I’m Rachael Kennedy, a junior merchandising student at the University of North Texas. I have a passion for retail and am constantly seeking out opportunities to broaden my perspective on the industry I hope to have a career in one day. Merchandising courses at UNT are very rewarding in the fact that you gain real knowledge that applies to all retail environments, as well as hands-on- experience and connections in the industry. To further this experience, I am also a member of the Merchant Development Program, an honors program for merchandising students. With this program I have been able to connect with industry professionals and get a broader scope of the retail business to prepare me for my future career.
For the spring semester I have been lucky to be a part of the Dallas Study Tour class at UNT. This class gives us the opportunity to visit corporate offices of many popular retailers in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. Not only are we making connections, but we are also getting to learn about many different types of businesses that operate in our Metroplex. Recently, our class took a trip to The Container Store home office in Coppell, Texas and had an amazing time!
Not only did we get to hear about the fun company culture, take a tour of the offices and distribution center, and learn about the company’s core values, but we were lucky enough to meet and talk to the CEO, Kip Tindell. He discussed the wake a person has, or the power a person has no matter the role they play in a company. Along with this idea he shared that the more an organization understands their power, the more conscious they are of what is going on. I learned so much from Kip in the time we were able to speak with him in his office, and it was an amazing experience to gain insight from the leader of one of the top retailers in the nation!
Throughout the trip, I was very impressed with the environment and enthusiasm of all the employees, and the respect everyone has for each other is remarkable. I was very inspired by the company culture and the home office itself, it looked like an exciting work environment that anyone could thrive in. The use of color and The Container Store product as art stimulates excitement for employees and really shows where the passion lies in the business. I truly valued what everyone had to share in our presentation, and connected most with the emphasis put on the importance of communication. Through my own experience, I have learned communication is key in retail and to hear this from leaders in the business was very rewarding. I also connected with the company’s core values and was excited to see employees so passionate to follow through with every principle that keeps the company alive.
Overall, our trip to The Container Store was very gratifying and fun. This trip broadened my perspective on the many retailers that are operating today, and the environment made me excited for a fun, yet rewarding career in the industry.
Rachael Kennedy, University of North Texas Student