“It seems that most people get into retail accidentally and that very few people plan to get into it,” said R. Bruce Bryant, senior vice president for Western Store Operations for Walgreen Co. during a recent visit to the Mays College.
While that may be true for some, students in the Mays College are preparing now for careers in the retailing field. And, through the Center for Retailing Studies’ (CRS) Executive-in-Residence Program, students have the opportunity to interact with business leaders, such as Bryant, who are shaping the retail industry.
During his guest session, Bryant recounted his experiences in the field, particularly the opportunities and challenges he’s witnessed during his 30-year career with Walgreen. Like many Mays students, Bryant was mesmerized by the industry and wanted to make it his career. “My dad had a wholesale grocery business that I worked at when I was in high school,” said Bryant, who serves on the CRS Advisory Board. “I loved it and went to college knowing that I wanted to go into retail.”
The interactive session also provided time for students to volunteer suggestions on how Bryant could help improve Walgreen’s retail efforts, ranging from offering more drive-through window services and removing clutter from storefronts.
For more than 15 years, the CRS has been bringing retailing executives to campus from numerous companies, including Payless ShoeSource, JCPenny, Hastings Entertainment, Zale Corporation, Pizza Hut, Walgreen and Mary Kay, among others.
To learn more, visit the Center for Retailing Studies online.