Found My Future: From Intern to Assistant Buyer

Alyssa Thor

As any of our career coaches will tell you, internships and training programs are great ways to gain professional experience, build career readiness skills, and can set you up for awesome early-career opportunities with top companies. Alyssa Thor, UO ’21, did just that!

We caught up with Alyssa to learn more about her new career as an assistant buyer at Kroger. 

To learn more about careers with Kroger, like becoming a general merchandise trainee—assistant buyer/planner like Alyssa, check out Kroger at the Business Careers Fair on October 22!  

Name: Alyssa Thor
Year: Class of 2021
Major: Finance and operations and business analytics; minor in economics
Current Job: Assistant buyer at Kroger

What did you study at the University of Oregon, and how did your time at the UO prepare you for your career? 

I studied finance and operations and business analytics. This helped me prepare for my career as I learned a lot about Microsoft Excel, financial planning, and supply chain in my coursework. 

What are you responsible for in your current role? 

As an assistant buyer, I am responsible for overseeing categories of non-food merchandise that will eventually end up on the shelves at Kroger-owned stores.  This includes meeting with vendors to negotiate costs and choose product assortments, choosing how the products will be merchandised in stores, creating advertisements for these products, and tracking how well these products are performing. 

What attracted you to work at Kroger? 

I was attracted to Kroger because it is such a large company, which can lead to many opportunities for potential promotion.

What do you like best about the company culture at Kroger? 

I love the company culture at Kroger. Everyone is super welcoming and helpful if I ever have questions. 

What skills do you need to be successful? 

Someone who is organized, team oriented, communicative, and has experience in Microsoft Excel would create a good foundation to be successful here.   

Did internships, volunteer, leadership, or other work experiences provide an advantage in being hired for your first position out of college? If so, in what way? 

I interned for Kroger the summer before my senior year, which made it easier to land a role full time. However, any sort of experience will help make you a better candidate for this position! 

What advice would you give to students as they’re figuring out what’s next after college? 

My best advice to give to students is to network as much as you can! This allowed me to ask questions about different industries and companies, which helped me understand a fitting career path for me.