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UNCG Hosts Executives in Residence Week Featuring Triangle Business Leaders

Executives in Residence Week is an annual event that has grown in recent years to offer students in the Department of Consumer, Apparel and Retail Studies at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro an opportunity to hear from business owners in the marketing and retailing industry.

“Executives in Residence Week provides an opportunity for students and faculty to interact with professionals from business and industry,” said Department Head Dr. Gwendolyn O’Neal. “Students have the chance to dialogue with professionals engaged in careers they aspire to, lending credibility to that which they have been exposed to in the classroom.”

Speakers included Shelley Kelly, president and CEO of Kelly MarCom; Capstrat’s Dan Moore, vice president and account director, and Todd Coats, chief creative officer; Sarah Jane Miller, owner of SARAJANE, an accessories boutique; Cindy Hines, mortgage specialist with SunTrust Banks; Colleen Kelly, president of Tommy Hilfiger USA Wholesale Division; and Jim Sturm, director of global marketing communications for PPD Inc.

Shelley Kelly, president and CEO of Kelly MarCom, an integrated branding and advertising agency, shared insights with the students about careers in the advertising industry, requirements for employment, expectations for the 21st century work environment, and a bit about her own 12-year success as a business owner.

Kelly comments, “It’s surprising to hear young people talk about spending four-plus years in college without discovering what type of work environment they truly enjoy. A great way for students to find out where they will fit best and be happiest is to talk to people in careers they admire most to determine future opportunities. There is always a big ah-ha moment with every group during this type of presentation and that’s what I love – the moment when a student discovers an opportunity that really inspires them.”

Shelley Kelly

Katelyn Rafferty, a senior in the department, says she was impressed by Kelly’s story of starting her own ad agency at 24. “I love that even though all the speakers were so accomplished, they still seemed approachable,” Rafferty added. “The experience also provided realistic perceptions for job options, career progressions and opened the door for networking within the industry.

“The best way to prepare students for the workforce is create opportunities for them to interact with the movers and shakers,” said Professor Minita Sanghvi. “The students welcome the idea of learning from professionals within the industry and get a glimpse of what the future holds for them once they graduate.”

About the Department of Consumer, Apparel and Retail Studies at UNCG:
The Department of Consumer, Apparel and Retail Studies (CARS) is one of five departments in the School of Human Environmental Sciences at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. Faculty are involved in teaching, research and service where they spend a significant amount of time advising and mentoring students. The Department offers Bachelor of Science, Master of Science and Doctor of Philosophy degrees and three concentrations are offered including Apparel Products Design, Retailing and Consumer Studies and Global Apparel and Related Industry Studies.