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Waers on the move for Wal-mart

Feb 18, 2008
by Kara Pound, '06

Not every recent graduate can say she’s spent half a billion dollars.

But that’s exactly what Amy Waers (‘06) has been doing while working as an assistant buyer in Wal-Mart Stores’ stationery department, a position that has her traveling overseas to China on buying trips.

“I actually got it [the position] through SIFE,” Waers said about Students in Free Enterprise, the entrepreneurial organization that has a chapter at Flagler. “We were at the national competition my junior year presenting, and I was recruited after one of our presentations by the senior vice president.”

Waers accepted the position and, upon graduation, moved to Bentonville, Ark., where the corporate office is located.

A highlight of her job has been the three trips she’s taken to China to buy stationery products. Waers said the location of her travels is based on which products she is responsible for purchasing and where they are made. Products like copy paper, envelopes and photo paper are predominantly manufactured in Asia.

Waers said she has embraced the many cultural differences she’s found between China and the United States.
“[The differences] became very real to me the first time I went over there,” she said. “It was like, ‘Whoa, yeah.’ … I absolutely love it.”

Waers said the business world is becoming a much smaller place. “Especially the way the economy is today,” she said. “It’s just becoming more and more global.”

China has topped headlines lately with products like food and toys being recalled for poor quality standards, and that fact isn’t lost on Waers, who says quality is critical.

“It’s one of the hardest things about importing products — the quality control issue — because in China they have different standards than we have in the U.S.,” she said. “So, it’s just really making sure that we communicate our standards and that the factories and the companies that we’re working with overseas understand how important it is to us.”

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