Karen Yokiel

Karen Yokiel

Year of Graduation: 2005
Major: Economics
Current Position: Buyer

Please give a brief description of your position.
I am the buyer for laptops at Best Buy. I manage a portion of the overall laptop business and the category strategy to achieve business performance goals.  I am responsible for the in-store and online laptop assortment as well as in-store merchandising and multi-channel pricing.

What path did you follow to arrive to this position?   I worked at General Mills briefly out of school and moved to Best Buy where I started in inventory management and worked my way through different electronics categories and have ended up on the buying side for laptops.

What advice/suggestions do you have for students who might be interested in your career?  If you like the fast paced retail environment and have a passion for buying, (if you think about it every product in every store has a buyer) it may be the job for you.  There are retailers everywhere.   If you are interested, I would suggest doing a job shadow or an informational session with someone at a company that interests you. 

What skills are important in your field?  Negotiation, Analytical, Forecasting, Financial Acumen, Adaptability, Teamwork

What are the most challenging and satisfying parts of your job? 
The most challenging would be the fast pace environment of a retail business.  Things change on a daily basis and you have to be able to adapt quickly to the situation to be at the forefront of the industry.  The most satisfying would be choosing a product to sell in stores and having it be a success.  It's pretty cool to know it was your decision and actions that made it best-selling across the country.

What activities/experiences were helpful at CSB/SJU (and elsewhere) in preparation for your current career? I think a lot of my econ classes helped me understand how to forecast and look at things in a different way.  You don't necessarily use the exact learning from your classes but they give you a great foundation for thinking and acting in the workplace.  I also didn't realize how much teamwork comes into play in the workplace.  I played tennis at CSB and the teamwork and camaraderie as well as competition really helped me understand how to navigate my new "team" in the workplace.