Senior Manager, Off-Shore Markets, Target Corporation
Bill Bremner provides an excellent example of what it takes to succeed in marketing and general strategic management; a solid combination of analytical, creative, and leadership skills.
Originally from Mt. Vernon, IA, Bill received his undergraduate degree from Cornell College in Economics and Business. Upon graduation he took a job with Pella Windows and Doors, where he got a quick and full introduction to operations management while managing two large production lines. Bill decided to pursue an MBA in order to build a broader and deeper business framework and skill set.
Bill entered the Tippie Full-time MBA program unsure of what area of business he would pursue.
“I didn’t initially think of myself as a marketing person, but some of my marketing classes in the program intrigued me.” Once hooked, he went directly to Target upon graduation as a Sr. Analyst in the Merchandising and Buying Group. Buyers are tasked with knowing what the consumer wants, figuring out what’s needed to provide it, and making it happen.
“What intrigued me about retail was the diversity of experience required. It wasn’t just one discipline, but rather a combination of all disciplines rolled up into an exciting job with a company that was really rolling.”
Bill was promoted into senior buying positions and then switched into strategic projects. In this new capacity, Bill has had the opportunity to lead a wide range of new initiatives, primarily focused on company growth strategies around brand, new markets, and programs. Currently, Bill is responsible for making sure that Target’s business in new markets meets the unique needs of the customers and provides profitable growth.
The Tippie MBA provided Bill with the analytical tools to succeed in an industry with rapidly increasing data on its customers and markets. While Bill is no longer the one actually doing the analysis (people on his team do), his ability to understand what is needed and how it is done is essential. Ultimately, his success lies in his ability to communicate resulting strategic recommendations in a concise, clear, and persuasive manner.
“Tippie prepared me to be a better thinker,” says Bill. “It provided me with a broader tool kit, and the confidence to question and challenge existing norms. That’s been beneficial to me at Target – to be able to develop your own thoughts on high level strategic initiatives.”