Crushworthy Tech Jobs – Director of Interactive Experience and Shoe Lover with DSW

ErinDSWMugWhat is the ideal position for a fashionista with a digital media background? Obviously it’s Director of Interactive Experience with one of the fastest growing shoe companies, DSW. Erin Kelly’s multi-faceted position includes being a shoe lover, social media guru, and customer service liaison. As digital media grew, so did her interests and experiences in this technology field.

What is your job title? Tell us a little about yourself (Where are you from? How old are you? Describe your job and how long you’ve been at it, etc.).
My official title is “Director of Interactive Experience and Shoe Lover” (isn’t the Shoe Lover part fun?). I’ve been with DSW for just over five years now, and I oversee a team that focuses on interactive, mobile, social, partnerships, and risk. It’s our job to be advocates for the customer, ensuring each one has the best possible experience with DSW.

What is a typical day like in your position?
My days have a little bit of past, present, and future infused in them. I spend a bit of the day reviewing the previous day’s business–it could be looking at numbers, or it could be reading customer comments and posts on Facebook and Twitter. Some of my time is spent looking at the here and now–what do we have on tap for the coming week, and what issues do we need to resolve. And, I spend a little time working on the future. We could be working on a project that is one year out or another that is three years out.

When did you know it was what you wanted to do? What lead you to this position?
Good question! I don’t think I knew until I found myself here. I just worked hard and kept myself open to opportunities if they felt right. Even if they didn’t make sense at the time logically, they certainly make sense now.

What did you do to prepare for a position like this? Skills? School? Internships? Previous positions?
 A lot of my preparation came from my previous jobs. I worked at an interactive agency for several years before coming to DSW. The brilliant people of Resource Interactive taught me about starting with the customer and designing around them. I was fortunate to work on several different accounts for large retailers, which allowed me to see firsthand the opportunities and challenges retailers are faced with every day.

What is the best part about your job?
The people, hands down. I am inspired by each and every person I interact with here at DSW. It’s the people that get me excited about coming to work every day.

What is the worst part about your job?
Prioritizing. I want so badly to be able to do everything we dream up. Unfortunately, the reality is that there is never enough time. Having to turn down work is really hard for me.

What is the work/family balance like for you?
Good. I have to be honest though, I can be my own worst enemy on this one, especially because I love what I do. I work hard to keep myself in check.

What is the biggest misconception people have about your job?
A lot of people assume I buy all the fabulous shoes for I wish I was that good. Now THAT is a crushworthy job!

Any other advice, tips, commentary, or anecdotes you’d like to share?
Do what you love–what you are passionate about. Find a company that is a good cultural fit. Don’t be afraid to take risks, just take smart risks. And, strive for balance.

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