Helping Leaders Act with Empathy, Clarity and Compassion in a Crisis

This year, the effects of the global COVID-19 pandemic have been intensified by a national outcry for racial justice and equity. Facing these societal challenges can come with grief and anxiety—all while doing our best to be productive and stay engaged at work.

Target has more than 300,000 team members globally, a vast majority of whom work in our stores and supply chain

Now more than ever, Store Leaders play a critical role in supporting their teams by adapting to uncertain times with clear communication and compassionate guidance. Many are turning to an internal website for Adaptive Leadership, available to store leaders and above, to receive ongoing development and equip themselves with new skills or a fresh way to lean into those they already have.

“With COVID-19, we’re navigating a world that’s rapidly changing, so Adaptive Leadership puts the focus on the things that matter right now—like resilience, inclusion and empathy,” said Layne Greer, Director, Leadership Development. “While these simple and practical tools and resources are an evergreen and permanent part of Target’s professional development portfolio, they’re curated for this moment, and designed to help leaders address their team’s most pressing needs.”

 

 

Users can read, watch or listen based on the time they have to invest, and can choose “micro-learning” modules that take just a few minutes—an especially effective option for time-constrained leaders in store and supply chain roles. And Adaptive Leadership content offers more variety than ever before for leaders at the store level; it lets users explore topics that match their personal needs, as well as what their team needs from them.

The topics strike a balance between personal aspects— physical, mental and emotional health—with the professional aspects of managing both the business and people. The site delivers a personalized, self-service user experience that gives leaders actionable insights and critical support during the pandemic and beyond.

With COVID-19 and the recent events in Minneapolis, Adaptive Leadership helps leaders connect with members of their teams who are emotionally impacted. A consistently evolving platform based on user feedback about what’s valuable and what’s still needed, the Adaptive Leadership site provides guidance for how to show up compassionately, while widening perspectives and helping team members prioritize and balance both work and life.

Leveraging Diverse Perspectives and Improving Lives through Data Science and AI

Target's presenters at the 2020 Grace Hopper Celebration (Koel Ghosh, Jacob Yunker, Luisa Polania Cabrera),

Target continues to emerge as a data science leader. Whether it’s greater personalization or a nimbler supply chain, our engineers and data scientists help bring to life Target’s next big idea faster and smarter.

The 2020 Grace Hopper Celebration (Sept 29–Oct 2) gives attendees a glimpse into some of the most exciting work to result from our investments in data science and technology—and the women technologists who are propelling Target into the future.

This year, there are two presentations – learn more at jobs.target.com/gracehopper:

DevOps + Data Science: Reduce Time to Data Driven Decisions
Presented by Koel Ghosh, Lead Data Scientist, and Jacob Yunker, Lead Engineer and Software Engineering Coach

Shop the Look: Fashion Compatibility Prediction for Complementary Product Recommendation
Presented by Luisa Polania Cabrera, Principal AI Scientist, and Yiran Li, Lead Data Scientist

Read on for a glimpse at the fascinating content from the Dev Ops + Data Science presentation—plus insights on why this work matters, how it both delights and challenges those who choose it, and how Target’s commitment to diverse thought partnerships gives us an advantage from the inside out.

Can you give us a “sneak peek” of your presentation at the 2020 Grace Hopper Celebration?

Koel Ghosh: Our presentation is based on work we did in December 2018 to launch an interactive dashboard on the Target Application Platform. The solution delivered on many aspects, including accessibility, scalability and customizability, and enhanced my productivity as a data scientist. Coaches taught team members about it and it was well adopted. And we didn’t realize when we submitted the work to the Grace Hopper Celebration that the solution stack also increases productivity in remote work environments, which is so very valuable and necessary during the ongoing pandemic.

Jacob Yunker: This joint effort arose from the need to create a custom data visualization that was scalable and easily shareable with end-users—all while reducing as much engineering maintenance as possible. We have data viz solutions at Target like Domo, but they don’t always do what a data scientist needs, or they don’t do it easily. Many data scientists can make their own app, but then there are issues around where to host it for business partners to easily access it, as well as how much long-term maintenance is involved with owning a custom app. What started as an experiment has since been repeated many times by other data scientists. In fact, the solution is now a training that my team hosts multiple times a year. Having worked for years in data science and now being a Software Engineering Coach, I love helping bridge the two worlds of data science and software engineering.

