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A Texas Tech University’s Hospitality and Retail Management master’s programme can take you far

Morgan Long felt that there was no better school for her than Texas Tech University. “I knew there was no competition to the Texas Tech University atmosphere and top-tier Restaurant, Hotel, and Institutional Management (RHIM) and Hospitality and Retail Management (HRM) programmes,” she says. 

Long went on to pursue her undergraduate degree in RHIM with a minor in public relations and an  MS Hospitality and Retail Management. After graduating in 2015, she became a Category Analyst at Maurice Sporting Goods, working as a category advisor on the Walmart team. She has since been promoted. “I am a Senior Manager II at Walmart working in merchandise operations for store remodels,” Long says. “I help optimise departmental and modular space for stores going through a remodel. I also speak with store managers to gather feedback and advocate for stores to make sure they have the best possible store layout post-project.”

Source: Texas Tech Hospitality and Retail Management

Her master’s programme gave Long the boost to advance her career. She notes that knowledge of Category Management was very helpful as well as understanding the 4Ps of retail. “Time management was another helpful skill that I developed at Texas Tech, and becomes more important with each new position I have taken on,” Long adds. “Having the opportunity to present in my classes and to H-E-B was a great way to prepare me for presenting to retailers and in company meetings.”

For the H-E-B case study, Long and her classmates were able to spend the summer analysing data, surveying customers in an H-E-B store, creating customer decision trees and finally developing a recommendation. “We presented this recommendation to buyers at the H-E-B corporate office in San Antonio,” she says. “It was a great real-world experience that helped prepare me for a job in Category Management.”

Ashley Markusen — who has a Bachelor of Science in Retail Management and an MS Hospitality and Retail Management from Texas Tech University — also found that the programmes put students in the right position to succeed in their future careers. “One of the courses I really appreciated was Professional Practices in Retailing,” she says. “It helped me grow from a student mindset to a young professional mindset. We discussed an array of topics to prepare for the workforce. Resume development, professional dress, interview preparation and salary negotiation are some of the major themes I recall that helped set me up for success.”

When Markusen began at the university, she was at a loss, trying to figure out what she wanted for her future. It was the care of the knowledgeable faculty who geared her towards the right career path. “In conversations with my academic adviser, I shared my passion for my job at the boutique and was put in touch with Dr. Deborah Fowler,” she says. “Game changer. Dr. Fowler took me under her wing and walked me through the curriculum of the HRM programme, how the coursework would translate to career paths in the retail industry, and educated me on options to further my education through the HRM graduate programme.” 

Source: Texas Tech Hospitality and Retail Management

Currently the business development manager for H-E-B Grocery Company, Markusen recommends that students work closely with the faculty to get the most out of their university experience. “I would advise them to make an appointment with one of the professors for a one-on-one meeting to better understand the culture of the programme,” she says. “The professors are passionate about the personal and professional growth of their students and provide a clear pathway to success. My meeting with Dr. Fowler changed the trajectory of my college studies and my career as a whole. I think it is very difficult to find a programme that invests as much in its students as the HRM programme at Texas Tech University.”

MS Hospitality and Retail Management (with a research option) graduate John Long agrees that the staff and school go out of their way to guide and inspire students. “Dr. Natalia Velikova, who was my thesis chair, did a great job developing my research capabilities and supporting me throughout the process,” he says. “Along with helping to develop my research skills, she also helped expose me to lecturing opportunities and structuring long-term lesson plans which are skills that I have been able to draw on in my professional career.”

After graduating in 2017, Long became an analyst at Hilton RMCC and has worked his way up since. “I am currently the manager of revenue support for the Hilton RMCC,” he explains. “I lead the team that develops data visualisations and reporting, presents weekly/monthly/quarterly performance reviews to the RMCC leadership, and produces tools to identify opportunities within the organisation.”

Source: Texas Tech Hospitality and Retail Management

John took away three key attributes from the programme: data analysis, public speaking, and research writing. “These are really the three base components of my current job, where I have to first off use data analysis to find trends and identify root causes, then I have to present these findings to senior leaders and get their buy-in, and finally I have to write up concise synopsis of my findings for MBR/QBR notes,” he says. 

Texas Tech University sets students up with the right tools and knowledge to thrive in their respective fields, making their RHIM and HRM programmes stand out from the crowd. The up-to-date knowledge and insights, hands-on experiences and helpful faculty make all the difference. 

To advance your career in Hospitality and Retail Management, check out Texas Tech University’s Department of Hospitality and Retail Management.

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