Dennis Watson ’95

Searching for the Best and Brightest

Photo by Nora Lewis
Photo by Nora Lewis

Like many students who earn a psychology degree, Dennis Watson began graduate school with the goal of becoming a counselor. He soon realized that he wanted to help others in a business rather than a clinical, setting.

With this newfound focus, he pursued a Master’s degree in Human Resource Administration at Framingham State College and began working at a recruiting firm. From the onset, he knew he had made the right choice: “I affected people’s lives with new job opportunities.”

Today, Watson serves as manager of staffing for The TJX Companies, the world’s largest off-price retailer of apparel and home furnishings, where he makes hiring decisions for the Corporate Merchandise Training and Merchandising Internship programs. In this role, Watson is involved in college recruiting: “We have to hire the best and brightest. The accountability to make the right decisions is tremendous. It impacts the business the day the new hires start their jobs.”

To help ensure that URI produces the best talent, Watson serves on the Department of Textiles, Fashion Merchandising, and Design Advisory Board: “We board members discuss the curriculum as well as the annual fashion show. I also arrange to bring students to local Marshalls stores to learn how the product is bought.”

Sourcing talent often keeps Watson on the road, so he enjoys down time with his wife and daughters who “put up with my addiction to always having a project to work on.” Watson likens his fast-paced career to his college days when he was involved in clubs and intramurals and worked as a resident assistant in a residence hall.

“I’m always busy—whether playing with my kids or recruiting another great talent,” says Watson. Despite an unforgiving schedule, he is happily ensconced in his career and with his family: “I have a great job. There is no better feeling than to offer someone a job, hear that person’s excitement, and watch that person grow.”

—Maria V. Caliri ’86, M.B.A. ’92