Can you share a fun fact about Target’s data science team?

Koel Ghosh: It includes folks from many disciplinary backgrounds—computer scientists, physicists, mathematicians, statisticians, etc. In fact, I am an economist by training, and one of the few social scientists here.

Jacob Yunker: It’s such an innovative space, with so many talented folks trying out new ways to bring data into business decisions. As I coach, I continue to feel so fortunate to work with this organization. It’s so energizing to help data scientists bring amazing ideas to life using patterns that are as robust, scalable and automated as possible. My personal belief is that a data scientist’s time is best spent doing data science. Any necessary engineering should support this effort, not hinder it.

Why is data science important at Target?

Koel Ghosh: Data Science enables Target’s purpose to come alive more easily and efficiently. We get to leverage data, algorithms and technology to make life easier for both guests and team members. We save them time so that they can reach out for more meaning and more joy.

Can you describe a time when Target incorporated diverse perspectives to influence a project outcome?

Jacob Yunker: I see many examples of this, and my partnership with Koel over the years is a great one. We have different backgrounds, strengths and perspectives. By partnering on that original experiment (the basis of our presentation), we have realized so much value, not only from that product, but in many others based on the same solution. I don’t think this would have been possible without two people with different experiences working together to try something new.

What do you like most about data science? What do you find most challenging?

Koel Ghosh: It’s a wonderful spectrum of varied activities involving data coming from many guest-related, business and operational areas. You go from creating a simple report, a dashboard, or an ad hoc analysis, to standing up products that do automatic decision-making at scale. It also involves testing, and contributions of thought from so many disciplines. All of this collectively helps inform better business decision-making and processes that serve our guests. There is no end to the learning, and there are so many ways to approach a solution. I came in with a strong statistics and economics background, and the area that I have leaned into and learned the most about being a more effective data scientist is in computational efficiency, i.e. how to get things to run very quickly. Just keeping up is challenging. The tech stack or methods that serve Data Science evolve so fast. It can be overwhelming if you aren’t disciplined about it.

Jacob Yunker: Based on my time working in Data Science, I think my answer to both questions is the same: The questions we are trying to answer are both enjoyable and challenging. Every data science product I worked on had a very interesting problem to solve, and there were so many approaches to think through and try. Of course, some approaches work better than others, and it’s always a learning experience.

Can you describe some of the leading-edge machine learning AI technologies you’re working with?

Luisa Polania Cabrera (co-presenter, Shop The Look): There are many frameworks and libraries in the AI field, and they are always evolving. My team heavily uses PyTorch and TensorFlow for the development of deep learning models. PyTorch is an open source machine learning library for Python based on the Torch machine learning library that allows for fast and flexible experimentation. It originated in Facebook’s AI research group. Similarly, TensorFlow is an open source machine learning framework that is easy to use and deploy across a variety of platforms. It was created by Google for supporting its research and production objectives.

Finally, what advice would you share with someone considering a career in data science at Target?

Jacob Yunker: Be curious, humble and open to change. Learning is a life-long thing, so you won’t always know the answer, and things can change in the blink of an eye. Challenging yourself to be OK with this is so important for success. Partner with people who complement your skillset and have different perspectives. Diverse teams build better products!

Curious about a career at Target? Watch these short testimonials from our Technology & Data Sciences team, or explore opportunities near you at target.com/careers.

Maintenance Mechanics in our DCs: A Very Particular Set of Skills

Maintenance Mechanic

The team members in Target’s 40+ distribution centers or “DCs” are on the front lines of getting product to our guests on time, every time. To do it, they rely on material handling equipment (MHE), which includes complex automation and mechanisms like conveyors, sortation, scales and printer applicators.

When something goes wrong with one of these impressive machines, time is of the essence—and the guest experience is at stake.

Maintenance mechanics are key to ensuring that these essential but sometimes tricky machines are working safely and properly. They are experts with a deep and wide-ranging understanding of the mechanical, electrical, pneumatic and hydraulic systems in play in our DCs. Their specialized skills enable them to pinpoint issues and mitigate them—fast and safely.

Here, three maintenance mechanics give us a peek into their daily routine at a job where you will see that each day can vary! 

