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Alumni Spotlight

Molly Gilinsky

Planner at J. Crew Corporate

B.A. in Judaic Studies and Communications, 2015

 

Describe your job responsibilities:
As a Planner for Menswear at J.Crew’s Corporate Office, I invest in product that I think will have high return on investment for the company, while also taking into account market trends. My job is analytical, but gives exposure to the creative side as well. I collaborate with the Merchandising and Supply Chain Teams on a daily basis to ensure we are choosing the right product and putting it in the right place for the customer to buy.

What is the most rewarding part of your work?
When I plan the financials for a season of product, six months later I am able to see whether or not that product sells to my initial projections. It is challenging to strategically estimate what product will sell best, and rewarding when it performs to expectations. It’s also rewarding because I have a passion for fashion and retail, and I get to help bring the best product to J.Crew for customers to purchase.

Tell us about studying at the Frankel Center:
I began my education through the Frankel Center by taking an introductory class by a visiting professor from Israel during my first semester at Michigan. She was so knowledgeable about Jewish literature, and interested in how our lives related to the course material. I began taking more Judaic Studies classes each semester, ultimately receiving a Minor in Judaic Studies. My education through the Frankel Center served as a much needed compliment to my other coursework, challenging me to think critically.

How did your education prepare you for your current job?
My education through the Judaic Studies minor taught me to think critically, and to participate in every conversation. I had a few professors push me to participate in a way that added value and new perspective to the discussion. The coursework and method of learning taught me to speak my mind, not to be afraid to contradict popular opinion, and that new ideas broaden the perspective of the subject. In my job, I am required to think outside of the information in front of me, and to communicate that new perspective to others. Courses through the Frankel Center helped me to find confidence in my ability to communicate new ideas to a larger group of people.

Who are some of the UM professors who inspired you?
Jonathan Freedman! I took two courses with him during my time in the Judaic Studies program, he definitely pushed me to give my opinion more frequently, something that was difficult for me to do at the beginning of my college career.

What advice would you give to students who are considering studying Judaic Studies?
For me, minoring in Judaic Studies was a creative outlet outside of other coursework; creative in the way it made me think and interact with other students. The classes are small, and professors are very knowledgeable - this minor is a great way to make U of M feel a lot smaller! I genuinely enjoyed the course material and other students in the minor, I recommend it to anyone!