Last summer, I worked as retail sales associate at Finish Line Inc. Finish Line is a shoe store based in Indianapolis, Ind., and the company has over 600 stores across the United States. It specializes in selling footwear, accessories and apparel.

Although it has 20 percent fewer stores than Footlocker, Finish Line has gross revenues equal to 32 percent of Footlocker’s gross revenues. In 2014, Finish Line had gross revenues of $1.67 billion. This success is due to their strong focus on a positive customer experience in their stores with knowledgeable salespersons and a creative, inviting atmosphere. My time as a sales associate helped me learn how to interact with consumers,as well as the many other tasks that go with running a business. As a salesperson who works on a commission-based salary, sales are a very important measurement of how well you are doing and what can be done to improve. Over the summer, I learned how to track sales daily and weekly to meet target goals and expectations of my managers, which improved my knowledge of sales and marketing.

While closing at the end of the day, I was in charge of numerous tasks: creating visuals that make the consumers want to purchase offerings, and accounting for the money that the store has made that day as well as week. These tasks enhanced my background in marketing because I had to see what displays and what arrangement of footwear, apparel, and accessories would influence the consumer the most to purchase more. These tasks also used some of my accounting skills that I had learned, such as tracking sales, discounts, returns and other revenue.

I learned a lot from my time at Finish Line. Attaining this job taught me how to be professional in a business environment, how to meet strict deadlines and target objectives/goals, how to network and build positive relationships and how to improve my communication skills. It was a positive experience working for a company that emphasizes the importance of the consumers’ experience.

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