Brittani Koster grew up with dreams of becoming a veterinarian, but after taking a marketing class from her favorite high school teacher, her plans changed. The new subject captured her attention, and she decided to pursue a career in marketing. At the time, her brother only said good things about his professors at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln College of Business Administration, which helped her decide to attend the university as well.
“CBA had and still has a great reputation that draws students to it,” Koster said. “I was excited for all of the learning opportunities and the chance to develop my skills in marketing.”
The junior marketing and management major from Kearney, Nebraska, developed an interest in sales and chose to pursue a certificate in professional selling. She gained hands-on experience in one of the classes taught by Chad Mardesen, assistant professor of practice in marketing, where she reached out to local businesses to get sponsorships for the Center for Sales Excellence golf tournament.
With her newfound interest in sales, Koster earned an executive team internship at Target. She managed the front end of the store at 56th Street and Highway 2 in Lincoln, Nebraska, where she focused on sales and guest experience. She and her team worked on displays, transitions between seasons, making the store more appealing to guests and increasing sales.
This internship provided the opportunity to test the skills she developed in CBA in a corporate environment. She learned how to build strong relationships with her team and how to manage a large group of people.
“Brittani came into the sales center as a very talented individual, and we were able to expand her skill set,” Mardesen said. “Her internship at Target allowed her to build on her skills and now she is a testament to this program with how much she has progressed.”
Working at Target showed Koster the importance of little details. While spending a day in the produce department, Koster decided to switch one of the fruits on display and noticed an increase in sales just from one minor change.
“My small contributions made a big difference, and I learned how important it is to be knowledgeable about all aspects of the store instead of just focusing on my department. CBA prepared me for this job and my future by offering a wide variety of classes in all aspects of marketing,” Koster said. “The college has the best professors that provide real-world experience to help students see exactly what our futures could be like.”