college of business

college of business

A perfect fit
Program Business Jose Mercado

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
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Friends Find Ways to Help Kids in Need
Tyler 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.

JWU Alumni Tyler Wakstein and Ryan BarryAt 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.
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Packed with Global Perspective
Vlada 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.”

JWU Alumna Vlada RakhunovAs 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.
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quick take:business
Jill Loomis ’14, a College of Business equine business management student at the Providence Campus, earned All-New England status as a college equestrian after placing sixth in the Northeastern Region District Championships in June.