When I found out that Target was opening up an Innovation Center in San Francisco, the doorstep of Silicon Valley, my immediate reaction was, “it’s about time,” followed by, “where do I sign up?” Growing up in the small town of Murray Hill, NJ, I’ve always been drawn to technology and innovation. The fact that I lived across the street from Bell Laboratories, an incubator of innovation and the birthplace of the transistor, was likely just a coincidence. However, as America’s brightest scientific minds gradually began migrating west to Silicon Valley, so did the epicenter of innovation.
After college, I eagerly moved “out west” to work at some of the hottest companies in tech. I quickly became spoiled by a warm, sunny climate almost year round (I once counted five months straight without a single drop of rain), as well as the laid-back, sometimes eclectic, work environments within which I found myself operating (it wasn’t unusual to let your dog run around the conference room during a meeting). In an effort to broaden my horizon, I took two years off to attain an MBA and MS in Computer Science at MIT in Cambridge, MA where I had the opportunity to visit the renowned MIT Media Lab and witness another approach to research and innovation. Following grad school, the allure of the Valley and my passion for being at the cutting-edge of tech sling-shotted me back to California. I had effectively gone from coast to coast to coast to coast in the span of 5 years, having never once stepped foot in a Midwestern state in my life.
As one of the first hires into the SF Target office, which hadn’t even been constructed, my first day on the job was actually attending orientation in Minneapolis. As my body reached new levels of cold I had never experienced on the East Coast, I was quickly blanketed by new levels of warmth from the people and culture of Target. Never in my career had I encountered such personable and humble individuals with a laser focus on our brand and guests. The SF team knew that preserving this artifact would be the top priority in building out a new office thousands of miles away from headquarters. With a number of months under our belt, a newly constructed office, new talent joining every month (we’re hiring engineers!), we are poised and excited to break new ground in Silicon Valley.
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