Liz Williams Payne ’08 Assistant Manager, lululemon athletica

I'm currently an Assistant Manager and Visual Merchandising Store Opening Superstar (yes, that's a real job title) at lululemon athletica, a yoga inspired athletic clothing company. I was an English major and never took a single business class, but now I'm responsible for everything related to running a business smoothly and efficiently, from hiring and performance management to reviewing profit and loss statements and managing financial sales plans. In my visual merchandising role, I travel around the country training new teams to prepare them for their store opening. Being an English major prepared me for my career by teaching me valuable analytical skills that I need to accurately assess the needs of my business and my people. What are our strengths? Trends? Weaknesses? I not only identify those themes and patterns, but also create a solution to address what I see. When you understand what motivates a character or what the theme is in literature, you can create a thesis statement and write a paper; in business, you can create a solution to address it and improve upon existing practices.