer in America.

Industries such as Amazon and Apple have undoubtedly had a substantial impact on how we think of retail today. Even so, many and most MBAs continue to focus their career paths on private equity, hedge funds and consulting. Entering the retail sector is largely untouched by MBAs; nevertheless, the fast-paced and dynamic world of retail calls for hard workers with innovative minds who are capable of leveraging their skills to fit the evolving organizational culture. The untapped world of retail leaves substantial room to grow and expand as a leader in business.

The Wharton School of Business has made substantial changes to its curriculum and extracurricular offerings to aid the evolution of business leaders. Many courses have shifted toward retail-centered and retail-associated objectives, such as strategy, e-commerce, marketing, global inventory, supply chains and operations, and finance to give students a boost of insight into the maturing industry. Wharton is unique in not only placing renowned commerce leaders as course facilitators in a range of subjects, but also in providing opportunities to meet with alumni who have succeeded and excelled in retail such as Denise Incadela (class of 1992) who currently acts as the chief marketing officer for Saks Fifth Avenue. Other resources available to Wharton MBAs include the Baker Retailing Center, which caters to retail-interested students on campus through student- and alumni-focused events and activities, and the Wharton Graduate Retail Club, which organizes networking and informational sessions with retail leaders and plans trips to major cities such as London and San Francisco to meet with senior-level executives and industry experts.

The career opportunities available for graduating MBAs cross interdisciplinary and multi-functional grounds to give future leaders a wide playing field for success. Top schools such as Wharton that recognize the enormous potential of the retail industry will provide students with a gamut of skills to succeed in the opportunities abound.