Manager of Merchandising Strategy
Shilla Duty Free (Seoul)
(ZLOG Class of 2012)
1. Describe your current job responsibilities:
I currently work for Shilla duty free, which is the 7th largest travel retail business in the world as well as one of Samsung's divisions. As a manager of the Merchandising (MD) Strategy dept., I am responsible for helping our buyers to follow up the company's S&OP process and efficiently manage buying cost.
2. Describe your career path before you attended ZLOG:
Before ZLC, I worked for a major Korean fashion company, Eland, for 8 years. Most of the time, I worked at the oversea office in Shanghai. As a fashion merchandising manager, I drew up annual and monthly budgets and managed the complete merchandising process, including forecasting, allocation, inventory & lead time management and so on.
3. Why did you decide to attend ZLOG?
Successful fashion merchandising managers need to develop both trend insight and analytic skills. Many managers, however, are short of the latter. I believe that a strong degree in Supply Chain Management (SCM) is the right approach to gain these skills, and this was what I was looking for when I discovered the ZLOG program. Furthermore, I had no doubt that MIT and the MIT SCALE network offers the best Masters education within the SCM field.
4. What are the most valuable assets you gained through your ZLOG experience?
SCM is not just a practical study for the fashion business but a crucially important field across industries. Through ZLOG I was able to develop analytical skills and enhance my discernment for how to match a company's supply chain to its strategy.
5. How did your ZLOG degree impact your job search?
The reputation of MIT and the MIT SCALE network made my resume stand out. In my case, my career vision was in the Asian market, so focused on finding a position in Asia. Thanks to the ZLOG degree and my diverse background, I was able to enter an outstanding retailing company. In Korea, SCM is not a very familiar subject even though many people have ever heard what SCM is and how important it is. My company also just started implementing S&OP to its operation process, and I believe that my ZLOG background was quite attractive for them when I applied.
6. Does your ZLOG education affect the way you currently do your job?
The role of buyers in the merchandising department is to improve the company's margin structure through effective negotiation and to increase forecasting accuracy from the S&OP process. All the knowledge from ZLOG in terms of Negotiation, Forecasting, and Inventory management directly help me to understand company's direction and to manage my team.
7. What would you say to a prospective student thinking about joining the ZLOG program?
My first impression in ZLOG was that every student was superb and passionate. It proves how ZLOG recruits its students. I learned a lot from my peers as well as the excellent professors. I strongly believe that, through the ZLOG education and thesis work, all of you will meet a variety of SCM issues and have great opportunities to implement them.