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New York | NRF Foundation Campus

NRF Student Program 2023

New York

New York City skyline with Student Program branding
NRF Foundation Student Program
January 2024 | NYC

The NRF Foundation Student Program in New York City gives college students the unique opportunity to launch their future careers in retail and experience all that the industry offers. Retail executives in marketing, merchandising, talent, entrepreneurship, sustainability, diversity and inclusion, supply chain, technology and more share their stories, insights, and what they learned in their careers, and students explore various careers paths in the retail industry, meet with dozens of recruiters from their favorite brands and create visions for their futures, all in just four days.

The NRF Foundation Student Program is open to all undergraduate and graduate students and all educators and staff at any U.S. college or university. Registration will open Fall 2023 for our 2024 event.

Check out the videos from our 2023 NRF Foundation Student Program sessions.

Friday Mainstage
Like No Other Store in the World

Tony Spring - Chairman, NRF Foundation Board | Bloomingdale’s Chairman and CEO

Bloomingdale’s Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Tony Spring shared how the iconic brand is celebrating 150 years – what it takes to plan a year-long global celebration – and what the future holds for one of the world’s leading retailers.

The Backbone of Business

Mark Irvin - Best Buy Chief Supply Chain Officer

Mark Irvin has spent most of his 30-year career in supply chain leadership. As Best Buy’s Chief Supply Chain Officer, he oversees the strategy and day-to-day operations of Best Buy’s global supply chain - from order management to distribution centers, from global-compliance to final-mile fulfillment. Irvin shared why knowledge of the supply chain is essential to your retail career.

Bringing Diversity to the Bottom Line
  • Bahja Johnson - Gap, Inc. Head of Customer and Community Belonging & Enablement Color Proud Council Co-Founder
  • Mecca Mitchell - Burlington Stores, Inc. Senior Vice President and Chief Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Officer
  • Brandi Douglas - National Retail Federation Chief Human Resources Officer

How do retailers create supportive and equitable institutional structures, foster welcoming and inclusive environments, and cultivate a culture that leverages diversity, inclusion, and equity best practices to drive business objectives? Brandi Douglas led a discussion with Bahja Johnson and Mecca Mitchell about what it means to respond to the diverse needs of your workforce, your customers, and the communities you serve.

Accelerate Your Career
The NRF Foundation Young Professionals Panel
  • Robert Davison-Long - Prada Group Donna Department Manager
  • Eugene Choi - PetSmart Sr. Digital Site Merchandiser
  • Courtney Nash - Allbirds Sr. Supply Chain & Merchandise Manager
  • Amaiya Sims - Amaiya’s Atelier Founder & CEO, Shopbop & Nordstrom Assistant Stylist

Our Young Professionals panel– with recent graduates and NRF Foundation scholarship recipients – shared their experiences at retailers like Allbirds, Nordstrom, PetSmart and Prada.

Mission Every One: How Macy’s, Inc Found Its Social Purpose

Bobby Amirshahi - Macy’s, Inc. Senior Vice President of Corporate Communications

Macy’s, Inc. Senior Vice President of Corporate Communications Malek Robert (“Bobby”) Amirshahi is an award-winning, 20-plus year veteran of the media and telecommunications industry. Amirshahi shared how corporate social responsibility is more important than ever in today’s retail world – and how your personal passion can help drive change.

Fresh Perspectives on Private Labels
  • Nina Barjesteh - Nordstrom Product Group President
  • Alexis Bennett - Commerce Writer, VOGUE (Moderator)

Transforming private label brands puts the customers first through design, quality and value. Nina Barjesteh led product development for DICK’S Sporting Goods and is now building on the 50-year legacy of Nordstrom’s private label brands. She shared how you can how you can help retailers take full advantage of these growth opportunities – and accelerate your career.

