What do you do for a living?

I am an assistant buyer for Dallas Cowboys merchandising.

How would you describe what you do?

Well we have forty retail stores that we buy apparel and merchandise for like clothes and games. I assist the two buyers with selecting merchandise and then watching sales, watching margins, watching inventory, etc.

What does your work entail?

There are a lot of reports and looking at sales on the previous days, and the margins. We’re always watching how our margin is compared to inventory.

How did you get started at your job?

I just kind of got lucky through word of mouth and other people that I knew in the company. And then I got promoted from being successful as a manager. I was at one store for a year and then at another store for a year and then I moved to the corporate office.

What do you like about your job?

I like that it’s different every day. I like getting to pick out the merchandise. I like the people I work with. I like that I can still be involved in the retail part of it without having to actually work in the store. I think basically I like it’s that it’s always changing and it’s just been an exciting company working for a football team. So it’s just fun.

Is there anything that you dislike?

It can be different each day. But a lot of things can be the same too.

How do you make money or how are you compensated?

Salary. I’ve gotten bonuses but right now I’m not really set up on a bonus structure. I’m in more of a support role than an actual buyer.

How much money do you make as an assistant buyer?

$42,000 salary.

What education or skills are needed for your job?

You should have either my degree which is a Bachelor’s in Merchandising or some kind of business degree because it is a lot of understanding numbers that we use every day. I definitely think it is good to move up from being a manager so you understand how a store works. That way you’re not just buying for something you’ve never worked in before. I think that’s probably most important, just experience and knowing what you’re doing.

What is the most challenging about what you do?

I think that for me it’s mostly the amount of material to learn. I’ve been there almost a year and I’ve learned a ton but there’s still a whole lot that I feel like I’m learning every day.

What is the most rewarding?

Seeing the stores do good when you pick out a piece of merchandise or an article or clothing or something and it sells out really well and the stores like it, your managers like it, your customers like it.

Is there any advice that you would offer to someone considering this career?

You would definitely have to be willing to work the hours and move up in the store. I think that’s something they look for, somebody that has experience in a store and just kind of understands the ins and outs of the job.

How much time off do you get or do you take?

I get two weeks vacation.

What is a common misconceptions people have about what you do?

I guess a lot of people think buyers just get to go and pick out stuff and that’s it, like shopping, when really we have to know how items do in a retail environment. We have to study it from year to year. We have to see how things trend and look at numbers etc. It’s not just picking out merchandise.

What are your goals and dreams for the future?

I’m hoping I can learn enough and be successful enough to maybe become a full time buyer and probably the women’s buyer if I stay with the Cowboys.

Is there anything else you would like people to know about what you do?

When I was in school I thought I wanted to be a buyer because it’s fun and you could just go shopping for a living.  You get to do that and that is fun, but there’s also math and meeting with senders and knowing your product and knowing your stores and who you’re buying for, who your customers are, and all that. So it’s much more than just shopping.