Aspiring to be a leader who inspires

Taylor Norby.
Taylor Norby will go to work for Kroger as an assistant buyer.

Taylor Norby wants to drive change by becoming a leader and inspiring others toward leadership too.

With a job offer from Kroger in hand, she’s in position to do those things.

To get there, Norby established herself has a hard-working student, and ambitious Fred Meyer intern, and leveraged all the Career Success Center had to offer.

“I attended a resume workshop class that helped me understand what employers are looking for and how to make sure my resume was noticed,” the senior in marketing said. “I never would have known what Beaver Careers was without the CSC telling me about it, and that is eventually how I got my internship, which led to the full-time offer I received. Without help on my resume, I never would have been selected for an interview.”

Norby grew up in Keizer, where she was “heavily involved in music and sports.” She graduated from McNary High School, where her grades were so high she earned two free years at Chemeketa Community College, then transferred to the College of Business.

“I became interested in a degree for business because of others telling me it would open my doors to many different options for my future,” she said. “What led me to making my focus on marketing was my love for working with people and having a desire to increase my creative abilities along with learning how to be strategic with the work that I do.”

Norby spent the summer after her junior year as a store management intern for Fred Meyer, whose parent corporation is grocery-chain giant Kroger.

“Every so often we would go up to the main office to collaborate with the Kroger interns, and through that experience I became intrigued by the potential career path through corporate,” Norby said. “I knew that I would have to go out of my way to get noticed because I was competing with the main office interns while I was working in the store. I contacted the VP of merchandising and she gave me the names of her direct reports that I later set up informational interviews with so they could become familiar with me and also understand their jobs. I also set up job shadows with various buyers and planners in the main office. By taking the initiative, it showed dedication as well as gave me experience and information to talk about during my interview.

“After going through my internship, Fred Meyer hoped that I would pursue management within their stores and work my way to a store director,” she continued. “I told my supervisor early on what my goal was for the end of my internship, and although she really wanted to see me pursue the store route, she gave me all the necessary tools to become prepared for an interview with the corporate office. The VP of merchandising and her direct reports were heavily involved in the decision-making process and the decisions were based on our intern evaluations, project, interview, and overall mesh with the rest of the team. I truly believe that my efforts to reach out to those in the main office helped me tremendously when it came down to receiving a job offer.”

Kroger offered Norby an assistant buyer position. She’ll spend 12 weeks in the company’s general merchandise buyer/planner training program, then 18 months as an assistant buyer and another 18 months as an assistant planner. At the end of those three years, she can choose either the buying or planning route.

“I would like to work my way to a leadership role where I can make a difference and inspire others to work their way to a leadership role as well,” Norby said. “Within Kroger, I can work my way up to divisional merchandise manager and then to a general merchandise manager, which I have set my career goals as something I would like to achieve.”

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