Preparing for Interns Coast to Coast
Springtime is an exciting time for Target – it means that preparation to welcome over 1,000 Interns across the country is in full swing! Read on to learn more about how our Intern teams are working hard to prepare and what you can do to have a successful summer!
Jesi, Lead Executive Recruiter, Campus, from Stores and Distribution:
Interns! Interns! Interns! That is my number one focus as we head into the big Intern Kick-Off in my markets! Intern Kick-Off is my Black Friday. It’s the day where all of our recruiting efforts over the past school year come to light as a group of amazing young leaders joins the Target Team as Store Executive and Distribution Operations Interns. But before we get to that big day, there is a ton of preparation that goes into planning all things Intern.
It starts in the fall…we take a look at the projected Intern headcount, what markets it makes sense to have Interns in, and what schools are going to be our best bet to find great talent. Some Interns are hired as early as August the year prior to their Internship start, so part of our strategy is to stay connected with those Interns and keep them updated on all things Target.
Around the beginning of the year, we start looking at store and mentor selection. We want our Interns to be partnered up with a leader they are going to learn from, and part of a leadership team that is going to help teach and train them. Once the mentors have been selected, we go into training mode! Each mentor and their supervisor is trained on the Internship program, what we expect of our Interns, and most importantly, what their role will be in helping the Interns be successful throughout the summer. After the mentors and their leaders are trained, they connect with their Intern to get to know them better and share how excited we are to get them rolling!
From there, it is planning for the actual event. Intern Kick-Off is a fun day for our Interns to learn and meet their leaders. I am working on planning a mix of team-building events and educational trainings to prepare our Interns for their summer. After kick-off, I want my Interns to leave with a better understanding of a Target Store/Distribution Center’s leadership team, the expectation of them as Interns and how we as a leadership team are going to help them to be successful! I reflect back on how excited and energized I felt leaving the Kick-Off I attended as an Intern in 2007, and want to make sure that each of my Interns feels the same way!
Lloyd, Intern Program Owner from Headquarters:
It’s the end of May. While most students are wrapping up their school year and looking forward to some additional sleep, I am keeping a countdown outside my desk anxiously awaiting the arrival of our HQ Interns.
My name is Lloyd and my only job at Target is to make sure we operate a world-class Internship. How cool is that?! I think back to my college days, and how I was so excited, very eager, and wanted to do something big to impact my career. So what can you do to make sure you have a great Internship? And what does Target do for its HQ Interns to make sure we’re doing our best?
What you can do? My advice on the number one thing you can do to be successful in any Internship is be curious. So what does that mean? For me, as an Intern it means you should be asking lots of questions and not feeling bad for doing so. Your team expects you to learn, and if you take that opportunity to be curious, dig in, and ask tons of questions. If you do this, you’ll understand the company and your role much better. Beyond being curious, put in the work. Once you understand how to make an impact, genuinely dedicate yourself to going after a solution that drives great results. After all, that’s why we’re all here. Lastly, be yourself. Yes, I know everyone says this, but it’s truly a life lesson. Being able to bring your entire self to work generates a feeling and authenticity of trust among those you work with. Beyond that, I promise you will be happier on a day to day basis. Bring your passion, energy, dreams, quirks, and even guilty pleasures to those team lunches and water cooler conversations. You’ll be glad you did.
But what could Target do for you? Heck, why do I even have a job? Is it the fun events? Well, I would argue sometimes. Target puts on an amazing summer experience where you spend plenty of time seeing Minneapolis, volunteering, going to games at Target Field, concerts, meeting our C-suite leaders, getting housing assistance if you’re from out of town, and much more! But much more important than that, is the impact you can make on our business while you are here. In fact, that’s the number one thing I spend my time thinking about. How do we make sure you have a big project and an accurate view of what it’s like to be a Planning Analyst if you’re an Intern there? What about Software Engineer Interns? How do we make sure you are actively contributing code and are 100% part of an existing agile scrum team? I could go on…but the good news is I think we do a pretty good job, and that’s what gets me out of bed every morning. I truly want every Intern to succeed, and take that responsibility personally. Well that and our casual dress code :).
So what about you? Where are you at? Ready to make an impact this summer? Well, no matter where you Intern, have fun, do big things, and get excited.