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The NRF Foundation shapes retail’s future by building awareness of the industry through statistics and stories; developing talent through education, experiences and scholarships; and fostering career growth among people who work in retail.

The NRF Foundation shapes retail’s future by building awareness of the industry through statistics and stories; developing talent through education, experiences and scholarships; and fostering career growth among people who work in retail.

Dream BIG Scholarship

Heather Jacobsen

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Heather Jacobsen Assistant Store Manager, Stein Mart

Heather Jacobsen
Assistant Store Manager
Stein Mart

Drafted to become part of an elite special ops team

As the assistant store manager at the Stein Mart in Wheaton, Ill., Heather Jacobsen is responsible for all of the tasks normally associated with that position — training new associates, processing payroll, merchandising the store and much more. But at certain times of the year, she also assumes a new identity — a member of the company’s elite A-Team.

Handpicked to become part of that special operations team by her regional vice president six years ago, Heather and other top managers now travel to new stores across the country before their grand openings to train the new staff, merchandise the floors and generally ensure things will run smoothly when the doors open. While she says that the work can be intense, so are the payoffs. “The techniques I have learned and the procedures I have mastered during these openings have been unparalleled.”

“The techniques I have learned and the procedures I have mastered during these openings have been unparalleled.”

Heather plans to pursue a University of Phoenix bachelor’s in accounting with her Dream BIG scholarship, a degree that she believes will be tremendously useful as she continues her career trajectory and works within the ever-evolving environment that is modern retail. “I love the challenge, the organized chaos, the energy, the pressure and the influx of creative ideas,” she says.