Namrata Singh is an Eller Alumna. She is currently working at Old Navy Online as an assistant digital merchant.
Please tell us about your career path and how you found your way to Old Navy. My passion for retail started with the product. I was always curious about the way products are designed and created. When I got to business school, I began to ask questions about how companies price, market and discount their products. All of this culminated into an overall excitement for retail and eventually led me down my current career path.
I was lucky enough to get a quick taste of the industry by working at a jewelry startup in San Francisco. From there, I was able to jump into the corporate world and work for a large department store. Finally, during my senior year, I found The GAP RMP program. I was sold on the idea of working for such an iconic brand and learning the industry from the inside out (the fact that the recruiters were wearing the cutest denim was a plus as well J )
What do you like about working for Old Navy? The first thing that I fell in love with was the culture at GAP. Diversity, inclusion, support, mentorship, you name it and GAP offers it. I love the fact that it is a corporate company with thousands of employees, but you still feel like a tight knit family. It was important for me to find a job that allowed me to constantly learn new things. In the 1 year since I joined, I have learned more than I ever thought possible. Another thing that really stuck with me was the amount of employees who have been with GAP for 10, 15, 20+ years. It is a great indicator of how much this company values it’s employees and how much we value the brand!
This is a great place to highlight benefits such as professional development, training, career path options, fun social activities, great corporate headquarter amenities, etc. The passion for people and product is the backbone of this company. It takes great talent to make great product and GAP does just that. The RMP program provided me with so many resources at my finger-tips. During the RMP program, I was able to network with dozens of people at different career levels throughout the company. In addition to all of our industry training, we were constantly working on personal development and growth. My favorite opportunity was being able to learn from my fellow RMPs. We formed a great bond that has lasted far longer than the 9 months we spent together! As a company GAP really celebrates our hard work. The amazing food and phenomenal cafeteria views are number one on my bragging list! (Check out @Gapeteria on Instagram) Another one of my favorite events are the Thirsty Thursday Happy Hours at Old Navy!
What does this job/internship entail? The RMP program is an extremely unique opportunity for someone who is a recent graduate! You will learn the industry from the inside out and gain a fundamental understanding of every process from product conception to seeing it in stores. The program will challenge you and push you out of comfort zone. I came from a product background and left the program with new skills in inventory management, site merchandising, product development and marketing. The job requires a willingness to wear multiple hats and try new things. You will be asked to work on projects that directly impact the business. You will get the opportunity to work with new teams in different settings (office, classroom, stores). You will be treated as a business partner and be responsible for deliverables in your area. The best part of this job is the amazing network of friends and mentors that you will build!
What skills make a person successful in this position? The number one thing required for RMP is a willingness to learn! As cliché as it sounds, the saying holds true. You will get out as much as you put in! The amazing thing about RMP, are the doors that it opens for you within the company. You will have the incredible opportunity to network with senior executives, be on multiple teams, work in stores, visit distribution centers etc. RMP will give you the tools needed to succeed in a retail career. It is your job as a trainee to use the tools. Follow up on meetings you have with leaders, utilize what you learn in your classes within your day to day role. Learn everything you can from your managers, team mates and peers and ask a TON of questions. Another thing that really helped me throughout the RMP program was writing down/ documenting my projects and mentors. I created an excel doc with the name and positon of everyone I met and a detailed summary of the projects I worked on! This was great to keep handy when I started my new role within Old Navy!
Please share your general career advice? The best advice that I have ever received is to “bloom where you are planted”. In my life and career, things are always changing. My advice is to make the most of every moment throughout your career. You may be on a team that isn’t your favorite or working on a product that isn’t as exciting for you. You may be in a city that you don’t love or on a project that makes you nervous. Regardless of the situation, make the most of it. There is always something to learn. Try and become the expert in your area, even if you are only there temporarily! Meet as many people as you can and make sure they remember you through your work ethic and willingness to go the extra mile! “Bloom where you are planted”!