Style. Integrity. Devotion.

I had the most amazing opportunity to visit Nordstrom’s corporate offices last weekend with the UOAMA and let me tell you, it was breathtaking.

Never have I felt more certain of what I want in life. I have always dreamt of working for Nordstrom Corporate someday, but as soon as I stepped foot in their offices, my dream took on a whole new dimension.

As we walked down the main hallway to the board/meeting room, my eyes were greeted with dozens of dazzling lights and images, all fashion and people related. One of my favorites was the neon sign pictured at right: “Style, integrity, devotion.” There was also a quote from Coco Chanel, a mannequin dressed in a sassy sequin dress, pictures of all the employees nationwide who have done over $1 million sales in a year, and more. I couldn’t get enough of it!

As we entered the board room, a man in horn-rimmed glasses stood there shaking all of our hands and greeting us. Once we had all sat down, he introduced himself as Blake Nordstrom. My ears did a double-take – what!? I had just met one of the Nordstroms? Yes, I did, and he was wonderful.

Blake proceeded to tell us that one of the best things we can do for ourselves as college students is to focus on growing up as a person – study abroad, take an internship, meet new people. It’s not so much about the classes, but about the experiences, and I couldn’t have agreed more. (That is the reason I came to Oregon after all.) He also brought up a really good point: instead of asking ourselves what do we want to do with our lives, why not ask instead what don’t we want to do? It is much easier to narrow things down than to pinpoint that one exact thing. Especially because we are human – things change, we change, so we should expect our dreams and goals to change too.

Anne, the CMO of Nordstrom, then introduced herself to us and gave a very valuable presentation on Nordstrom’s marketing efforts. But more importantly, she stressed one important thing to us that she has learned, and that is to go for your passion in life. Seems obvious, but how often do people get stuck doing what they don’t love? Too often, in my opinion. Anne told us how important it is to do what you love, because that is when you’ll work the hardest, earning the best results.

Anyway, as I sat there listening to Blake and Anne, I fell more in love with the Nordstrom company. It wasn’t just the fashion or the customer service anymore, I realized. It was the entire company philosophy and what they stand for. Blake and Anne were so real with us and their values paralleled mine exactly. I felt like I fit right in and I could picture myself there so easily. Not even that – I felt like I belonged, like it was my calling. My heart truly spoke to me that day.

I know some of my peers would hear that and laugh, but I can’t explain it any other way. It was just so right. One of my goals in life is to work at a place that truly cares for its people and its customers, and I think Nordstrom is the perfect place to begin my journey.

Style. Integrity. Devotion. The more I think about it, the more I realize I can apply these not only to fashion but to life. One must have style everywhere she goes, not only in looks, but in personality. Keep it classy and be the stylish, wonderful woman you are. Have integrity and be the better person. Stand up for your morals and fight for what you believe in. Finally, devote yourself to who and what you love. Love your family, love your friends, love yourself. And once you find that little thing in life that makes your heart skip a beat or your breath quicken, grasp it with both hands and devote your life to it. In the wise words of my father, follow your heart and things will fall into place as they were meant to.

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