Being a senior and attending Louisiana’s flagship school, I was always taught to be prideful and confident in my university. I have never been too shy to scream “GEAUX Tigers,” and I have always made it a point to say “Love Purple and Live GOLD”. However, it has always bothered me that I could be so confident in a school or even our football team, but I have myself lacked self-confidence. While I attending LSU I have taken classes that allowed me to conduct some self-evaluations and dive into my personality type. Sure enough, all my results from my instructors and classmates were along the lines of “Take Risks” or “Be Confident”. I began to realize that if I was always afraid or nervous that I would not be able to excel.
Once I began my executive food internship at Target I was very excited; yet, the feeling of excitement soon vanished when I received my schedule. As I reviewed the course of the program, there were dates marked “Lead Food Department” or “Be LOD (leader on duty)”. I was so nervous! However, over the course of the internship, I was able to prove to myself how much responsibility I could handle. I noticed I was becoming more comfortable not only in my department, but in the greater store as well. It was definitely time to do something out of my comfort zone.
Recently, our district team leader (or DTL as Target calls it) and human resources business partner (or HRBP), took us interns on two store visits. Our district team leader wanted us to get the feel for what it was like to be on both ends of a DTL visit. We were able to witness how he actually conducted the walk to observe a Target store. I was pretty sure that this was an assessment of how much we were learning over the last few weeks.
I was rushing with emotions as we walked the store assessing their wins and opportunities. It hit home for me that all of the training and development I received during my internship came to fruition. Then, the time came to recap our experience with our DTL. This really took me out of my element. I am not typically a reserved or shy person when it pertains to my personal life, but I was now lacking professional confidence. But in that moment I felt a sense of confidence build up inside me. I began to explain my assessment of each store calmly, yet confidently, which resulted in me receiving amazing feedback from my HRBP.
I owe a great deal of recognition to my mentor for being such a huge impact in my development. He has always supported me by instilling the confidence in me to lead at the next level. With his encouragement, I was not only able to successfully complete my DTL walk, but I gained the experience in such a value-added session to not only take back to the store team but to continue with the tools given to enhance the communication style and leadership capabilities that I have always desired!
Post by Kristen, Target stores executive intern
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