Student Life Editor Samantha Smallish sat down with a CMU student who had a unique job for any male employee over the summer: a sales support assistant — at Victoria’s Secret. Tyler Kus, a Farmington Hills junior, spoke with our editor about his experiences, how this job came about, the reaction he received from customers and some of the benefits he noticed from working at a women’s lingerie store.
CM Life: We’ll start with the obvious. Why Victoria’s Secret?
Tyler Kus: Well, last summer, I worked at Toys-R-Us, and it was a bad experience. As a kid, I thought (working at Toys-R-Us) would be sweet, but I was wrong. A kid took a dump in the aisle once; it was horrible. Anyway, I applied at Victoria’s Secret last summer and they ignored it, so this summer, after I worked at Toys-R-Us and was employee of the month, the employers at VS were impressed. The manager asked me what I thought of lingerie and if I could do the work and I said I could try. Then I got the job. I just thought it’d be a cool environment to work in and definitely a resume builder and conversation starter.
CM: What was your most embarrassing moment?
TK: I work as a sales support assistant, so we stock the store and make sure it looks good. I was putting sensors on panties one day, and my first time pinning sensors was on a thong. So, I pinned it and thought all was well until my supervisor showed me where I put the sensor…probably not in the most comfortable spot. I had no idea where to put the sensor, though, because there’s so little material. Needless to say I know now.
CM: What about the girlfriend? What did she think?
TK: Initially, she wasn’t sure if she liked the idea, but I told her I wasn’t there to interact with girls and eventually she got used to the idea. Plus, I get a big employee discount, so she doesn’t mind that part.
CM: Were women hesitant to ask you for help? I mean, being a guy, you probably weren’t the most knowledgeable when it comes to the type of merchandise VS sells.
TK: I got weird looks. Women think, “Can he help me?” I’ve only had one women ask me for help. But I know about the store, styles and the VS brand, so I’d be able to help! They just don’t want to ask.
CM: What about men? Were they drawn to you for advice?
TK: I actually had a guy ask me, “Hey, I feel better asking you what I should get my girlfriend.” And we figured it out and he actually came back and said his girlfriend loved it. I don’t even see a lot of guys shop (at VS). Most guys are with their girlfriends and on their phones trying not to look awkward.
CM: Do you plan on working at VS next summer?
TK: Well, I’m hoping to get an internship next summer, but I’m definitely going to work black Friday and over Christmas break.
CM: Looking back, what’s the best piece of knowledge you’ve gained from working at VS?
TK: To embrace your look, or yourself, and the way you look. The VS motto is about making women feel sexy. I guess the one thing I’ve learned is how to make women feel sexy.
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