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The NRF Foundation shapes retail’s future by building awareness of the industry through statistics and stories; developing talent through education, experiences and scholarships; and fostering career growth among people who work in retail.

The NRF Foundation shapes retail’s future by building awareness of the industry through statistics and stories; developing talent through education, experiences and scholarships; and fostering career growth among people who work in retail.

Dream BIG Class of 2013

Dylan Lauzon

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Dylan Lauzon

Dylan Lauzon, senior enterprise risk analyst at Big 5 Sporting Goods, is pursuing an MBA from University of Phoenix.

A risk analyst thrives in retail, “where no two days are ever the same”

Dylan Lauzon began his professional career working as a Financial Advisor, but it wasn’t until he switched industries and became an Analyst in the Risk Management department of Big 5 Sporting Goods that his career clicked. “I really like how every day in retail is different. I like the challenge of coming in and tackling a new problem each day,” says Dylan, who now works for the regional sporting goods retailer as the Senior Enterprise Risk Analyst. “It keeps me on my toes and pushes me to learn more every day.”

Now Dylan is ready to embark on his next challenge: an MBA, courtesy of a Dream BIG scholarship from the University of Phoenix and the NRF Foundation. One might call Dylan a lifelong learner. Since graduating from college, he’s earned certificates and awards that demonstrate his commitment to higher education and career development. In the past few years, Dylan earned the Associate in Risk Management (ARM) and Enterprise Risk Management designations, passed the New York Stock Exchange’s Series 7 exam, the North American Security Administrators’ Series 66 exam and received a license from the California Department of Insurance. He also won the Cristy award after receiving the highest score in the country, among Risk Managers, on the three exams required for the ARM designation, and is currently pursuing the Chartered Property Casualty Underwriter designation.

What’s different about this education opportunity versus all of his other achievements?  “I want to become a strategic leader within my organization, and to do that I need to understand every aspect of the business. Earning an MBA through the University of Phoenix will provide me with the broad knowledge base needed to make sound business decisions.” He knows that this degree will provide him with the skill set necessary to advance his career.

The Dream BIG scholarship isn’t just exciting for Dylan -- it will also help his wife, who is also earning an MBA, achieve one of her greatest goals. Dylan hopes his new degree will give his family the financial stability needed to allow his wife to pursue her dream of opening a small retail shop featuring local artisans. No matter what Dylan’s future holds, he looks forward to the challenges ahead.


The National Retail Federation collaborates with University of Phoenix to offer the Dream BIG Scholarship to people who work in retail. Meet the Class of 2013 and learn more about the Dream BIG Scholarship.