Sears Holdings and Kelley: Strong Partners Since ’97
Director of College Programs, Sears Holdings Corporation
“We really wanted to contribute to a school with a reputation for excellence. The folks at the Center are friendly and have always been helpful to us.”
As the founding sponsor of the Center for Education and Research in Retailing, Sears Holdings Corporation has supported the Center for more than a dozen years. The reasons for the long-term sponsorship are simple, says Rachel Hawksworth, director of college programs for Sears Holdings.
“We really wanted to contribute to a school with a reputation for excellence,” she says. “The folks at the Center are friendly and have always been helpful to us.”
Sears Holdings—the parent company of Kmart and Sears, Roebuck, and Co.—has been helpful to the Center too, regularly participating in career events and supplying guest lecturers for Kelley classes. The company also funded the Sears Retailing Lab and Classroom, a high-tech learning lab whose computers have the latest retailing software, such as @RISK, Answer Tree, and MPlus.
The Sears classroom, retail courses, and retailer-sponsored activities—in which students learn what retailing is really like—are a few of the several ways Kelley prepares students for successful retailing careers. Sears Holdings has noticed: Kelley is perennially one of its top five recruiting destinations.
“The Center does a really good job training students and getting students acclimated to the retail industry,” Hawksworth says, noting that Kelley students have the leadership abilities, analytical skills, and organizational skills that Sears Holdings looks for. “Kelley students progress nicely in their careers. We have a huge Kelley alumni base in our company.”