Graduate profile: Carlie Jensen

CIW COM 0205 JensenProfile

Carlie Jensen is a 2010 graduate of Westfield High School. She was senior class president, a member of the varsity dance team and a member of the National Honor Society. She works in talent acquisition for Lids Sports Group, the 1,200-store retail chain headquartered in Zionsville.

Q: What was your favorite subject and why?

A: I loved all of my high school business classe so much that I switched my goals of becoming a doctor to a leader in business. Classes such as marketing, retail merchandising and entrepreneurship were the catalysts that fueled my interests in pursuing a business-related career, specifically in corporate retail. I have always had an entrepreneurial spirit, creative drive and passion for leading others.

Q: Who has been your most influential teacher?

A: Michelle Goudy and Becky Sondgeroth both fostered my interests for business and leadership. They are remarkable teachers and know how to connect with students. Mrs. Goudy trusted me to creatively run our high school fashion show as well as pushed me to pursue an internship at such a young age. I still run into Ms. Sondgeroth from time to time, and I am so thankful to have had her as a teacher and mentor all of these years.

Q: What do you miss about high school?

A: I miss cheering on the football team with friends, practicing with my dance team, being crowned homecoming queen, planning proms, bringing Mr. Westfield back and getting to address my class at graduation. Looking back, the friendships we made were so important, and I am even marrying a fellow 2010 Shamrock in April of this year.   

Q: Can you tell me about your collegiate experience?

A: Upon graduating from Westfield, I studied at Indiana University and majored in apparel merchandising and business. I was heavily involved in the IU Student Foundation, which puts on the famous Little 500. I was on the Women’s Philanthropy Committee with our university’s first lady and also competed in national retail competitions, ultimately winning three national scholarships. IU was the best college experience I ever could have asked for. It really propelled me and helped me grow.

Q: Why did you choose that major?

A: Because I wanted to work in brand management for a renowned retailer. During my time at IU, I interned for Nordstrom, Kohl’s and got my first full-time role post-graduation in Milwaukee, Wis., at Kohl’s headquarters. I later discovered that I love the people-side of the business. After moving back to Indiana, I started in HR at Lids Sports Group.

Q: What’s your dream job?

A: My dream job would be leading talent acquisition and development for a large organization. I love building relationships and the challenge of finding the best people to work for my company. Great people are the foundation to any business, and I have the pleasure of finding them and developing them.

Q: Do you have any advice for younger students?

A: The recruiter side of me wants to say keep your grades up. Everything you post on social media or text can be seen by universities or employers. Get involved and meet as many people as you can. Networking is everything. You don’t have to know exactly what you want to do for a living. It is good to have focus, but you can change your mind and that is OK. The personal side of me would undoubtedly say enjoy the ride. Don’t look so far into the future that you forget to enjoy the moment.