Before COVID-19 sent Christine Tran to her home office, she was working at Hudson Yards in New York City as an associate manager for global digital product at Tapestry. Tapestry is the parent company of Coach, Kate Spade, and Stuart Weitzman. There she manages 19 eCommerce sites across the world. “My marketing education at TCNJ helped me land a marketing internship with Calvin Klein,” said Tran. “Parts of my internship involved providing copy and imagery for the Calvin Klein website, which was my first glimpse into the world of digital and eCommerce. I instantly knew that digital was where I wanted to build my career given the direction the retail industry was moving (i.e., away from traditional brick and mortar stores), and the countless opportunities for innovation online.”
Tran also enjoys cooking and recreating dishes from her favorite restaurants, which she showcases on the blog she started during quarantine. You can follow along on Instagram @xtinesplate.
The first question I usually get when I say this is, “what is a digital product? You mean the handbags that you’re selling on the site?”
Not quite — a digital product in the website/tech world is any page, feature, or element on a website that you may see or interact with. For example, the picture banners you see on the homepage, the filter/sort options on a category page, and the add to bag button on a product page are all examples of various digital products. The actual pages themselves are also considered digital products!
In my role, I conceptualize, plan, innovate, and oversee the development of these digital products with the ultimate responsibility to deliver a frictionless shopping journey for our customer, and a high-functioning, revenue-driving website for each of our brands. Another huge part of this job is to act as the voice for the customer and brand when working with web designers and developers. The ability to translate customer and brand needs into technical requirements that designers and developers will then use as a blueprint when building our sites is critical.
How has COVID-19 impacted your day-to-day working experience? Thankfully my job is the heart of digital, so I can do my job from pretty much anywhere and not much has changed other than not having to physically go into the office. However, for the meetings where being physically present really makes a difference, I’m loving all the creative ways my team has found to translate the physical into digital. For example, we’ve been using mural.co for our brainstorming sessions. When we were together, we’d whiteboard and throw sticky notes up all over the walls. This app allows us all to build sticky note boards together in real time (similar to how Google Docs lets multiple people edit a document at the same time), which I’ve found super fun and helpful!
Words of advice to current students during these times? I know this is a very uncertain time for all of us where our futures can seem unpredictable and impossible to plan for. I’ve come to learn that much of the business world is the same — we can forecast revenue, study historical data and research industry trends; yet we still won’t know for certain what will happen to our businesses tomorrow. This can mean that more often than not, you will be asked to be reactive vs. proactive and pivot in multiple directions to help your team respond to external factors, or simply because your leadership team changed their mind. Being flexible and agile, especially during times of ambiguity, are hugely important (and underestimated!) skills in business. I think the chaos going on in the world right now can be viewed as an opportunity for us all to sharpen these soft skills; just try to maintain positivity and lean in.