Alumni Stories

Cheryl Casey

Fashion Marketing & Management

Business Manager for Neiman Marcus
The Art Institute of Pittsburgh


My education at The Art Institute of Pittsburgh steered me to take school seriously; I graduated with a 3.9. I am very proud of that! Cheryl Casey , Business Manager for Neiman Marcus 1986 , The Art Institute of Pittsburgh

Business Manager for Neiman Marcus

Cheryl Casey is a business manager for Neiman Marcus, responsible for managing sales, events, budgets, training and education, and working as a product specialist. She says that a typical work day involves checking in with her team to find out who needs assistance or tools, completing monthly budgets reports, checking in on international distributors regarding their marketing and sales needs, meeting with the design team on product and packaging development, and completing presentations for the board of directors quarterly update. She also spends time catching up on her emails from vendors, buyers, manufacturers, and sales teams.

In her career, she’s worked for The Walt Disney Company, Fossil Inc., and Seiko Inc. She’s also worked in partnership with Warner Bros., Mattel, Pixar, Sega, Michael Kors, and Donna Karan—and helped to build the brands at Nordstrom's, Macy's, Costco, Walmart, and Target.

Cheryl, who in 1986 earned an Associate of Science in Fashion Marketing from The Art Institute of Pittsburgh, says that her education forced her to take school seriously. “I graduated with a 3.9 GPA [after not being] the best student in high school. Leaving my small town to live in Pittsburgh and attend The Art Institute of Pittsburgh was my opportunity to excel so I could be something in life and have a successful career.” She explains that she didn’t have much money growing up and her parents could not afford to pay for her higher education. “I took out student loans to pay for classes so I learned very quickly that when it is your own money, you better spend it right and make it count!”

She adds that she was motivated to study hard and stay focused on her goals. “I received an internship with Brooks Fashions, a small boutique chain back in the day, [while in school]. After graduation, I was accepted into the buyer-training program with Hess's Department Store corporate headquarters in Allentown, PA. Only a few of us were selected after an extensive interview process.”

Cheryl describes herself as a visual learner who likes charts, graphs, pictures, slide shows, and videos. “When you interject learning with creativity and even a bit of humor, it can really impact your message. No two people learn the same way or retain information the same way, so finding ways to reach your audience is a lot of the battle.” She says that she once called the president of a company that she hoped to work for many times over the course of three months, just to get in the door. “Perseverance pays off. I’ve had to get creative in finding ways to network, get jobs completed, and drive sales. If you want it bad enough, it will happen.”

She admits that it can be difficult starting a new job, but she recommends that new employees look, listen, and learn. “Listen for a long time. You'll know who is there to support you and help you out [and who is not]. Don't be too quick to judge others, as everyone has a story to tell. Don't be too quick to give up on anyone.”

Her focus enabled her to earn a position with the Michael Kors brand in licensed watches. “Working with him and his design team was a great learning experience. Taking the product line to the largest watch show in the world on Basel, Switzerland for global distributor's presentations was scary and exhilarating at the same time. No one there knew me yet—therefore they didn't yet trust me.” She says that her confident presentation and communication skills helped her to win over her audience. “We put out a very unique, distinctive, nobody-has-this-look-yet collection. It was a success and distributed into more than 30 countries. I was proud to bring that good news to Mr. Kors, regarding his first venture outside of the USA.”

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