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For new Wisconsin GM, the job is all about the people

Editor’s note: In March, Best Buy is proud to honor Women’s History Month and celebrate our women employees. Read on for the story of one of our women leaders.

Jessica Chapman first put on a Best Buy blue shirt 17 years ago at our store in Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin. 

The job was meant to be a temporary thing. She was looking for a full-time teaching position after graduating college with a teaching degree. However, Jessica soon learned she already had the teaching job she wanted by helping customers with technology and leading store teams.

“I got to do what I intended to do, just not with kids,” she said.

Throughout her Best Buy tenure, Jessica has held multiple leadership roles and worked for various locations in Wisconsin. Recently, she returned to the Menomonee Falls store but this time with a new title: General Manager.

“I’m so excited to have my own building and build a strong, positive team culture like my own experience has been,” Jessica said. “It’s been amazing so far.”

Building her career at Best Buy

While Jessica has been able to fulfill her love of teaching at Best Buy, it’s the people who have been the main source of joy in her career.

“It can’t just be about the job for me,” she said. “I’ve made connections and friendships all over, and many of them will be for a lifetime.”

She’s joined company networks and inclusion groups and befriended many colleagues. She even met her best friend and husband through Best Buy.

The mentors Jessica has gained along the way have also played a huge role in her career. She credits her women leaders with helping her find her confidence and encouraging her to think bigger for her career aspirations.  

While Jessica loved her roles as assistant manager or leading smaller teams, she was a bit nervous about running an entire store on her own. Her district manager, Erin Rooyakkers, and other mentors encouraged her to take on roles outside of her comfort zone in operations to work in sales and services.

Erin also worked with Jessica on unpacking her insecurities to see herself as a great leader.

“Jessica genuinely wants to know how she can be better,” Erin said. “When people started to give her tangible feedback that she could learn, practice and improve — that’s what started to build her confidence.”

After a few years, Jessica became an assistant store manager and was filling in for other neighboring stores that needed an interim general manager. These assignments boosted her confidence in her leadership skills even more, and she felt ready to make an impact upon her own store.

“You learn over time, it’s not just about the labor or the sales — it’s about the people,” she said.

Back where it all began

That’s why when the general manager position opened up at the Menomonee Falls store in late 2021, Jessica knew she had to go for it.

“I was really excited to come here because this is a community I grew up in,” she said.

Erin says Jessica was a natural fit. “She’s going to bring so much heart to the team,” Erin said. “It’s the right store, right place.”

Right now, Jessica’s priority is getting to know every employee on a personal level. She wants her team to feel cared for and love where they work first, and she knows excellent performance will follow.

“If your employees are happy and taken care of, they’ll show that same care for customers,” Jessica said. “I want to be the best place to work and the best place to shop.”