My path: the one less traveled

Hello all! My name is Vinton and I wanted to share a little about my path to (and through) the great company that is Target (many of you know us as Tar-jay or Tah-git depending on what part of the country you’re reading from). You may ask – “Did you want to be in retail management your entire life Vin?” Well, the answer to that is no, and for no better reason other than I had a false sense of what it was like to work in retail. So now, I’ll go ahead and educate the masses on the things that I didn’t know about retail, Target and all things in between that could have essentially kept me from an AMAZING career.

First things first. I grew up in a small town in Northern NJ (no not near the Jersey Shore, but just over the Hudson from NYC) and had big dreams of becoming an architect. My love for football (and an athletic scholarship) took me to a small town in Smithfield, Rhode Island at Bryant University. My plans quickly changed and I perused a Management degree for a hopeful career in project management.

Bryant, for those of you who aren’t from New England, has a well-known business program. Typical of most business programs, retail and retail management was not prevalent in the curriculum. I found a great internship back near my home town. I was an assistant project manager and head intern of an up and coming Construction Management company. I thought it was great! I was the right hand man to the COO, I had a beautiful office right on the Hudson River, and I drank my morning cup of joe with a view of the Empire State Building and the NYC skyline as the backdrop. But soon I came to a realization: my dream job was far from what I wanted. Well … now what to do? I was going into my senior year and had NO IDEA what career path I wanted to take.

I spoke to one of my favorite professors about my situation. He said something that I will never forget: “Vin, just do something that you never in your life thought you’d be interested in. Your dream job clearly wasn’t what you thought it’d be, so maybe you’re just wrong about everything?” After I shook off the feeling of being insulted, I gave it some thought. The next week I threw on my best suit and tie and walked through the career fair on campus. I saw a friend of mine who started with Target the year before waving so I approached the booth. My intention was to say hello and keep it moving, but the words of that professor played back in my head.

Everyone I spoke to at Target had an amazing attitude, upbeat personality and a great story to tell about their experience. I was able to do the Target executive internship program, which was my way to give it a trial run before I really committed to it full time. For the first time I woke up every day and was excited to go to work. The summer flew by and my last semester of college and football approached. On the final day of my internship, I was given a job offer! I was on cloud nine and obviously accepted! Not even the impending preseason camp that started the same day could bring me down.

I moved to Boston, MA and started my career as an executive team leader – hardlines (running the sales floor areas not including apparel or accessories). I learned A TON about myself, leadership, merchandising and running a business. I did well in my first role, and after a year and a half was promoted to executive team leader -logistics (running the logistics, or in store supply chain management and replenishment process). Now I’m excited to move into my next Target milestone as a blogger.

So long story long; you never know where the path may take you. Mine took me one way before hooking a hard U-Turn to get me here. I learned a lot about myself throughout my journey, and can’t wait to see where it takes me. The greatest part about Target is, there is no end in sight. There are tons of opportunities, in different places, doing different things. And I’ll always remember, this all started from – “Vin, just do something that you never in your life thought you’d be interested in. Your dream job clearly wasn’t what you thought it’d be, so maybe you’re just wrong about everything?”

 

Interested in a store management role at Target? Learn more and apply for openings here.

  • Tammy

    July 26th, 2013

    Thank you for putting in to words how I feel about this great company as I start my new career as a Guest Services Team Leader!

    Reply
  • Nathan B.

    July 30th, 2013

    Vin, your post has so many great elements to it, but one struck me the most; your ability to adapt.

    As I finish my last semester of college, I am also in the final stages of my interview process for the ETL position, here in Atlanta, Ga. All my life I have had a passion for marketing, however recently that changed. Similar to your story, sometimes our dreams just aren’t what we expect. Having taken retail classes recently, I credit my recent professor with this change in heart and look forward to hopefully working as an ETL and developing my leader skills and understanding of business.

    I hope in 5 years I’ll look back and have as an inspiring story as yours.

    Thanks,

    Reply
  • Laura Yepsen

    August 5th, 2013

    Congrats on this new blogging project, Vin! Really great message. It’s always nice hearing from a fellow Bulldog!

    Reply
  • Yolanda Manning

    November 4th, 2013

    Vinton you are truly an amazing person and I hope to be able to share this same energy that you have as a leader to Target. I am interviewing now for the ETL position and I am confident in my abilities and experience that Target would be a great foundation for my future career.

    YM

    Reply
  • Marshae S.

    November 13th, 2013

    Vin, great story! I am looking into careers at Target and this is very encouraging.

    thanks,

    Reply
  • Valy Rasuli

    April 11th, 2014

    Vin, I enjoyed reading about you. It truly was a great story and from reading your story I’m even more excited about my summer internship with Target. This story was very encouraging.

    Reply
  • Cynthia Gibson

    June 28th, 2014

    Hi Vin,

    I enjoyed reading your story. My name is Cynthia G, U.S. Army Staff Sergeant, retired. A couple of days ago I went to a job fair for military at FedEx Field in Landover, Md.

    I would like to go into Management for Target and have applied today. Reading your story, I hope I have as much fun as you have had.

    Thank you for your story,

    Cynthia G
    U.S. Army
    Staff Sergeant, Retired

    Reply
  • mardi pring

    July 17th, 2014

    Thank you Vin for your inspirational story about how you got to the position that you have right now. I applied the ETL and Store Leadership Management as of today. I am hoping that I get to work for this great company of Target. As a customer, I really enjoy this company as it is second to none and continue to improve in all aspects as the economy and market changes. Crossing fingers that I get the opportunity as well :). Thank you again for sharing your story. Sometimes the life you dream of takes a detour but everything happens for a reason.

    Reply
  • Nick DeLand

    May 16th, 2017

    I am in the candidate pool with Target in the Orlando, Florida area and the role of Executive Team Leader has been passively mentioned. Wanting to learn a bit more, I happened upon your blog and read it with delight. You have a great story and the advice given by your professor aligns with my recent decision to look for opportunities unrelated to my first career. Thanks for sharing!

    Reply

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