As I sit and reflect on this past year of my life, I can only think how appreciative I am to have been part of such a hard-working, charismatic team of people.
This past summer I started the Executive Internship in stores, hoping to develop some real world experience, when in reality I would come away with so much more.
My Target journey has not only taught me a lot about myself as a leader, but also how to work in a team. Almost immediately, I fell in love with the positivity that radiated from each Team Member, and I yearned for more. This yearning led me to my current position, Target Campus Liaison at the University of Georgia.
Here are five lessons that I’ve learned throughout my career with Target.
1) It’s okay not to have all the answers. When I began my role as a Campus Liaison, I found myself overwhelmed and feeling a bit lost. Where do I even begin? Who do I reach out to? I soon realized, that I had a team of people at my arm’s reach that would be more than happy to help me. I began asking my supervisor and my peers for help. I learned that it’s okay not to have all the answers. Better yet, I actually would gain more insight from using the various people and resources around me.
2) Embrace feedback. Feedback can be difficult to hear, and it can sometimes be an awkward experience. During my internship, I quickly learned that Target embraces giving feedback, through discussing each individual’s strengths and opportunities. Rather than viewing feedback as a negative, Target taught me to use it to my advantage to improve myself as a leader. My supervisors were giving me constant feedback, because they cared for my growth and development.
3) Don’t be afraid to step outside of your comfort zone. This goes hand in hand with embracing feedback. After having a discussion with my advisor and mentor, I was slightly alarmed that my biggest opportunity was demonstrates courage. As my internship was coming to an end, a great opportunity presented itself, the Campus Liaison position at my university. This was a huge step in my career, and although frightening, I knew it would help me broaden my experience. I set up my first campus presentation, and I was nervous, terrified, imagining the million reasons why I could fail…but I did it. I survived and faced a crowd of 300 people. Now, giving presentations is a routine part of my everyday job.
4) Don’t let a few bumps in the road discourage you. As a Campus Liaison, I had high hopes of targeting the Greek life at UGA. I used all my resources, sent numerous emails, and wasn’t getting the response I had hoped for. It was challenging to feel as though my hard work wasn’t translating to the direct results I had planned for. Although frustrating and exhausting, this bump in the road actually allowed me to refocus and target another area on campus that would eventually be a big success…the Terry College of Business school. I dove headfirst by setting up classroom presentations, Employer of the Day, and reaching out to the Business organizations.
5) Every mentor has something to teach you. A big part of entering the work force, that they don’t prepare you for in school, is working with a vast number of very diverse individuals. Throughout both my internship, and my current position, I have been enormously fortunate to work with some inspiring and conscientious people. My District Team Leader has really highlighted work-life balance. Her secret is keeping good routines and schedules, so that she has time to enjoy family and interests outside of work. My current supervisor has exemplified an optimistic demeanor, even in a time of vast transition and change. My Recruitment Captain has reiterated to always know your business, and be able to explain that to those you are working with. Lastly, my local Store Team Leader has been able to share through his Target story, that if you perform, Target will assist you in whatever career path you choose. I have been able to really learn that each mentor I come in contact with throughout my career has something to teach me.
I am in no way an expert or even faintly close to having it all figured out, but I will say I have learned countless, invaluable lessons throughout my career with Target, and I look forward to joining the team full-time come July as an Executive Team Leader!
Interested in joining Target? Learn more here.