Describe your start with Target and your role as a maintenance mechanic in one of our distribution centers.

Miguel: I began my Target career as a team member in 2009, and was awarded the position of maintenance mechanic seven years ago. My main role every day is to provide support and to deliver a safe and productive work environment for my team in our one-million square foot building. I conduct daily preventative maintenance tasks on over six miles of conveyor, and spend time troubleshooting and repairing systematic or mechanical challenges when needed.

Kevin: I started in 1994. My day-to-day responsibilities include addressing and proactively responding to maintenance calls across our facility, proactively maintaining equipment through preventative maintenance, and serving as an expert and liaison to operations teams on all equipment concerns.

Dustin: I have been employed by Target for 16 years and began my role as a maintenance mechanic in 2015. My responsibilities include completing a daily walk of the building’s systems to identify any needed repairs, performing preventive maintenance on conveyors and other machinery inside the distribution center, and identifying any corrective repairs.

What do you enjoy most about your role at Target?

Kevin: I enjoy the challenges that may arise throughout the day, and being the subject matter expert when the team needs my support. I also enjoy getting to learn new things, especially as Target continues to grow.

Miguel: The thing I enjoy most about my role at Target is my team. Every day when I come to work, I know I have a supportive team who has become like a family to me. We have created a tight bond over the years, and it makes coming to work very easy.

What’s the most challenging aspect of your role?

Dustin: The most challenging aspect of my role is prioritizing repairs that are needed, and working within a small window of time to complete repairs. A majority of the equipment in the building is needed to run on a continuous basis to maximize building efficiency.

Kevin: Understanding how to always tailor my approach, with both my peers and our operations managers, to ensure we’re providing great service and being approachable even in difficult or high stress situations. 

What experience or skillset do you believe best equipped you for this role?

Kevin: I attended technical school during my time as a Utility Attendant to gain troubleshooting and electrical knowledge for my role as a Maintenance Mechanic. I kept an open approach, and was excited to learn more about the role through my education outside of Target in preparation for my move into the mechanic role.

Miguel: When I approached my operations managers about wanting to become a mechanic, they provided me with the internal support and training I needed to understand material handling systems and how to troubleshoot and repair. I was partnered up with a systems engineer and a few different mechanics that took time to train me and gave me guidance where I needed. Eventually, I was able to interview for a mechanic role and was very confident due to the training I received. Every day, I continue to learn something new from my peers. But I have also had an opportunity to lead new mechanics, which is a skill I learned from the great support Target has provided me.

Dustin: I have always been a very hands-on person who likes to have a good understanding of how mechanical things work. I have a background in both the construction and auto repair fields. I coupled that with classes in electro-mechanical engineering to gain a diverse skillset that I believe is needed for the maintenance mechanic role at Target. 

How would you describe the culture at Target?

Dustin: It’s a very fast-paced professional environment.

Miguel: The culture at Target is very positive, and it’s great to see when team members embrace that culture and seem to love what they do. Within my team, the culture is very strong. My peers and my leader have created a culture that is trusting, and although we have very different backgrounds, we are a very inclusive team—truly my family away from home.

Kevin: The team is very upbeat, and excited to tackle the work in front of us. Our team mentality makes it easy to solve hard problems.

What has surprised you most about your career with Target?

Miguel: I have always stayed at jobs for long periods of time, but at Target, I have been able to move up in my role, and I am very committed to give my all every day when I am here. Every shift, every call and every situation is different, so my job is always stimulating both technically and mentally. The supportive culture here gives me the chance to continuously learn from the systems engineers and other mechanics. And it’s great that in return, I am given the opportunity to share my knowledge with them.

Dustin: It has been more mentally stimulating than I had expected. There is always a new challenge depending on repairs needed that day, and no day is the same.

Kevin: I’m surprised every day with how Target continues to grow as an organization, and have seen and been able to lead through exciting change specifically in my building.

Think you might have what it takes to excel in a role as a maintenance mechanic? Explore openings at target.com/careers and search “maintenance mechanic” for opportunities near you.

Students Bring Big Thinking and Extraordinary Solutions to the Marketing Ideation Program

Target Marketing Ideation Program

Target’s Marketing Ideation Program gives students across the country a hands-on virtual opportunity to engage with Target’s best-in-class marketing teams and leaders while gaining practical skills and experience—plus it’s a resume-builder like no other. This program also provides a unique opportunity for participants to impact more than 30 million Target guests with their original ideas.