Unlocking the Power of People

Christiane Pendarvis - Savage x Fenty Co-President and Chief Merchandising and Design Officer

Savage X Fenty Co-President & Chief Merchant Christiane Pendarvis excels in helping brands, teams and individuals grow and succeed in the face of rapidly changing industry dynamics, and she shared her passion for increasing diversity and representation in the fashion industry.

Under the Influence
  • Ashley Schpario - Vice President of Marketing, Media, Performance & Engagement, American Eagle
  • Farah Maloof - US Head of Industry, Luxury Retail, TikTok
  • Julie Selig - Head of Advocacy, Influencer Marketing and Social, L'Oréal LUXE

How do brands like American Eagle and L'Oréal LUXE approach marketing to the modern consumer? TikTok's US Head of Industry, Luxury Retail Farah Maloof led a discussion with American Eagle Vice President of Marketing, Media, Performance & Engagement Ashley Schpario and L'Oréal LUXE Head of Advocacy, Influencer Marketing and Social Julie Selig about their personal career journeys in retail and how they use platforms like TikTok to influence customer decisions.

Sustainability is Here to Stay – Or We May Not Be
The NRF Foundation Sustainability Panel
  • Scot Case - National Retail Federation Vice President, CSR & Sustainability
  • Sara Decker - Walmart Senior Director, Federal Government Affairs
  • Parul Rajwanshi - Saks 5th Avenue Senior Manager, Trade Compliance and Sustainability
  • Heather Zanoni - DICK’S Sporting Goods Senior Director, Sustainability & ESG ​

Consumers want it. Employees want to work for companies doing it. Investors are looking for companies making money doing it. Everyone is talking about sustainability but what is it? What are retailers doing about it? And how can you get involved? Retail executives shared how their very different roles support sustainability within their companies and offered the advice they wish they’d heard when they were in your shoes.

The Man Behind the Brand
  • Steve Madden - Steve Madden Creative and Design Chief
  • Donny Deutsch - Television Host & former Chairman of Deutsch Inc. (Moderator)

Iconic shoe designer, Steve Madden, started with an $1100 investment in 1990 and built one of the most successful brands globally. He share how he disrupted an industry – before disrupting was even a thing – and why authenticity, individuality and grit are the keys to success.

Saturday Mainstage
Retail Gets Real - Live
  • Bill Thorne - National Retail Federation SVP Communications NRF’s Retail Gets Real podcast host
  • Katherine Cullen - National Retail Federation Sr. Director, Industry and Consumer Insights

It is the National Retail Federation podcast you know and love – and it’s LIVE on stage in New York City.

Unbiased Decision Making
Freshman And Sophomores Only

Matt Meuleners - Inclusive leaders make better decisions, with fewer unintended impacts. This session will explore the unconscious biases all leaders bring to the decision-making table. By uncovering these biases and blind spots in our own thinking, we are able to make more objective, informed, and inclusive decisions for our teams and selves. Participants will leverage mental frameworks for self-reflection and thought experiments for auditing our leadership and career decisions.

NRF Foundation New York:

Student Program 2024

Next year's event will feature our signature sessions and events. Sign up for updates so you stay in the loop!

Sign Up For Updates
Talks and Tours 2024
Tours and Talks

Go behind-the-scenes, meet retail professionals and learn about their careers as select retailers host students in their NYC offices, stores and more.

Mainstage 2024
Main Stage & Breakout Sessions

Gain insight and expertise from the speakers on our main stage– and go deeper with our Technology and Supply Chain breakout sessions.

Campus Career Fair 2024
Career Fair

Connect with top retailers and apply for internships and entry-level roles.

Executive Mentor Experience 2024
Executive Mentor Experience

Join more than 100 leaders from companies for small round-table discussions during our signature NRF Foundation Executive Mentor Experience.

Get Hired 2024
Get Hired

Participate in invitation-only on-site interviews for internships and entry-level roles.

Be a Speaker Next Year!

Want to be on stage at NRF Foundation New York: Student Program 2024? Share your company’s expertise with our students by applying to speak at our event.

Apply to Speak