College Grad Retail Associate Buyer in New York City
Name: LeeJee
Career: Associate Buyer
Company Field: Retail
Located In: New York City, New York
Grew Up In: Norwich, Vermont
Graduated From:
Majored In: Hotel Administration
Graduated In: 2011
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After College Lifestyles

LeeJee is a Retail Associate Buyer at the high-end Saks 5th Avenue department store in New York City. As the Associate Buyer, LeeJee is in charge of stocking the New York City stores with products that attract her target clientele. For many, this is a dream job! See how LeeJee's background in hospitality helps her in her everyday profession.

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Name: LeeJee
Career: Associate Buyer
Company Field: Retail
Located In: New York City, New York
Grew Up In: Norwich, Vermont
Graduated From:
Majored In: Hotel Administration
Graduated In: 2011

Quick Stats on Retail Buying:

Work Hours/Week: 50
Work Hour Flexibility: Low
Quality of Lifestyle Outside of Work: Medium
Work Stress Level: Medium
Level of Routine Work: Medium
Interaction with Co-Workers: High
Pay Level (out of 5): $$$$

Life of a College Grad Retail Associate Buyer:


As the Associate Buyer at Saks Fifth Avenue, I am responsible for achieving sales and profit objectives for Full-Line Women's Soft Accessories. I purchase and negotiate merchandise while partnering with Planning to manage the open to buy and maximize business opportunity.

Retail Buyer's Daily Routine:

7:30 AM Wake Up, get ready

8:30 AM Arrive at work, eat breakfast and read sales reports

9:00 AM Update shipping sheet and go through emails

10:00 AM Team touchbase

12:00 PM Lunch

1:00 PM Prep for marketing meeting

2:00 PM Go to vendor market meeting and review upcoming product

5:00 PM Review orders and enter new POs

7:00 PM Head to dinner and drinks with friends

10:00 PM Arrive home, relax, and get ready for bed!

Retail Associate Buyer After College in New York City
How To Get Into The Field
I graduated form the School of Hotel Administration at Cornell University with a minor in Communications. I think hospitality is a retail business, and my education at the Hotel School has been an integral part of my success in retail. Cornell's School of Hotel Administration is world renowned with a curriculum focused on running a business through hospitality. I have applied my service mentality and focus on creating a memorable shopping experience throughout my time in Buying and Merchandising.

What Do You Really Do?
I manage all business aspects of Women's Soft Accessories at Saks Fifth Avenue. I manage the open to buy, also known as the budget, and determine buying and merchandising strategies for all of our Full-Line stores. I also read and react to the business, placing orders and initiating store transfers as needed.
Pros/Cons of Your Job
I love the creative and analytical aspect of Buying. Retail, at its core, is a business. My teams have given me an area and made me totally accountable, as if I'm running my own business. Lots of responsibility, exposure, and accountability – I love this way of working. That being said, Buying is not a 9 to 5 job. Hours can get long. Time management and multi-tasking are critical to success in this field.

Tour My New York City Apartment

Quick Stats on New York City

Job Opportunities: High
Competition for Housing: High
Housing Cost: High
Population of Young People: High
Nightlife: High
Safety: Medium
Biggest Industries: Finance, Retail, Hospitality

The Life of a College Grad In New York City


College Grad life in New York City

What's it Like to Live Here?
There is nothing like living in New York City - it is a melting pot of cultures and offers endless activities. There are lots of great restaurants, shopping, and entertainment for all hours of the day (and all days of the year). There is never a dull moment living in the city. And if you're lucky, you'll even spot a celebrity!
The city is crowded and not very clean, but the hustle and bustle always keeps it exciting. It is the perfect place to live right out of college.

How Did I End Up Here?
I graduated from Cornell in Ithaca, New York and moved to Columbus, Ohio for my first job out of school. After a couple of years in Columbus, I moved to New York City earlier this year to start my new position at Saks.
My Set-Up
I live in a studio in Midtown West, just blocks from Central Park and from my office. I love the neighborhood feel of my street, and I can't complain that Hell's Kitchen is around the corner.

Closing Advice


Be a sponge! College flies by, and it's important to soak everything in. Take courses you love and chase after internships that you are passionate about. Take advantage of your school's alumni network: reach out to alumni to learn about different fields of work. What I have loved most about life after college is that the learning never ends. Ask questions and always stay curious!

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