How Burlington’s focus on growth and development is encouraging its technologists to aim high in their careers - Technical.ly Philly

Professional Development

Feb. 27, 2020 9:35 am

How Burlington’s focus on growth and development is encouraging its technologists to aim high in their careers

Two employees share how the retailer’s informal but engaging career development process is helping them achieve their goals.
Burlington’s offices.

Burlington's offices.

(Courtesy photo)

Over the past decade, the retailer that began as Burlington Coat Factory went through a complete rebrand to showcase its new range of offerings in apparel, home goods and baby products. Today, thanks to 48 years of brand equity under its belt, the retailer — much like Madonna and Whitney — need only go by one name: Burlington.

Having such a rich history of growth and development as a company, Burlington — headquartered just outside of Philadelphia in Florence, New Jersey — turned its experience inward to create an internal culture focused on growing and developing its associates careers.

The proof of said effort, as they say, is in the pudding.

Subaa Narayan, the manager of applications development supply team, has been with Burlington for 13 years.

Subaa Narayan. (Courtesy photo)

“I don’t even think of going elsewhere,” she said.

Narayan, who has led implementations of  new technologies and enterprise systems supporting merchandising and point-of-sales initiatives (i.e., skipping the line if you’re paying with a card), started her career at Burlington as a QA developer.

She made it clear that her goal at the time was to become a project manager, so her manager offered up tangible opportunities to prepare her for the role, first asking her to manage smaller projects until she became a business analyst, then to lead major initiatives until her leadership skills ripened.

Not long after earning the title of project manager, she was promoted to lead the enterprise project management team. Since then, she’s accepted the role leading the supply chain application team. Next, she has set her sights on becoming a director.

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“My manager trusted in me and gave me many opportunities to prove I could lead projects,” she said. “Now I manage the supply chain team — people and projects. Leadership has really helped me in my growth. They’re there to support you.”

Narayan says that while associates are encouraged to build their own career paths, Burlington offers plenty of resources to explore their options within the company and find guidance through mentorship, shadowing and leadership training.

Beyond her work responsibilities, Narayan participates in many of Burlington’s philanthropic efforts, such as the company’s Day of Giving events throughout the year, and as a regular supporter of the Burlington’s annual Leukemia and Lymphoma Society fundraiser.

For Juan Rivera, getting a small taste of the culture as a contractor at Burlington was all it took to get him hooked.

Juan Rivera. (Courtesy photo)

“I could see it was a great place to work,” he said. “My favorite thing was how caring the company was. Like you’re part of a big family.”

In his five years with Burlington, Rivera has risen from an entry-level role at the help desk to a leadership role as supervisor for the tech services team.

“Leadership sees my effort, that I’m a team player and working to meet my goals.” he said. “I’ve always asked to be a part of new projects and challenges, always shown I could play a big part, always asked to do more. They see my drive and help me get where I want to go.”

In his role, Rivera supervises the tech services team in its support of Burlington’s corporate offices, distribution centers and field leadership. His team supports many technical aspects of Burlington, including desktop support, major corporate events, and recommending and implementing new technologies. The team he leads also ensures Burlington’s warehouse systems run smoothly, maintaining the software in charge of conveyor belts and sorting machines, working with associates in D.C. to ensure printers are accurately labeling products, and maintaining warehouse equipment to high standards.

Rivera’s plan is to continue his growth at Burlington, based not only on the opportunities he’s been given, but his admiration for the company, its leadership and his peers.

“I’ve worked at multiple companies prior to this and have never seen an environment like Burlington,” he said. “They give you trust and respect. There’s a work-life balance. There’s teamwork.”

He also assures technologists who can’t tell peacock blue from emerald green (or don’t care to): “No interest in fashion is necessary. There’s something for everyone.”

Take a look at the career openings at Burlington (hint, filter for “Corporate Jobs” to find tech and tech-adjacent opportunities):

Explore jobs at Burlington
Companies: Burlington
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