UCLA Anderson's Retail Business Association, in partnership with the UCLA Anderson Morrison Family Center for Marketing and Analytics, brings you the 2017 Evolve Conference, combining industry leaders and renowned UCLA researchers to best define “The Connected Consumer.” This event is aimed at knowledge sharing and networking among students and professionals in the retail industry. We expect to host 200 guests, comprising UCLA Anderson MBA students, alumni and local area professionals.
Current second-year student and President of the Retail Business Associaton, Katherine Longest, discusses the conference in her post below.
Katherine Longest is a current second-year student at UCLA Anderson. Originally from New Jersey, Katherine received a bachelor's in Economics and Finance from University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. Prior to Anderson, she was an Internal Audit Consultant and entered business school to help her transition to a retail marketing career, where she's already had the opportunity to intern with fashion brand Derek Lam and Vow To Be Chic. As the President of the Anderson Retail Business Association, Katherine is excited to speak about this year's inaugural retail conference, Evolve: The Connected Consumer
When I applied to business school, I knew I wanted to use it to break into the fashion & apparel industry (a lifelong dream of mine). During my school exploration period, I attended a retail conference at an MBA program on the East Coast. It was an exciting event attracting both retail professionals and MBAs. While mingling with attendees, I noticed that MBA programs from the entire East Coast made the trip to this event. At this moment, I realized I wanted to apply to the school that was organizing the conference, not merely attending.
I chose to come to Anderson for a myriad of reasons, including the culture and student-centric campus, as well as Los Angeles’s prominence as a fashion capital and the community’s overall interest in sustainability. While Anderson didn’t yet have a retail conference, it did have a very active Retail Business Association (RBA) and a culture that supported students looking to create programming within the school. Once enrolled, I immediately got involved in the RBA and was elected President last spring. As President, I became passionate about creating a Retail Course (a goal I am still working on) while my fearless classmate, Veronica Perry, worked on creating Anderson’s first ever Retail Conference. Well… Veronica has accomplished her goal!
Through tireless work over the past several months and with the assistance of dedicated members of the Retail Business Association, we are holding our inaugural Evolve Conference this upcoming Saturday, March 4th, from 8:00AM – 4:00PM.
We have two fantastic keynote speakers – Gary Schoenfeld (UCLA B.A. ’84), President & CEO of Pacsun and Jason Hera, Head of Product of Walmart. It is going to be a jam-packed day! Each attendee has the opportunity to sit in on two of the six panels, and the topics include: Retail Start-ups, Omnichannel Retail Trends, Consumer Trends in Retail, Digital and Technology Trends in Retail, Experiential Retail, and New Retail Business Models and Disruptions. Make sure to take a look at the conference website for a full agenda and speaker and panelist profiles. For students interested in attending the event and learning more about the RBA, we will be holding a post-conference information session with members of the club, including myself.
If you are a prospective student interested in attending, enter promo code "Prospect" to unlock a special discounted ticket!