Lucy Simpson

RCS Internship Coordinator

Service Management has been a key component of my professional life. Most of it has been spent in the retailing industry, including 17 years experience with one company. I have both merchandising experience as a buyer and a divisional merchandise manager and store management experience as an assistant store manager and store manager. For six years I was the co-owner of a small business, and I have been Internship Coordinator since October, 2001.

My main focus is on preparing students for the fulfilling career they can achieve in retailing. As a 1978 Masters graduate, I am interested in continuing the strong reputation of the Retail and Consumer Science program at the University of Tennessee. Students need to understand what the retail industry is; to be trained in the basic retail and merchandise principles, and understand the challenges of managing people in the retail environment. This can be accomplished in the classroom, but a key element is actual work experience. My goal is to advise the students with realistic expectations, guide them in choosing the best work experiences, and match them to the best internship program that will benefit their future career success. As they are completing their internship, I monitor their progress and are able to council them with their on-the-job experiences.

Another important aspect of my position is to continually work with our industry partners to evaluate our program and courses to meet the current needs of the retail industry. I am also interested in tracking and evaluating the success of our students after graduation.