Participants in this inaugural program were presented with two business cases: 1.) How could Target increase relevance among Gen Z males through marketing, and/or 2.) How would you (re)design a piece of marketing at Target to ensure an even stronger sense of inclusion for all?

A company-wide cross-functional team reviewed the entries and looked for: clear articulation and illustration of the idea, creativity and original thinking, strength of the strategic idea, the impact on the guests we serve and communities we operate in, and the solution’s ability to be executed, both physically and digitally.

The winning submissions explored a popular pastime among Gen Z males that means more to them than a mere hobby, and a new kids’ clothing experience that recognizes who they are and who they want to be.

We connected with the winners, Penn State senior duo Michael and Ashley, and Alicyn, a senior at Michigan State University, to speak with them about their solutions, what inspired them, the parts of the experience that they enjoyed most, and how marketing can truly foster inclusion.

First, tell us a bit about yourself and why you chose to participate in the Target Marketing Ideation Program.

Michael (Business Case 1 Winner): I’m a senior at Penn State majoring in finance with a minor in psychology. At the same time, I’m heavily invested in the marketing curriculum as a teaching assistant for a principles of marketing course, as well as a branding and advertising practicum course.

Outside of class, I lead one of our business school’s two marketing organizations, Penn State Prime. It’s a student marketing organization focused on branding, advertising and consumer insights. One fun fact about me is that I did a year-long project on Target in eighth grade and received a letter from former CMO Michael Francis. Participating in the inaugural Target Marketing Ideation Program seemed like a natural extension of my long-held admiration for the fun, hip and colorful Target brand—paired with my background and interest in marketing.

Ashley (Business Case 1 Winner): I am a senior marketing major at Penn State University. I decided to participate in this challenge because I enjoy solving marketing challenges and wanted to use the skills that I’ve learned in my courses over the past four years. I am Vice President of Penn State Prime, and Michael and I have already been working together through Prime over the past year, so I knew that if we collaborated, we would be able to develop a strong marketing plan. Target’s Marketing Ideation Program greatly aligns with my aspirations to get real-world experience from one of the best brands in the world. I am also relocating for a brand marketing job after college, and thought that the Target gift card would be great to fill my new apartment with furniture and kitchen supplies.

Alicyn (Business Case 2 Winner): I am a senior at Michigan State University studying Advertising Management with a minor in Advertising Analytics. One day, I was scrolling through LinkedIn and came across the link about the Marketing Ideation Program. Once I read business case #2, I knew that I wanted to compete.

What were the key components of your marketing solution, and what is the key takeaway for Target?

Michael & Ashley: We took on the task of identifying a way for Target to increase relevance among Gen Z males through marketing. Through our research, we discovered that Gen Z males are very involved in electronics, and more specifically, gaming, with favorite brands such as PlayStation, Nintendo, Xbox and Sony. We also realized that a large percentage of this generation believes that gaming isn’t just a hobby, but a part of their individual personal identities.

From these insights, we created an experiential marketing campaign to revamp Target’s electronics department called the “Winners’ Circle.” Our proposed activations included advertising through gaming influencers, competitive gaming sponsorships, Target exclusive in-game content and merchandise, an interactive in-store gaming space where friends could try out games and foster community, and the use of influencers for curated collections and in-app video review content.

Alicyn: My solution to designing a piece of marketing that would increase inclusivity was two pronged. First, the actual pieces of marketing would show children dressed in what society considers the “opposite” gender’s clothing. The second part was a redesigned children’s section which would only be broken up by size instead of gender.

There are now more studies on children’s gender development that show this behavior of wanting to wear the “opposite” gender’s clothing is completely normal and only constrained by our societal expectations that are pushed onto children from a young age. The key takeaway of this proposal was that we should not only be encouraging children to do and wear what makes them happy, but also embrace them expressing who they are in the moment.

What did you most enjoy about the business case, format, incentives or other aspects of the inaugural program?

Michael: As a finance major, one of my favorite things is collecting and analyzing data. For this project, I enjoyed visiting different Target stores and observing how actual customers interact with the various departments and product offerings. Many of these ethnographic observations helped to inform our ultimate activation strategies.

