How does a major corporation respond to economic events in the news, such as a newly imposed tariff or a drop in the stock market? For Liam Moran ’19, majoring in economics at Kenyon sparked an interest in corporate finance issues like these. Enrolling in the Macy’s Executive Development Program has helped him turn that curiosity into marketable skills and knowledge, which he uses today in the legendary retailer’s finance division. “Macy’s lets you apply world events to the financial functioning of a business,” Moran said. “It’s like you’re weathering this storm, and you get to decide how you help Macy’s get through it.”
Every year, recent college graduates enter the Macy’s Executive Development Program in one of seven areas. For Moran, this was the corporate finance track, based in Cincinnati. Over the course of two years, participants are trained in the ins and outs of working at a Fortune 500 company. “Macy’s is such a big company really at the helm of retail, which is changing quickly and dramatically,” Moran said. “It’s really exciting to get to be part of it.” Moran currently works in Financial Planning and Analysis doing corporate reporting, which includes monthly results forecasting and presentations, long-range sales plans and seasonal expense plans.
At the suggestion of Professor of Economics Jay Corrigan, Moran applied to the program and secured a position in August of his senior year. He had previously interned at Macy’s in 2018, so the decision to apply was a natural one, especially with the encouragement of his Kenyon swimming teammates: “There was a steady pipeline of Kenyon swimmers getting internships at Macy’s that turned into jobs,” Moran said. “Everyone spoke highly of the culture there: they said it was uplifting, accepting, but also competitive.”
That’s not the only similarity between the Kenyon and Macy’s communities. “The program is kind of a liberal arts view of the corporate world,” Moran said. “You complete four six-month rotations, in either a finance or accounting track. So you get the opportunity to try a few different departments, which is really special.”
Macy’s is a uniquely immersive employer, which Moran cites as a major benefit of the program. “They really invest in your future,” he said. “I have the opportunity to be at the intersection between our divisions and upper management. As a newcomer to the company, I actually have a dramatic impact on the business.”
Macy’s empowers their employees through a robust training program involving a vast range of professional skills. For Kenyon students, this style of learning is familiar. “It really gives you a breadth of knowledge so you can be successful anywhere,” Moran said. “You gain the knowledge and finance skills to be a leader at Macy’s, but you also have the critical thinking skills from Kenyon to make the most of all these opportunities.” Moran still remembers his Integrated Program for Humane Studies (IPHS) coursework in his training sessions. “I learned to appreciate breadth in Professor [of Humanities Tim] Shutt’s classes, and the same interdisciplinary learning came up at Macy’s, too. There’s never going to be a day when I stop learning at Macy’s.”
Those who complete the Executive Development Program are guaranteed a placement at Macy’s, an opportunity Moran intends to take advantage of. His future plans include pursuing an MBA and making a visit to campus on Oct. 2 as a representative of the program. “Making connections is the biggest part of getting a job,” he said. “So go to the CDO, take advantage of the Kenyon Career Network, perfect your resume so it tells a story — that stuff only takes a few minutes, but the effects are tenfold.”