At Indiana University, the Retail Studies Organization (RSO) is one of the biggest student groups on campus. They work hard to provide education and leadership for students interested in careers in retailing, manufacturing, design, and other realted industries. The organization offers these opportunities through industry speakers, community service, team building activities, visits to retail organizations, networking, and professional seminars. So what's it like to be part of this powerful organization? More importantly, what's it like to be the President? We hear from the Miss President herself.
Amanda Campos is a 21-year-old senior at Indiana University. The Valparaiso, IN native is majoring in marketing with minors in Spanish and apparel merchandising. Not only will you find out more information about Campos' journey to (and after) IU, you'll learn about her duties as President, and get a sense of the love and dedication she has for RSO.
HCIU: Did you always know you wanted to get involved in the apparel industry?
Amanda Campos: Since I was little, I’ve always been a little fashionista. I would change my clothes five times a day and drive my mom nuts with all the dirty laundry I would make. Then when I was in high school, I worked at Abercrombie and Fitch and Pier 1 and was simply fascinated with retail and all of its facets. I thought being a visual merchandiser would be the coolest job, and then later I thought I would grow up and work for Pier 1 and travel to India and find all the cool pieces they have in their store. Little did I know that’s not exactly how it worked but the passion for retail and apparel was still there.
HCIU: How did you end up here at IU?
AC: That’s actually a funny story. I played soccer in high school and wanted to play in college but also wanted to be on the west coast. I told myself I would never come to IU because everyone from my high school came here and I wanted to do my own thing... start a new adventure. So, I looked at 17 schools from Pepperdine to University of Arkansas. In the end, it was between Notre Dame and IU. I chose IU and had to eat all my words. I loved it from day one. I didn’t know it was possible to love your school so much, but I do and have been blessed with so many amazing opportunities here. (For the record, we think she made the right decision!)
HCIU: How did you find RSO?
AC: I joined RSO my sophomore year after hearing about it in one of my classes. As soon as I went to the first meeting, I was hooked. I was transfixed by all of the advice the speakers shared with us and truly enjoyed hearing about all the different types of jobs available in retail. I attended every event that year and then became the VP of Marketing my junior year and then President my senior year.
HCIU: What are some of your duties as President of RSO?
AC: Being President comes with a lot of territory. I meet with the professors frequently to plan our events and discuss what’s going on and where we want to take the organization, and then each month, I hold officer meetings to communicate the ideas and events I spoke with the professors about. I spend a lot of time organizing events and communicating with speakers and my officers to make sure everyone is on the same page. And of course, I attend all of the events which add up especially in the fall. At the beginning of the year, I would spend at least 2 or 3 hours on my email each day just doing RSO things. Planning our events is obviously one of my biggest tasks, but I have wonderful officers who help out a lot. RSO wouldn’t be possible without them.
HCIU: What is it like being President of such a popular and beneficial organization?
AC: It’s hectic but I love it. It takes a lot of work, but I wouldn’t have it any other way. It’s very rewarding to be able to share my passion for retail with so many other members and help them find what they want to do.
HCIU: What’s the hardest part of being President?
AC: The hardest part of being President is encouraging participation and motivating our members. RSO has so many benefits to offer, but it’s hard to communicate that to everyone and make them understand why they should want to come.
HCIU: What’s are some of your favorite events RSO has done?
AC: The Chicago Field Seminar is by far the most involved and eye-opening, but the fashion show is a close competitor in terms of my favorite events. I highly recommend everyone go on the Chicago trip at least once, and as for the fashion show, I think it’s such a great event that really showcases our design program and RSO together.
HCIU: The Fashion Show is coming up soon, can you tell us a little about that?
AC: It is going to be phenomenal. This year the theme is vintage carnival – kind of based off of Water for Elephants. All of us are so excited and working very hard, so all I can say is you won’t want to miss out! (Her Campus IU will be there! Trust us, you don't want to miss out. We'll have more details as the show get's closer!)
HCIU: What are your plans after graduation?
AC: After graduation, I’ll be spending the summer with my family and friends before I start work in the fall with Abercrombie and Fitch at their corporate office in Columbus, OH.
HCIU: Any advice for those students in RSO, wanting to join, or just interested in fashion?
AC: My advice? DO IT! It’s the best decision I’ve ever made. When I joined RSO, I didn’t know anyone. It was hard at first to go, but I made friends who are now my fellow officers and some of the best friends I have here at IU. Doing something you love will never seem like work.