AEO REAL People: Kiah, Associate Inventory Planner

At the very heart of AEO is our PEOPLE. Our associates are REAL. They’re authentic, resilient, and optimistic- each with their own story. Our REAL PEOPLE series highlights those who drive innovation, embrace teamwork and strengthen AEO’s inclusive culture.

Oklahoma native, Kiah, was a hard working college student majoring in Merchandising when she received an email that AE was hiring for the holiday season. Because she was putting herself through school, she thought a part-time job would be the perfect way to score some extra cash on the side. What she didn’t realize was that this part-time job would eventually turn into a long-term career.

“I fell in love with the way AEO trains store associates” Kiah said. “I would ace every test in my Retail Math class because of what I had learned in the store. I really gained so much knowledge in my major by getting hands on experience. And of course, I loved the product!”

After college, she went to work at another corporate retailer, but her heart was set on coming back to AEO. Even with corporate retail experience under her belt, she saw an open position for the AEO Teammate Program and knew she had to jump on the opportunity. She accepted the position and moved to Pittsburgh shortly thereafter. Today, she is part of the Inventory Planning Team where she oversees planning for AE skirts and dresses.

“In my current role, I work really closely with Merchandising to ensure stores and online channels have adequate sizing and inventory. One thing I’ve been really focused on in this role is ensuring we are capturing new size opportunities where we can. One thing I’m super passionate about is expanding size offerings because it really aligns with our brand vision of authenticity and body inclusivity,” she said.

Kiah had the chance to be part of the team that piloted Intelligent Fulfillment. This program allows for a more wholesome look at inventory needs from an omni-perspective. It supports the team in projecting needed units verses simply reacting.

Kiah says her passion for the company comes down to two things: the people and the way AEO takes care of the people. She’s also immensely grateful for the opportunities she’s been given at AEO.

She shared, “the company has given me so many leadership opportunities. I’ve already had the pleasure of training 3 teammates and now I even help build the curriculum for the Teammate Program. I get to coach the teammates and be there with them every step of the way!”

We asked her what advice she had for those interested in a career with AE.

“Stay connected with AEO on LinkedIn and Instagram and frequently check for open roles. Make connections and reach out to members of the AEO Family to ask questions. Don’t be afraid to take a leap of faith and apply for your dream role.”

Kiah took a risk moving across the country to Pittsburgh. She knew the adjustment would be tough, but it would be worth the opportunity.

“Home would always be there, but this opportunity wouldn’t. It’s taught me what I am capable of doing. I knew no one when I moved here and now I have relationships that will last a lifetime!”

For information on careers at AEO, Inc. be sure to follow the AEO LinkedIn page and Instagram account @aeolife.