Meet Kelly L., Corporate Strategy Associate at American Eagle Outfitters. Kelly and her team help the AEO executive team create long term strategies, visions and core values. Read on to learn more about Kelly’s journey and career.
How did you get your start in corporate strategy?
My first job after college was at a bank helping companies buy and sell other companies. During my time there I had a lot of fun hearing executives talk about their companies’ vision and long term strategies, so much that I decided I wanted strategics to be my next job! Luckily, our Corporate Strategy team was just getting started and was hiring, and I happened to get in touch with the right people. It’s been a great journey since!
What is a typical day like for you?
What I love about my job is that there is no typical day! Depending on the project, I could be out in the streets of Manhattan looking at different innovative business ideas or building a financial model for a new initiative.
What is your favorite part of your job?
I love working with different departments and learning about the business from multiple angles, so that’s why I am here. What makes my job truly enjoyable is that I work with some of the smartest, most-inspiring and well-balanced people in the industry from whom I learn every day. Recently my team inspired me to become healthier by taking part in the Pittsburgh Half Marathon. It was a big accomplishment!
What is your favorite AE Jean Fit?
Jeggings are definitely my favorite. I have three pairs in Dark Destroy, Purple and Black. They’re so versatile and flattering no matter what you wear with them!
Where is the coolest place you have traveled for your job?
I’m super excited about an upcoming trip to Asia! Although I lived there for a few years before college, it’ll be interesting to go back with a different mindset and purpose.
Does your work influence your personal style?
I don’t typically deal with merchandise, but just working for an apparel retailer has made me more aware of trends. We also have a casual dress code at the office, which has definitely allowed me to explore my own style during the weekday. My friends have commented that I look like an AE mannequin!
You were born in Brazil, grew up in Brazil and Taiwan, and went to college in the US. Do you think these cultural differences influence you?
Over the years I’ve become a blend of all three cultures. In fact Taiwanese people think I’m American, Brazilians think I’m Taiwanese and Americans think I’m Brazilian! Luckily New York is a pretty diverse city and I can always find activities and foods to satisfy my three nationalities. I have really strong Brazilian and Asian food cravings, so I make frequent trips to Astoria, Chinatown and Flushing.
Where do you find your inspiration?
I find inspiration in people, either through personal connections or stories. Extraordinary acts – small and big – happen every day. I try to stop to recognize them and let them inspire me.
Who or what has influenced you most in life?
My parents. My “struggles” as a young adult are so trivial compared to what they went through as Taiwanese immigrants to Brazil in their 20s… It really helps me put things into perspective.
What is next on your life to-do list?
Find a nice and affordable apartment in New York… And dedicate more time to a charitable cause!
What’s on your summer playlist?
I’ve gotten more interested in EDM (electronic dance music) lately, so I’ve been catching up on some of my favorite artists’ songs and mixes.