Ashley: I loved how open-ended the question was. It allowed me to do my own research and build my own insights without feeling restricted. Our solution was probably way different from any other groups, and I liked that aspect the most.

Alicyn: My favorite part of participating in the inaugural program was that there was little direction. In school, we are always given outlines, rubrics, etc. This case allowed me to become more comfortable with not having a strict list of expectations. I was simply asked a question and presented my solution in a way that worked for me. 

What role do brands play in ensuring a sense of inclusion for all?

Michael & Ashley: We believe that brands play a critical role in ensuring inclusion. Today, it’s not an option for brands to decide whether or not to be inclusive—it’s expected. Brands that choose to pioneer new ways to be more inclusive are the ones that will prove to be sustainable, and the ones that aren’t will eventually lose relevance and respect from consumers.

Alicyn: Considering brands are everywhere in our lives, I feel that their role in inclusion is extremely important. Brands that use their platforms and voice to support inclusivity are leading with a strong example of making all feel welcome.

Here, we talked with program judges Mary Beth George, LeAnna Pierson and Michael Abata, on the many impressive submissions received, the evolution of the program, and how it gives Target the benefit of fresh insights and inspiration while providing a new way to engage and invest in talented students that will become future of marketing.

What did you find most interesting or surprising or interesting submissions?

Mary Beth: I was incredibly impressed by the quality of the submissions—from the data gathered, to the synthesis of the data, and a strong understanding of our guest.

LeAnna: For both business cases, I thought it was really interesting that there was a core theme that emerged. There was definitely consistency in the passion for each set of guests. I was also really impressed with the quality and time dedicated by the students to provide thoughtful and insightful ideas for Target.

Michael: I was so impressed by the thought and energy that went into every submission, and I was inspired by the ideas. 

What do you hope the students gained from this program? 

Mary Beth: My hope is the students gained a positive learning experience with the Target brand. I hope they learned more about our guest and how we approach problem solving.

LeAnna: I hope that students saw the type of topics that Target marketing thinks about on a daily basis, and how that can help them better understand future careers. I also hope they had fun looking at a new problem and working with Target.

Michael: I hope this gave students real-life examples of marketing business challenges facing brands today.

How do you envision this program evolving?

Mary Beth: My hope for the program is that we can further expand our reach to more students, and give them more touchpoints with the Target brand.

LeAnna: Now that we know more, I’d love to see our questions and business challenges evolve to keep it salient for students. I’d also love to see how we can refine our efforts to continue to increase participation.

Michael: It would be amazing to bring this competition to recruiting events so we can ideate in real time.

How do these ideas demonstrate the value that Target places on guest insights, and how does this program provide a unique path for capturing them?

Mary Beth: We are only able to bring a very select number of students into our marketing associate and intern programs every year. The benefit of this program is that we have the ability to establish a connection with a broader base of students across the country. We can learn from them, and establish a positive interaction with our brand.

LeAnna: This program was so fun to be a part of. I loved seeing the fresh thinking and new approach to problem solving. These students gave us a new perspective and insights.

Michael: We love having the opportunity to hear unique perspectives from college students. This program provides Target the opportunity to better understand what’s important to students, and how we might adapt our marketing effort to better serve their needs. 

Curious about a career at Target? Hear from a few of our past interns and recruiters, or explore opportunities near you at target.com/careers.

Mining for Local Tech Talent with an Intern Program that Works for Them

Target recognizes that many of tomorrow’s best and brightest technology professionals are headed for non-traditional engineering education paths including community and commuter colleges–many of which are right in our own back yard. So we set out to design a flexible spring internship program—but this was no typical program.

In order to cast a wider net into tech talent sources we hadn’t previously considered, this internship had to offer part-time schedules and tailored training and onboarding to fit busy lives with competing priorities like jobs and family commitments.

The goal of the internship is to close the experience gap with exposure to a real-world corporate environment while building technical skills and providing the professional development and mentorship that prepares students for positions in Target’s Technology Leadership Program.

In the quest for a pilot partner, Target considered local colleges based on curriculum content, courses of study, student demographics, success rates and faculty interactions. As a result, Metropolitan State University (Metro State) emerged as an ideal choice as our initial partner, with a goal of expanding to additional talent sources in the future.

