Transforming Retail: Karen Chroback’s new marketing skills improve customer engagement at Bloomingdales

Karen Chroback

A Leader in Modern Retail: Meet Karen C.

Karen Chroback, a seasoned business manager at Bloomingdale’s in New Jersey, has honed her expertise in retail over fifteen years with Macy’s, the parent company. She works in the department store and leads a team of Omni Sellers who are on the frontlines of customer engagement.

Omni Sellers are the dedicated professionals you engage with when you click ‘Chat with Us’ on Bloomingdale’s website. They utilize social channels and digital media to understand and cater to customer needs, creating a seamless shopping experience that begins long before the customer steps foot in the store.


Adapting new Digital Marketing trends

Karen’s role requires her to expertly combine in-store and online strategies to optimize customer satisfaction. Recognizing the rapid evolution of digital marketing trends, she decided to enhance her skills further and stay ahead of the curve in areas such as strategy, marketing, customer engagement, and sales.

“Marketing and technology have evolved and re-invented the in-store experience. They inform every part of our business. I took Pathstream’s Digital Marketing Certificate to upskill and add value in my current role or possibly move into a digital marketing role at corporate down the line.”


Enhancing her Digital Marketing skills by taking a Pathstream certificate program

Through its generous tuition assistance program, Karen’s employer, Bloomingdale’s, demonstrates a strong commitment to employee growth and development. Offering a hand-picked selection of learning programs, the company empowers its employees to reach their professional aspirations and encourages upward mobility within the organization.

Karen found Pathstream’s Digital Marketing Certificate with content strategy when searching for digital marketing courses in Bloomingdale’s e-learning catalog. She then used her tuition assistance fund to enroll in the program, incurring no personal cost to take the program. 

“I am so lucky to work for an employer that values and encourages continuous learning. They [Macy’s and Bloomingdale’s] give us opportunities to develop, grow, and take on new roles. In my opinion, employers who invest in their employees’ education will see a phenomenal return on their investment, as their employees can advance and apply skills while they learn.”



Karen’s experience with Pathstream

Pathstream’s certificate programs are designed with adult learners in mind. Dozens of companies, from Macy’s to Walmart, offer our programs to their employees because our flexible structure allows employees to learn outside of working hours.

Karen said, “The program was online and super flexible. When I was busier at work, I could do less; when I had more time, I could invest it in the program. Ultimately, it fit into my schedule well and was easy to manage.”

She also appreciated the way Pathstream developed the program.

 “The program content was rich and informative. I liked how each course was designed to engage students through reading, videos, labs, and projects. Each project mirrored a real business scenario, and we studied examples of marketing campaigns that actual companies launched. I could revisit content anytime and add projects to my professional portfolio.”


She also valued the feedback she received from instructors. She shared, “I don’t think I can ever remember getting such detailed and personal feedback on coursework in my entire life. Whether the project was challenging or I aced it, the feedback was so good that I learned as much from it as from the coursework.”


Karen’s strategic application of Pathstream learnings at Bloomingdale’s

As Karen navigated through Pathstream’s Digital Marketing Certificate Program, her perspective on her role within Bloomingdale’s began to shift dramatically. “Marketing,” she reflected, “is a universal discipline. Everyone, in some way, is constantly marketing their ideas.” This insight was transformative for Karen, helping her understand the vital importance of consumer decision-making processes in all aspects of the business.

“I’ve been applying the skills I’m learning to what I’m doing at work — the creativity, the point of driving business through marketing, knowing how consumers make decisions. Really, the strategy behind everything I’ve learned so far can be applied to my role here, which is to drive business.”

Armed with the strategies and tactics she learned through Pathstream, she found herself invigorated, ready to take these tools and apply them directly to her role at Bloomingdales.

Karen recognized that her customers were omnichannel – they were just as likely to engage with the brand through digital and social media channels as they were to walk into the physical store. And as the manager of in-store professionals who were available for online chats on Bloomingdale’s website, she saw firsthand the intersections of in-store and digital interactions.

“My team of Omni Sellers, we’re still in the early stages of using social media and developing a presence for our individual sellers and stores. I want to work with my team to drive our business through social channels, and I’m absolutely using all the knowledge that I learned in the course, especially the analytics portion, to drive sales through social media. I began to ideate and recommend each physical store have its own social media account to engage with local customers, share new products, and bring them into the store. “


Embracing a lifelong learning mindset

Karen’s learning journey isn’t over yet. A spark has been lit within her – a drive to learn even more about marketing analytics. The program exposed her to Google Analytics, and she was instantly captivated by the potential of data analysts to turn raw numbers into compelling business insights. The possibilities seem endless for Karen, and her journey with Pathstream is just the beginning.

“Honestly, I’ve been so motivated by this program. It’s not only the program’s content, but it’s also tested my critical thinking skills. I love how it tests my creativity. I’m learning new analytical skills. And I’m happy in my role! And my manager even suggested the idea of moving into a marketing role here. This experience was a launching point.”


Karen’s final advice to prospective students:

“You can never stop learning. The benefit of a certificate program is that it offers you an accelerated form of learning. It will challenge you and give you essential hands-on experience as if you were on the job. When you’re ready to commit the time to the program, you should enroll because it’s good to challenge yourself and learn more.”


Discover Your Untapped Potential: Explore your employer’s education benefits today

Unlock your potential and reshape your retail career by tapping into your education benefits. Follow the path of Karen Chroback, who leveraged Bloomingdale’s tuition assistance to enroll in a Pathstream Digital Marketing Certificate program at no personal cost. Not sure where to start? If you’re unsure of your employer’s benefits, read our short blog on how to access employer tuition reimbursement programs.

If you already work with an employer that uses Guild Education, login into your portal to learn more about the programs Pathstream offers.


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