Beginning in Retail: Jennifer’s Career Path

Jennifer Kolde began her career in the HR field. However, after juggling caregiving responsibilities, she moved to Ohio and started a role as a salesperson at Macy’s in 2013. Within a year, she had been promoted to a salesfloor supervisor role. She quickly advanced to becoming a training coordinator and then instructional designer and learning solutions designer for Macy’s, building courses and modules to help Macy’s sales, customer services, and collections employees perform critical elements of their jobs.


New Challenge: Embracing Data Analytics

Nine years into her career at Macy’s, Jennifer was eager to keep advancing and wanted to pursue new opportunities. When Macy’s rolled out education benefits a few months ago, she signed up for Pathstream’s Tableau Data Analytics Certificate

While working through the first course, one of her coworkers forwarded her an internal job opportunity that she thought sounded perfect. It was for a Labor Relations Coordinator role based out of Macy’s corporate office to allow Jennifer to leverage her past expertise in HR. 


Leveraging New Skills: Landing the Ideal Job

However, the job also required data analysis skills, including generating reports, tables, and graphs to reveal HR insights. Jennifer says that her experience in the Pathstream certificate is what essentially allowed her to ‘seal the deal’ and land the internal promotion. 

“Sometimes you need that final piece that puts you a step ahead of other candidates,” Jennifer says, “I landed this job in part because I knew what a pivot table was. Prior to taking the Pathstream program, I couldn’t answer questions about pivot tables in an interview. Those skills were the cherry on top of my resume.”


Applying New Skills In Her New Role

 “In my new role, I’ll be doing things like payroll deductions, and I’ll need to ensure that those types of things are accurate. From the Pathstream course, I learned about how to clean data which will be essential in this role. I’m confident that they want pivot tables and heat maps with the data so that the data can speak for itself. Before I got access to this benefit through Guild, Macy’s had not offered anything similar through other universities or anything like that… in the Pathsream courses I took, the labs were helpful because they were hands-on. Pathstream taught practical, real-world things. You described how these skills played out in real life, which was very valuable.”


Jennifer’s Final Piece of Advice 

Jennifer says this education benefit has made her a loyal Macy employee.

“They’re really committed to having people advance their careers. It’s a great ROI for them. These programs help people get broader in their own roles and enable people to master some of the tools that are required to do their jobs better. And they also create a general feeling of satisfaction and accomplishment, and you can say, ‘My company helped me do it, and I didn’t have to pay money.’ That definitely increases my loyalty to my company. At Macy’s, investing in their own people is part of the corporate culture. One of our core values is to get better every day. And this offering is a very clear indicator that you really do have the opportunity as a Macy’s employee to get better every day.”

Jennifer’s journey is a powerful example of how investing in new skills can unlock exciting career advancements. Are you ready to add that ‘cherry on top’ of your resume like she did? 

Our Tableau Data Analytics Certificate is designed to equip you with practical, real-world skills that employers value. Learn more about our program today. 


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