The digital explosion is changing retail, it’s more numbers oriented now, and I think that’s going to make it a lot more attractive to MBAs than it has been in the past.
Digital marketing was practically in the stone ages when Carly Rosenberg graduated from Tuck in 2005 and went to work as a marketing manager at Saks Fifth Avenue. Facebook and the world of social media barely existed. Advertising was pushed out to broad, nondescript audiences, and mobile platforms were in their infancy. Now Facebook has 1.5 billion users, advertisements are hyper-personalized, and “everyone shops on their mobile phone,” Rosenberg said. “So if you don’t have a strong approach to mobile marketing you’re in big trouble.”
Bluefly, the e-commerce apparel retailer, is not in big trouble. Rosenberg was recently named president of the 18-year old company, and she just led an effort to create and launch a new responsive website for the business, allowing desktop and mobile users to have the same shopping experience.
Spearheading this transformative project for Bluefly was a natural progression for Rosenberg, who has worked her way through the ranks of digital retail with aplomb. Before Tuck, she was a marketing manager at Sur la Table. At Saks, she was promoted within a year from marketing manager to director of marketing, in charge of the company’s digital acquisition marketing. Then came a four-year stint as the director of e-commerce marketing for J. Crew, followed by four more years at Ann Taylor and Loft.
Rosenberg has stuck with digital marketing because of its exciting, ever-changing nature, and the fact that it marries her love of creativity with her quantitative skills. “The digital explosion is changing retail,” she said. “It’s more numbers oriented now, and I think that’s going to make it a lot more attractive to MBAs than it has been in the past.”
Still, as the chief marketing officer and then the president of Bluefly, Rosenberg has had to call on some of the softer skills she learned at Tuck, such as leadership and teamwork. An example is the yearlong process of launching the responsive site. When she joined the project, the chief technology officer who was running it had just left.
“The first thing I did was fly to our platform developer’s headquarters with my team and sat down with everyone in the same room,” she recalled. “I reminded them that we had one task, which was to launch the new site, so everyone had to check their egos at the door. We had to talk through what they didn’t like about us, and what we didn’t like about them. It was literally like a mediation.” Rosenberg successfully re-oriented the teams to collaborate and focus on the outcome. After the site launched in late March, Rosenberg declared the relationship healed. “I’m in touch with their CTO, we have drinks together, and our teams love each other,” she said.
Rosenberg credits her study group experience at Tuck with helping her navigate that delicate job. She was the only woman in a diverse group of students, and they didn’t always agree, but they delivered the final product together. “I think that’s life in business: solving problems as a team,” she said. “The study groups mirror the real work experience.”
Rosenberg also thinks back frequently to her Negotiations course, most recently when she had to renegotiate contracts for Bluefly. “That course gave me the confidence to stick to my guns and not give up too much,” she said. “I feel like Tuck really prepared me well for the role I’m currently in.”
True to her description of digital retail, Bluefly is changing again, and this time Rosenberg is at the helm. The business is going from a conventional retail operation to a marketplace. It will no longer buy inventory and sell it on the website. Instead, Bluefly will market products to consumers, and the individual brands or their distributors will drop ship the items to buyers. “It’s a big trend right now in retail,” she said, “and it’s a way to get scale and also to manage your costs, because you’re not shelling out cash for inventory.” Now Rosenberg is looking at cash flow and profit and loss statements and shaping the broader direction of the company—in short, being a general manager. “Now I have to understand the full spectrum: strategy, marketing, finance, accounting,” she said. “It really touches on every skill set I learned at Tuck.”
Kristiana Helmick T’98 has had three very different jobs in the last decade. And all at a single company: Amazon.Read More
When Ana Sanchez D'97 T’03 joined Colgate-Palmolive in 2003, she thought she’d only stay for a few years and move on. Nearly 15 years and a couple of international assignments later, she’s still with the company, serving as its UK marketing director.Read More
Cassie Lancellotti-Young T’11 came to Tuck with a passion for marketing. Today she’s leveraging that passion and the teamwork skills she learned at Tuck to help major retailers enhance their customers’ experiences.Read More
Very few people can say that the shoe business is in their blood. Tom Slosberg D’90, T’99 is one of them.Read More
How to breathe new life into one of the country’s oldest companies? During his twenty years at King Arthur Flour Company, former president Steve Voigt T'86 did it by embracing people’s love of something timeless: baking.Read More
For Tom Christie T’85, the COO of Showtime, show business has been the proving ground for an unforgettable lesson from Tuck.Read More
Bill McLaughlin D'78, T’81 is leading America’s oldest mail-order company into the digital future, while mentoring its next generation of leaders.Read More
At Tuck, Heather King D'81, T'86 dove into an independent study that laid the groundwork for a career that included stops at Apple, NeXT and the experience-design firm Eight Inc.Read More
Cris Rivera T'08 loves a good challenge, which is part of what drew him—an avowed city lover and marketing wonk—to Tuck.Read More
The Chinese economy has grown tremendously since 1989, and so have the opportunities for enterprising Tuck graduates, like Nancy Zhuo T'13.Read More
Beth Spruance T'96 began her career insuring boards of directors at American International Group (AIG), but found herself more interested in the companies she was insuring.Read More
Helen W. Kurtz
As vice president of marketing and integration excellence for General Mills, Helen Kurtz T’97 oversees everything from multicultural and cause marketing to brand design and risk management.Read More
Fluent in four languages and passionate about entrepreneurship, Michelle Mooradian D’95, T’04 went from her post-Tuck consulting job at Opera Solutions to spend almost five years working for McKinsey’s Rio de Janeiro office.Read More
MassMutual CMO and T'86 John Chandler’s data-driven approach to marketing has propelled the venerable life insurance company to the upper echelons of the industry and transformed the way it tells its story. And he’s only getting started.Read More
After working in marketing and academic administration, Kristen Balderston T'84 took a 20-year hiatus to raise two children before returning to the workforce to help other women do the same.Read More
T’87 Jeff Coleman’s quest for better nutrition led him to a new, whole-food fuel for athletes and a surprising second act.Read More
Director of global strategy Leslie Hampel T’07 is helping chart a bold future for the coffee retailer.Read More
After gaining experience at several software startups, Gail Goodman T’87 launched her own in 1999. As CEO of Constant Contact, Goodman has helped more than a half-million small-business customers navigate a rapidly evolving industry.Read More
CEO Jim Weber T’86 transformed Brooks Running Company from a dying shoe manufacturer into a premium running brand, and he’s not done yet.Read More
At LinkedIn, Leela Srinivasan T'06 helped corporate recruiters find top talent.Read More
Joe Santos D'95, T'00 is the co-founder of the boutique, New York-based distillery Brooklyn Craft Works, and the creator of craft spirit Brooklyn Gin.Read More
When you visit your local health food store or supermarket, you might notice a new natural sensitive toothpaste from Tom’s of Maine; Lindsay Batastini T'09 has been working on the creation and launch of "Rapid Relief" for almost three years.Read More
Former Timberland CEO Jeff Swartz T’84 won people over—one eco-friendly piece of gear at a time—with a deeply held belief that doing good in the world is also good for the bottom line.Read More