Half of Metro State’s students are people of color, 62% are from lower income households and 61% are the first generation in their families to attend college. Further, the average Metro State student is 31 years old with a household, a job and other obligations. The school achieves comparable success rates while maintaining academic rigor, and has the lowest-cost bachelor degrees of any university in Minnesota.

 

For more on the program, we sat down with Metro State alum and Campus Champion, Dan, and program sponsor, Kraig, to understand what makes this internship so uniquely promising in a time of unprecedented demand for top tech talent.

How is Target’s internship program with Metro State different from others?

Dan: First, this internship takes place in the spring. Second, we prioritize accommodating students’ time. Since most students are still attending class, we are flexible with hour requirements so students can maintain their studies. We create a set of core days for interns to be on site, and then leave the remaining schedule to them and their manager.

Competition for talent in technology is fierce. Why is Target taking the opportunity to foster home-grown talent?

Dan: This program provided us an opportunity to explore new avenues for untapped talent. Before this partnership, local students may not have immediately thought of Target as a place they could start their career in technology, and Target didn’t realize the caliber of students we already had access to in our local market. Through the program, we’ve unlocked a mutual benefit to both these amazing students and Target. We value the diverse perspectives they bring to Target and the great contributions they make to their teams.

What do you find most exciting or rewarding about seeing the first class of Metro State interns grow at Target?

Dan: I am excited that we’re recognizing the talent coming out of this school. The student body is very motivated and ready to jump in and contribute. I look forward to growing this partnership.

Kraig: I have loved seeing the passion this group of interns brought to Target. They all jumped into their experience on day one just like they were full-time team members and never looked back. I believe we are at the start of a very good relationship here.

 

For the intern point of view, we chatted with Polly and Jack – two engineers who participated in the Metro State internship and are now members of our Technology Leadership Program.

What has surprised you most about this unique internship program?

Polly: The amount of support I received during my internship was phenomenal. I was surprised by how easily I was able to network with members of my team, as well as upper management and senior leaders. And I felt encouraged to take on challenging problems and improve my confidence as a young professional.

Jack: The focus and emphasis on learning and professional growth over productivity was most surprising. There were no expectations of me other than to learn and demonstrate growth in the topics I chose. I also had a say in the technologies I wanted to focus on.

Why was the structure of this program particularly beneficial or rewarding to you?

Jack: Taking time to focus on a specific area of the business, gaining hands-on development and operations experience, and deepening my understanding of Target’s infrastructure was incredibly rewarding. In my first few weeks in the Technology Leadership Program, I was already making connections and using tools that I had learned about during my internship. This program has done a lot to prepare me to be an even more successful engineer than I otherwise would have been.

Polly: Working by day and attending classes by night, I found that what I was learning during my internship was directly applicable to my school projects. This parallel correlation of events allowed for an easier transition from student life to being a full-time engineer.

What opportunities did Target provide for learning, growth and development?

Polly: Participating in groups like Target Women in Science and Technology (TWIST) and attending events such as Demo Day and begINNER Con have been great learning opportunities. It is inspiring to meet other engineers or product owners who are passionate about their work, and they offer a great way to network with others in technology at Target.

Jack: Even as an intern, I had access to the same learning resources as regular team members (Safari Books and Pluralsight) and as many internal talks and conferences as possible. From begINNER Con to the Lunch ‘n Learn events, there are a ton of avenues for developing your skills.

How have you developed your skills as a result of your internship experience?

Polly: I’ve become better at organizing my time and managing my projects. I have also improved my communication skills to ensure team expectations and objectives are met.

Jack: In the 15 years leading up to my new career at Target, I worked as a hairstylist with no background in tech aside from my undergrad and summer internship. I was indeed a novice. Right away, I challenged myself to ask a lot of questions. Even when I struggled to find the right one to ask, I still put my lack of knowledge out there and allowed myself to be vulnerable. I branched out and learned new languages like C#, Python and PowerShell. I became more familiar with Git and CI/CD, and conquered my fear of unit testing thanks to the amazing efforts of my team.

What was the highlight of the internship program experience for you?

