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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 2014

Lina Sabic

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Lina Sabic

Lina Sabic, associate store operations specialist at PacSun, is pursuing an MBA from University of Phoenix.

A globe-trotter dreams of even bigger journeys

Achieving your dreams is never easy. The road is often filled with challenges and obstacles that can seem too impossible to conquer. Unless you’re Lina Sabic. Born in Sarajevo, as a child Lina escaped wartime conflict in the middle of one night with her family. Years later, Lina has found the opportunities she dreamed of — as an associate store operations specialist for PacSun. She has traveled the world opening up retail locations and now has her sights set on a new dream.

My dream is to be in a supervisory role where I can use my leadership skills and acquired knowledge to support and develop other team members.
Lina Sabic

With an MBA thanks to a Dream BIG scholarship from University of Phoenix and the NRF Foundation, Lina believes she can continue to grow her retail career. “My dream is to be in a supervisory role where I can use my leadership skills and acquired knowledge to support and develop other team members, while expanding a company internationally,” she explains.

After spending years in the field where she oversaw multi-million-dollar locations and guided global expansion, Lina now lives on the other side of retail. While her current responsibilities include inventory control, loss prevention and acting as a liaison between field and home office management, she’s dreaming bigger and hopes to move into a managerial role. Working on both sides of the business, domestically and internationally, has helped Lina gain a greater understanding of how retail works and sharpened her drive to successfully analyze global operating procedures.

But Lina acknowledges that none of this would be possible without the most inspirational person in her life, her mom. Whether it was her drive to succeed, her unwillingness to fail, her strength or her wisdom, Lina’s mom built the hard-working foundation that Lina knows today. “Everything I am today, all of my accomplishments, are highly credited to my mother’s guidance over the years.”


The National Retail Federation collaborates with University of Phoenix to offer the Dream BIG Scholarship to people who work in retail. This year, 20 recipients received full-tuition scholarships to help them pursue their big dreams. Meet the Class of 2014 and learn more about the Dream BIG Scholarship.