Stories

Alumni Spotlight: Using a Master’s Degree to Excel Professionally

  • Janelle Oakes
  • BBA, 2016 / MPS, 2021
Janelle Commerford

Earning both her undergraduate and graduate degrees from LIM College, Janelle furthered her career by making great use of the connections she developed as an LIM intern, as well as taking advantage of the flexibility and convenience of the College’s online master’s degree program.

Please tell us about your role with Walmart.
I am a Site Merchandising Manager driving the beauty experience on Walmart.com. I’ve been with Walmart almost three years and was recently promoted to this role from the Apparel team, where I worked on Elevated Brands and Fashion Partnerships.

What was it like earning your LIM's master's degree online, as a working professional?
Being able to complete my master’s program with remote flexibility was imperative to my success. I worked full-time—often with very demanding hours—throughout my online program.

While it was a challenging workload to manage, being able to complete readings, interact via discussion boards, and view lectures at the most convenient time allowed me to be successful in this program and dedicate the time to completing courses.

How did your LIM education help you advance your career?
The experiences I had and the connections I made during my time at LIM helped propel my career and gave me a competitive advantage as a candidate. 

Undergrad courses such as Applied Concepts in Fashion Merchandising and graduate courses like Developing and Exercising Influence in Organizations gave me a foundational understanding of the business and how to navigate companies and roles with poise.

Professors challenged me to think outside the box, which helped me establish the creative and critical thinking mindset that I apply in my daily life. And through internships, I was able to expand my network and gain valuable experience that helped me get to where I am today.

How did your LIM experience and degree enable you to make the career moves that got you to where you are today?
The internship requirements at LIM helped me build and establish my network that I still leverage today. 

In fact, during my undergraduate program at LIM, I completed my Senior Co-op internship at Saks Fifth Avenue, where I made many wonderful connections who are still my friends and colleagues. One of those connections started a role at Walmart after we met and referred me for my original position with the company three years ago.