Many enter college unsure of their career path. But early on in her education, University of Arizona graduate Annelise Danielson knew that she wanted a career in the outdoor retailing industry. This dream has led her to a position as a Store Manager for REI.
In the role, Annelise juggles dozens of daily responsibilities that keep her constantly moving—and energized. “I can’t imagine working behind a desk 8+ hours a day and calling that ‘exciting.’ My role as a store manager is multi-faceted. I am an HR rep, an asset protection facilitator, a trainer, developer, leader, and project manager all in one!”
An Engaging Career at REI
Just as REI provides equipment for exploring the wild, the company has also given Annelise the opportunity to travel around the country. After landing a Retail Sales Manager position, Annelise completed her onboard training out of REI Tucson. Next, she headed north to Portland, Oregon to complete the Sales Manager Trainee program.
After a year of professional growth under some of the most talented colleagues she has worked with, she snagged a Sales Manager position in Atlanta and grew into a Store Manager. Though early on in her career, she’s already been entrusted with opening a new REI store in Memphis—a project that has been extremely successful.
Crisscrossing the country has only served to energize Annelise even further. “I have a lot of energy and love getting to work with so many people. I knew that in order to be fulfilled in my career, I would need a position that allowed autonomy to work as an individual contributor as well as lead others to future success. The store management position has been a fantastic fit so far!”
“I knew that in order to be fulfilled in my career, I would need a position that allowed autonomy to work as an individual contributor as well as lead others to future success.”
Flourishing as Store Manager
This UA grad’s role as Store Manager certainly keeps her busy, as she oversees all operations. In addition to being responsible for decisions within and outcomes of the store, she’s also tasked with developing a culture that is representative of REI’s brand and core values—something she said was relatively natural because her personal values align so closely with the brand’s.
Expanding her HR role ever further, Annelise hires, develops, and leads employees who carry out the day-to-day roles within the store. Meanwhile, she crafts an environment where the staff are engaged, inclusive, and goal-oriented. She does all of this while also balancing the store’s long-term strategy with developing action plans to quickly improve store teams, sales, and operations.
For Annelise, her journey has placed her in the middle of some of the world’s fastest growing industries. “If you want to be involved in one of the largest growing economic sectors in the world and be on the cutting edge of consumer trends, pursue a degree in retailing.”
From traveling the country to discovering new professional opportunities, Annelise’s career path is proof that the opportunities in retail are truly endless.