Alumni Spotlight: Alyssa Simela (‘08)

Alyssa SimelaSince earning her master's degree with LIM College, Alyssa has been climbing the ladder with one of the largest retailers in the United States. Today, she uses the strategies she learned in her graduate program to help grow of one of the company's popular activewear lines.

What’s happened in your career since you earned your graduate degree?
I started my career at Macy’s in 2008, a few months after I completed my MBA at LIM. I was an Assistant Inventory Planner in Men’s and have grown into being an Omni Merchandise Planner. Currently, my business, the Women’s Active business, is a focus area for Macy’s and continues to grow. With the athleisure trend that’s happening and active lifestyles becoming more important, our business keeps growing.

What did you like best about LIM?
The best things about my program were the professors and the other students. All of the professors had retail experience and extensive teaching experience. They brought their expertise and knowledge to the classroom and tied it back to real-life situations. I also formed great connections and friendships with other people in my classes. I learned a lot from them and we still keep in touch today.

What did you learn at LIM that you’re now using in your current position?
My capstone project was about launching a private label active line at Macy’s. Fast-forward four years and Macy’s actually launched their own private label active line, Ideology, and today I am working with that brand and concentrating on growing it. I’m using some of the research I did for my project and applying some of those takeaways to current strategies.

What advice would you give someone who’s thinking about getting an advanced degree in the business of fashion?
As jobs are becoming more and more competitive, a master’s degree in fashion definitely gives you an advantage over other candidates. Your time in the program will allow you to intern and network to gain invaluable experience and build relationships with professionals all over the industry.

How do you maintain a work/life balance?
I work really hard, but I also enjoy my time off. My husband and I plan weekend getaways with friends and family and also big trips where we don’t check our emails. We try to eat dinner together every night and leave that as our time to chat with each other and not worry about work. I make a conscious effort to not email my team after work hours, and I take half an hour every night to walk my dog without my phone and just enjoy the city.