Being a merchandiser has been rewarding for Jenny Wan While I didn't envision being a merchandiser as a career, I did earn a bachelor's degree in clothing studies in textiles from Nottingham Trent University in Britain. I took a job outside the industry and I could tell it wasn't for me. It was this experience that led me to think that I might enjoy being a merchandiser. I started out in sundries, but this wasn't the right area for me. I then moved into clothing and found my niche. I've worked as a merchandiser for seven years and have been with Levi Strauss for the past three years. One of the reasons I like being a merchandiser is that I come into contact with all manner of people, from the buyers to factory managers to my company's finishing technician. That person is responsible for the quality control of the finish on a garment, and we have a close working relationship. As a sourcing merchandiser I have grown as a problem solver. We often face problems such as the factory being unable to ship garments on time, or quality issues. By working with the factory to solve the problem, I get a lot of job satisfaction. I can now work faster than I did before, which is important because of the unexpected working environment we often face. And I can keep up and put in the long hours required to get the job done. I usually get to the office at about 9am and open my e-mails. These come from many sources, including our headquarters in the United States, from customers asking questions or placing new orders and from the factories. After dealing with these, I might check out the samples that have come in from the suppliers or work with the finishing technician on something. I usually work until about 8pm. I rarely need to travel in my job, which suits me. My advice to anyone wanting to work as a sourcing merchandiser is that they need to be able to face rapid development within the industry and face new challenges. If you can do this, you will enjoy your work.