Jack: The team I worked with and learned from. I was placed in a role that balanced learning both the development and operations-side of the business. Creating automation to support our operations and minimize downtime on POS systems in stores was quite fun, largely thanks to my team. My manager was also incredibly supportive throughout the process; giving me space and freedom to work on what interested me while also checking in often to make sure things were going well. And in the end I even walked away with some new friends that I’ve been able to hang out with outside of work.

How would you describe the culture at target?

Jack: Laid back. It’s one thing to tell your employees to bring their authentic selves to work. It’s another thing to actually mean it. I feel like I can be myself at work and ultimately, I’m judged on my performance and ability to grow in my role. Additionally, I feel like the growth mindset and “better every day” mentality is thoroughly embraced. You’re not expected to know everything, but you are expected to see those gaps as opportunities and show some willingness to learn.

Polly: Driven. Whether it be an individual or a team, it is clear that every employee is driven to define their own meaning of success and how to achieve their personal goals. I also love the work-life balance!

What would you tell someone considering a career in technology at Target?

Polly: Technology at Target is innovative, creative and progressive with a strong learning culture. As an employee within Target Technology Services (TTS), you will be able to develop your hard and soft skills while contributing to projects that support the company’s business ventures.

Jack: What are you waiting for? Target is such a large company, there is something here for everyone. You could spend an entire career here and never run out of things to learn.

 

Interested in learning, developing and contributing to our tech team? Learn more about our Software Engineering Internship – Spring Program, or explore all Technology & Data Sciences roles and apply today.

 

 

What does a seasonal role with Target entail? These team members share their experience.

The Pulse team recently caught up with several current team members who started their careers with Target as seasonal employees during the holidays. With the busiest shopping season quickly approaching, we wanted to learn more about what it’s like to work in our stores during this exciting time.

From extra income and flexible scheduling to retail experience and a sense of family and community – these past seasonal team members share what they enjoyed most about their experience and why they ultimately decided to transition to a regular Target employee.

 

How would you describe the role of a seasonal team member?

Kayla, Store Director: The role of a seasonal team member is an important one. When our guests need to get everything to make their holiday season special, our seasonal team understands how to work in a fast-paced environment and provide the best guest experience that our team expects going into the fourth quarter.

Heather, Style Consultant: Being a seasonal team member, you get the opportunity to help guests during the holiday season. If they’re stressed or worried about things, you get to be that light when they come into the store and to make them smile.

 

Why was a seasonal role at Target particularly beneficial or rewarding for you?

Simran, Human Resources Expert: The seasonal opportunity was important for me because it got my foot in the door at Target. When I first applied to Target I was in search of a different environment after working in food service. Being a seasonal team member allowed me to develop a perspective of what retail life is like and whether it would work out for me. Seasonal work was also beneficial because it earned me additional income for the holidays to spoil the family and friends that I love so much. Now after being at Target for five years and counting, I realize it was a great first step to take!

Heather: I started at target as a seasonal team member because I had just moved here from another state, and I wanted to meet new people in the community and make friends with my coworkers. Starting out as a seasonal team member allowed me to do just that.

Nadia, Beauty Consultant: I was in the middle of transitioning between jobs, and I really wanted to get my first retail experience. So the seasonal role was a great opportunity for me. Also, being a university student, it gave me the flexibility that I needed to also focus on my studies while being introduced into the retail community.

 

What opportunities does Target provide for team members to get up to speed quickly, learn how to service the Target guest, and build skills?

Kayla: To make sure that our seasonal team members are up to speed with all of the initiatives that Target’s focused on, we ensure that they are side by side training with some of our best team members to coach them on creating that great guest experience Target is known for.

Simran: I think the strongest skill Target gives to its employees is empowerment. Target allows team members to take charge of situations and find solutions on their own instead of just having a leader give an answer. For example, when I worked with a former leader and would ask for help, she would first ask what my solution should be and allow me to try different options to find it. With her support I felt more empowered and confident to fix things on my own.

 

What is the best part about working as a seasonal team member and servicing Target guests?

Nadia: Being a seasonal team member, you get to see so much of the store in such a short amount of time. I also love that I have the opportunity to meet so many people and help them during the holiday season. It can be a very exciting time because people are looking for gifts, they’re looking for their holiday outfits and you just have a lot of joy during this magical time of year.

