As a student, Jose Mercado ’04 knew what he wanted: to
combine his passion for retail and fashion with his interest
in human resources. As manager of field recruitment for
apparel and accessories retailer Aéropostale at its New York
City headquarters, Mercado has the best of both worlds.
He also gets to help others with their careers.
For students pursuing a career in human resources,
Mercado advises taking classes in HR and attending career
fairs. “You’d be surprised what you can learn from the
recruiters and the information they can share with you.”
Experience in retail can provide widely applicable skills,
says Mercado. “The great thing about retail is that you
learn the customer service piece that’s so critical to any
field … whether it’s culinary or hospitality or marketing.”
Aéropostale and its newer brand, P.S. from Aéropostale,
have more than 1,000 stores in the U.S. and Canada.
“We’re always hiring,” says Mercado. “We’re continuing to
grow, from the corporate level to the store level, and always
looking to identify potential leaders for our organization.”
He uses online job boards, social media like LinkedIn
and career fairs, including those at JWU’s Providence
Campus, to recruit. Jobs and internships at Aéropostale are
posted on JWU’s job board for students and alumni and at
www.aeropostalecareers.com.email > email@example.com
Friends Find Ways to Help Kids in NeedTyler Wakstein ’08 and Ryan Barry ’08 are Doing it 4 the KIDS. While playing golf with
friends, the two alumni and former roommates came up with the idea for the new initiative to
help children in need in the Boston, Mass., area.
At first they talked about holding a charity golf tournament; they could raise money and have
a good reason to connect with friends each year. But after some brainstorming and networking,
Wakstein and Barry wanted to do more. Now they plan to bring young professionals together
to provide mentoring and leadership skills for youth.
Currently Doing it 4 the KIDS is only set up to raise funds for Boys & Girls Clubs of
Boston. But the duo and four other friends plan to expand down the road — getting more
young professionals in Boston and beyond to volunteer and provide leadership programs,
coaching clinics and educational workshops. They want to give kids a leg up when they “hit
that fork in the road or face adversity,” said Wakstein. “As it continues to evolve, we’ll focus
more effort, time and energy on developing the programs specifically.”
Both alumni earned degrees in marketing communications and now work in sales and
marketing. Wakstein is senior account executive at Pangea Media in Watertown and Barry is
account executive for Global Market Insite (GMI) in Marlborough. Another friend,
Sam Panice ’08, a graphic designer at Czarnowski in Las Vegas, Nev., is managing the
Doing it 4 the KIDS website.
The first official Doing it 4 the KIDS fundraising event was a golf tournament in
Sandwich. Other events are in the works.Online > firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com www.doingit4thekids.org
Packed with Global PerspectiveVlada Rakhunov ’10 is all about being global. A native of Russia, her
time at JWU was spiced with international experiences that expanded her
language skills and challenged her sense of place.
As a freshman, Rakhunov completed a study abroad in Göteborg,
Sweden at IHM Business School. “Not a lot of freshmen get to go abroad.
It was an experience of a lifetime,” she recalls. “You don’t know anyone;
don’t know the language; you basically need to survive, learn and grow.”
As a student of international business, she studied Spanish and completed
a language immersion study abroad in Seville, Spain. Her host “mom” spoke
only in Spanish, as did most of the local residents. “You’re using Spanish
every day for three and a half months, and [are] forced to learn the language
quickly,” she says.
After graduating Rakhunov was looking for a job with a global element.
Kristen Regine ’94, a marketing professor at the Providence Campus, told
her about an opening at Samsonite, the world’s largest luggage manufacturer.
Based in Mansfield, Mass., the company sells products in more than 100
countries. Rakhunov was hired as the e-commerce operations specialist,
reporting to another JWU alum, Alison (Boyce) Katz ’00, senior
e-commerce manager. Rakhunov says being multilingual is a strong asset.
“It’s always going to be something that companies need and want.”
Rakhunov helps Katz with day-to-day operations of the e-commerce
website including updating product data and maintaining the site’s
appearance and product presentation. She also handles customer service,
merchandising, inventory and technical support, and she ensures customers’
needs are met and complaints are resolved quickly and efficiently.
The company’s current focus, she notes, is on traveling light to meet
airline weight restrictions and avoid luggage fees.email > firstname.lastname@example.org