There’s an old adage that Minnesota has two seasons :: winter + construction. I might propose that our very own Tarzhay also has two seasons… winter + interns.
If you step into our HQ right now you’ll see that intern season is in full swing :: elevators lines are longer, more people are queued up at Starbucks and the cafeteria, and suddenly I’m getting carded a lot less at happy hours… (hmm… fishy…)
But unlike winters in Minnesota, intern season is something to look forward to and something Tarzhay should be proud of. Wait. Fine. To be fair to the frost lovers out there, record-breaking sub-zero temperatures is also something to brag about. And so is a top notch internship program.
Every summer hundreds of undergrads + a handful of grad school students relocate to the Twin Cities to gain hands-on experience in areas such as merchandising, marketing, finance, strategy, operations, and sourcing. Target even has field internships for the many careers outside of our headquarters. I only know a teeny tiny bit about the field program, and just a little about the undergrad program, but know a whoOooOole lot about the grad school program.
Not sure if I’ve mentioned this, but the MBA internship is what lured me away from perpetual Left Coast sunshine to a happy, not too shabby post-grad life (and for those who don’t know me… ‘not too shabby’ is my facetious way of saying ‘pretty darn good’). I went to business school dead set on being a brand manager and actually had no clue what the buyer role was. My only context was Friends and Rachel Greene’s job at Ralph Lauren. But something about those fast, fun, friendly Target people make them hard to ignore. The buyer internship was intriguing… not something I could explain in plain English… but something I couldn’t walk away from. If anything, I knew I’d have a summer surrounded by good company.
And it was way more than that. In a quick 10 weeks, I not only learned exactly what the buyer role is (and in plain English :: You buy things! For other people! With a wallet you have to manage!), but also gained exposure to all corners of the organization. I completed a strategic project that had meaning and did more than hit the recycle bin after the summer. I was assigned a mentor who showed me the chops of buying and never hesitated to give me constructive feedback (thanks Katie!). We had a terrific intern class that explored Minneapolis together and a thoughtful HR team that crafted memorable events for us. By the end of it all, it was an easy decision to come back full-time.
And whatdayaknow?? Fast forward to now and not only am I a real buyer (look Ma, I’m a real buyer!) … I’m also an MBA intern mentor. That’s right – the grasshopper has become the master. Just kidding – I’m definitely not a master… I’m just excited about paying it forward to this year’s MBA intern class. The interns are here through August so this isn’t the last you’ll hear about them. In the meantime, I’m going to go stake my spot in the elevator line… and extend a warm welcome to the new young faces in line with me 🙂
Interested in a career in buying, planning and brand management? Search and apply for jobs here.