the real deal Holyfield… an intern perspective…

Rut-roh.  A few posts ago I said that TGT has two seasons: Winter + Interns.  Well, we just bid our farewells to the 2012 Summer MBA Intern crew … does this mean winter is upon us?  I guess the annual frost is inevitable, but based on the unfinished gravel + pylons downtown, I think we’re just defaulting to construction season for the interim.

I digress.  Back to the interns.  We had a whopping 42 MBA interns (from 14 different schools) join us this summer in Merchandising | Finance | Strategy | Operations.  Many of them were new to retail and new to Minneapolis, so it was incredibly rewarding for me to act as a mentor and share my own experience of transitioning into the full-time buyer role and moving to a new city.  I was curious to hear their point of view though… after all, I was in their shoes not too long ago and the internship experience + MBA recruiting process is unique to every individual.  So I put on my journalist hat and stealthily sleuthed out juicy tidbits to get the real deal Holyfield on what these interns reeaaaalllly thought of their summer (…and rephrased their quotes to keep it anonymous.  Apparently I put on my “nice journalist” hat on…)

  • On the buyer role
    • T H E Y  S A I D : Wowza, buyers have a lot of responsibility and do it all – from high-level strategy to nitty gritty tactical execution – buyers own it all. There’s so much to do all the time, buyers need to be able to prioritize.  They were surprised by the amount of meetings and noticed that everyone had their own way of managing packed schedules.  They noted that merchandising really is a blend of art + science – and they saw a lot more “art” than expected across all businesses (picking fabrics, choosing colors, providing feedback to vendors on designs, etc).  They pointed out that buyers need to be able to make decisions and take calculated risks without knowing all the facts.
    • I  S A Y : True.  And I’m happy to see that the interns had such a holistic view of the buying role.  We did a lot of cross-pyramid/department shadowing and had interns experience buyer activities in many different kinds of businesses.  This is a newer part of the internship and one that I hope we keep doing!
  • On Target
    • T H E Y  S A I D : Fast, Fun, & Friendly indeed!  Target is a fast-paced culture which makes work incredibly fun.  There is a super strong culture that is hard to explain, and it’s easy to get sucked in… you become Targetized quickly… in a good way.
    • I  S A Y: Touché to Tarzhay.  Target has an extremely unique culture which is why I couldn’t ignore them when I was recruiting and why it was easy to return after my summer internship… there’s a lot of energy + enthusiasm that buzzes around this building.  It’s the perfect home for a social chatterbox like myself.
  • On Minneapolis
    • T H E Y  S A I D : Land O’ Lakes indeed.  The interns loved the lakes and partaking in all the alfresco summer activities the city has to offer: biking | running | exploring parks | boating | beer fests | rooftop dining | outdoor concerts | farmers markets | etc.  Most everyone hailed from big cities and was pleasantly surprised at how legit of a metropolitan city the mini apple truly is.  Eats + drinks are notable, James Beard awarded, and actually affordable.   Oh and by the way, no sales tax on clothes.  Not too shabby.
    • I  S A Y: I still have to explain it to my So Cal friends + family who picture me wearing parkas in farm fields…  But the ones that do finally make it over here for a visit see exactly why I can call this place home.  And then they give me crap for saying my O’s funny every now and then.  Bah!

.:: The above paparazzi shot is from the MBA Intern Closing Happy Hour ~ I can’t believe how fast ten weeks flew by!  Au revoir Class of 2013!  Good luck in your second year and don’t worry if every now and then you feel like rockin’ some red + khaki to school.  It happens to the best of us ::.


Interested in a career in buying, planning and brand management? Search and apply for jobs here.

5 Replies to “the real deal Holyfield… an intern perspective…”

  1. Cosign on the no sales tax on clothes- I loved that about my visit there! It’s great to see you giving so much support and enthusiasm towards the interns, since I know your experience as one was super influential and memorable and helped lead you to your time now at Target. Helping the next generation find their path, whether they’re current MBA students, high school students, or even younger kids is always important to do!

  2. I am in Minneapolis and LOVE Target. I received my graduate degree in Project Management some years ago. Can someone tell me how do I become a part of the great Target Team?

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