Over the past two years, I have learned more than I can possibly put into words. I have learned the critical business analyst tasks—how to forecast ads, troubleshoot instocks, and write purchase orders—but I have also learned how to carry myself professionally, communicate effectively, and create a work/life balance.
The business analyst role has truly laid the foundation for me to have a successful career, and for that I could not be more grateful. But after two years, it’s time to move on. I am passing the ice cream torch to one of the former interns that I’ve worked with who has returned full time and I am moving on to a new challenge within Target’s Community Relations department.
This time of transition has been a whirlwind, and as I am about to move on I’ve been taking the time to reflect on the biggest things I’ve learned throughout my time as a business analyst. When you’ve learned as much as I have (phew…it’s been a lot), it’s definitely hard to identify just a few things, but these four learnings definitely stick out the most in my mind:
*It’s not worth crying over spilled milk melted ice cream
- When you are a BA, some not-so-great things are going to happen. Trucks are going to melt, vendors are going to not ship you, and orders are going to arrive with pallets completely tipped over. It happens. The reality is that this is the nature of any business, and there are some things that we just can’t control. It’s not worth crying over (even when it really feels like it is), and what’s most important is your ability to adapt and react when bad things happen.
*Nobody wants to screw up
- This is a big one, and it’s all about perspective. When vendors and other partners you work with disappoint you, human nature is to assume the worst about their intentions. As a BA, you put out fires constantly (it’s actually a big part of what makes the job really exciting), but in order to maintain relationships with key partners you have to approach every issue with a solution-oriented focus that never emphasizes blame. The reality is that you’re going to screw up eventually too—so give a little grace to others and it will most definitely come back to you.
*Perception is reality
- At the end of the day, you are who people think you are. This may seem a bit blunt or unfair, but it’s a reality. It is of key importance that you always think through how your actions are being perceived by both your internal and external partners. As a BA, you are the face of Target to our vendors and to anyone you work with. This is a lot of responsibility, so set yourself up for success by keeping this in mind from day one.
*The only constant is change
- There will always be new best methods, new systems, and new faces that you will have to adapt to and work with—especially in this new retail day and age where our guest is changing how they are choosing to shop at Target. Being resilient, adaptable, and open to change is one of the biggest keys to success. If you show that you are an individual who cannot simply just survive during change but thrive during change you will be unstoppable.
This last learning is especially resonating with me as I am packing up my desk and moving on to a new building, a new team, and a new role. This change is scary, but it’s also exhilarating. I wholeheartedly believe that you grow the most when you’re “uncomfortable” or when you’re being challenged in a new way. And that’s the great thing about Target: you will always get challenged with new opportunities and roles, which means you will never stop growing in your career or in your personal development.
So I’m ready to grow and I’m ready to go—but I’ll never forget my time as the Ice Cream BA. I’ve learned a ton, I’ve worked with some of the best people in the world, and I’ve eaten more ice cream than you could ever imagine.
The BA role set me up for huge success—where could it take you?
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