Brandt’s experience as a student in the Retail Management program prepared her for the unique retail opportunity
Graduate of May 2013, Retail Management Alumna Kelly Brandt fell in love with the Texas Tech campus as a teenager, but it was her interest in design and business aspects of retail that inspired her degree path and led to her career.
Today, Brandt is the Women's and Youth Apparel Buyer for the Dallas Cowboys Merchandising a subsidiary of Dallas Cowboys Football Club. Brandt's responsibilities as a buyer for the Dallas Cowboys includes creating plans for 25 different stores, plus an online store through partnerships with apparel vendors.
“Additionally, I work with my team on creating wholistic merchandise strategies across all categories, apparel and hardlines (accessories, equipment, home décor, etc.) to ensure a great fan experience in our stores/online,” Brandt explained.
Throughout her time as a buyer for the Dallas Cowboys, Brandt has enjoyed the ability to expand her knowledge about the retail world while gaining unique retail experiences due to her company not being a big box store.
“We always joke at work that this is the biggest Mom & Pop Shop you can work for,” Brandt said, “I love that I can wear as many or as few hats as I want or need based on my workload.”
Brandt's bachelor's degree in Retail Management has been a tool of preparation not only for her career, but for adulthood as well. While her overall experience of the multiple courses she took throughout college continuously helps her, the retail buying class was the most impactful for her career.
“One class I use every day is the retail buying course, where we learned retail math and inventory control,” Brandt explained. “The theories I learned in that class influence how I make decisions for my company. You can't Google that!”
Another essential learning opportunity Brandt experienced during her time as a student at Texas Tech was a buying project from a course she took through Hospitality and Retail Management.
“I still hold onto the buying project from a course where we made our own concept store, used JDA to bring it to life, and then curated and bought for a year of selling,” Brandt said. “We had to build buys in excel, ensure a healthy margin and inventory turn, plus make it look like the real deal.”
During Brandt's career, she has been able to become a mentor to multiple graduates and interns. Young individuals who are looking for an opportunity to learn and gain experience have been able to learn from Brandt's knowledge. Brandt sees the experience of mentoring especially rewarding when a lightbulb of understanding goes off inside her mentees' heads.
Brandt's biggest advice for individuals entering the workforce is, “Be a sponge. It's one thing to show up and do the job required, but it's another to learn and think critically to ensure you're putting out the best work.”