Alumni Stories

Jocelyn Altamiranda-Peñalver

Fashion Merchandising

Global Vendor Relations
Miami International University of Art & Design

Jocelyn Altamiranda

[My education] provided the fundamentals needed to be successful—from writing and having to deal with team projects, to presenting. Jocelyn Altmamiranda-Peñalver , Global Vendor Relations Bachelor of Arts in Fashion Merchandising, 2009 , Miami International University of Art & Design
Manages Global Relations with Vendors, Beauty Store Layouts, Vendor Assortments

Jocelyn Altamiranda-Peñalver is the Americas product manager—perfume & cosmetics, for Dufry America, Inc. Her responsibilities are to manage global relations with vendors and ensure coordination with all Dufry departments, manage beauty store layouts and space brand allocation, drive and optimize vendor assortment, run benchmarks and identify new brands to introduce, review introductions of all novelties, and provide forecasts of expected performance. She has been with Dufry America since 2011, starting as a promotions assistant and working her way up to her current position.

She states that as a buyer, there is no typical day in the industry. “It all depends on the time of year, priorities, and projects. At the beginning of the year, we take the opportunity to work on assortment reviews with our vendors.” New items are added to stores four times a year. “We can easily spend two weeks reviewing the files and providing the forecasts for how we think the [items] will perform in the first three months.” Jocelyn also works on new store openings, collaborating with multiple teams to make sure that the process runs smoothly.

She describes a time when she faced the challenge of filling a role vacated by a coworker’s sudden leave of absence. “I was not familiar with her region, as she handled South America. I had to learn the different ways procedures were handled in these operations and maintain the vendor relations. Plus, I continued to handle my responsibilities. It was a very challenging and exhausting time. But I realized that I was able to handle more responsibilities by prioritizing and delegating tasks efficiently to my team.”

Jocelyn, who in 2009 earned a Bachelor of Arts in Fashion Merchandising from Miami International University of Art & Design, says that her education provided insight into the multiple positions she could choose within the industry. “Most importantly, it provided the fundamentals needed to be successful—from writing and having to deal with team projects, to presenting.” Jocelyn admits that working on projects and collaborating as a team member was not always easy, but states that the experience has helped her to complete tasks in her current role.

She encourages current students to take on challenges. “Each problem has a solution. Just sit back and take a moment to think and organize your thoughts and analyze the situation. And don’t be scared to ask questions. This is how you learn.” Jocelyn has also helped others to gain experience while they’re still in school. She contacted her alma mater to start up an internship program for current students at Miami International University of Art & Design. “So far I have supervised a total of five students and I am proud to say that [most] have been able to find a job within the field.”

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