‘Making a connection with the customer’: Student says success is about relationships

By Lydia Hansen

Staff Writer

lydia.hansen1961@mb.rctc.edu

With the cost of education on the rise, many students find it necessary to make time in their already busy schedules for a job.

Some apply for work-study positions here at RCTC, or gain on-the-job experience through an internship. But for the majority of student workers, employment takes the form of one or more part-time jobs in any number of places.

Nana Kyei-Baffour is just one of those many students who make time in their lives to hold down a job, but she’s no slouch about it. For the past 16 months, she’s worked as a sales associate at the Macy’s store in Rochester’s Apache Mall. Because of her class schedule, she gets mainly weekend hours, but still puts in an average of 20 hours per week —and somehow manages to do her homework, too.

As a full-time student, she says “It really helps working weekends because I can focus on school during the weekday.”

Although as a student her working hours are limited, the time she spends on the job is definitely devoted to her responsibilities.

“My job is to serve the customer to the best of my ability,” Kyei-Baffour explained.

She works both at the register and on the floor and interacts with customers in different roles that require her to tailor her service to their specific needs.

“Customers will ask my opinion on if certain clothing items go together,” she said, “and if a customer is looking for a certain size or color, I check to see if we have it.”

Every day presents a new set of challenges, but she says “it’s something I enjoy because I am taking a step into my career choice.”

Kyei-Baffour has almost completed her associate’s degree and plans to transfer to a four-year college this spring to finish with a bachelor’s degree in fashion marketing. Her Macy’s job experience has helped her become familiar with this field. She’s learned how crucial it is to advertise and market the products that appeal to target audiences.

“It’s more than just selling clothes,” she said. “It’s making a connection with the customer.”

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