Brianna, Visual Merchandiser: I enjoy helping guests find the perfect clothing fit for them and making sure they’re really happy while shopping. In February 2019, we launched our newest line of intimates and sleepwear. A guest came in to shop for intimates but she was disappointed because she couldn’t find exactly what she was looking for. I went ahead and showed her the new products that matched the style and comfort qualities she was interested in. She decided to try them on and ultimately loved what I had recommended for her. It was a rewarding experience.

Julie, Style Consultant: I really love the energy at Target. I love greeting guests everyday; I love helping guests. It’s just a very fulfilling, rewarding position for me. I absolutely love working here.

 

How would you describe the culture at Target?

Simran: Target is a company that focuses on the guests and team members and empowers them to be the best they can be. It’s a fun environment where everyone is focused on the same goal and is aiming for success. With so many opportunities for growth, Target really encourages you to go the extra mile and help wherever needed.

Brianna: The target team is like a family to me. The minute I got hired my peers were welcoming and helpful. Any questions or concerns I had, they were there to help me.

 

Following your experience as a seasonal team member, what made you decide to transition to a regular team member position at Target?

Nadia: As a seasonal team member I was having a great time meeting new people and learning about things that were important to me, so transitioning to a regular role was one of the best opportunities. I couldn’t ask for anything better.

Simran: I decided to continue as a regular employee at Target because I fell in love with the company’s culture. Being allowed to explore different departments helped me find what roles worked best for me and helped me grow my confidence to be the leader I am today. After starting as a seasonal guest advocate, I became a guest advocate full-time, then I was promoted to a few positions in guest service and was ultimately offered a position in Human Resources where I am now.

 

What has surprised you most about your career with Target?

Simran: Target has surprised me in that my roles helped me realize that human resources is what I truly enjoy and the career path I want to take in life. Without these experiences, I wouldn’t have found my passion in life so I am forever thankful to the company.

Brianna: I’m surprised by how much I’ve learned in such little time. Every day I’m learning something new. Target gives you the opportunity to grow with the company and I think that’s amazing.

 

What would you share with someone considering a role as a seasonal team member?

Simran: Target is more of an adventure in life than a job. Even if Target does not work out as a career path for you, it is a great place to start because the company has so much to teach and offer. You never really know what it can bring you until you take the first step. Target has changed my life and it could change yours!

Kayla: As a seasonal team member, you get the opportunity to come on, be flexible and work with one of the top notch teams in retail. If you love what you’re doing, you get that opportunity to become more of a permanent team member into the future.

 

Interested in a role as a seasonal team member in our stores? Learn more and explore openings at targetseasonaljobs.com.

 

Demonstrating the Art of the Possible: Innovation, Technology and Experimentation at Target

Innovation has become as important to consumers as quality and value. Delivering consumer-relevant innovation requires getting into the consumer mindset and experiencing their journey firsthand.

Experimentation is the name of the game, according to Malyn Wrobel, Target’s Director of Technology Services, Infrastructure and Operations. We recently sat down with her to talk about Demo Day, the Guest eXperience Center (GXC) and how innovation and experimentation are at the heart of Target’s learning culture in technology.

First, describe your role at Target.

Malyn: I play multiple roles within the technology organization at Target. As Chief of Staff to the Senior Vice President of Infrastructure and Operations (I&O), my team manages key functions across I&O, including financial and resource planning, performance tracking, developing the global I&O brand and culture in both the U.S. and India, and internal and external marketing and communications efforts. My responsibilities also include organizing a quarterly Demo Day for Target Technology Services (TTS) and Product teams, as well as being accountable for the Guest eXperience Center (GXC).

How does Target foster innovation?

Malyn: Innovation doesn’t just sit with one team at Target—it’s everyone’s goal and part of our culture. The second piece is experimentation. Target creates a safe space to bring ideas to life, even if they don’t pan out. Here at Target, we like to say “tried and learned.” Experimentation helps us quickly say retrospectively what was good or what needs improvement.

What are some accomplishments that your team is particularly proud of?

Malyn: Two accomplishments stand out: the introduction of Demo Day at Target and launching our Guest eXperience Center (GXC). Teams across the company leverage these two resources to articulate the value of the products they’re developing, promote pride in our work and cultivate innovation daily. In fact, the GXC has been so successful that we are planning to launch a GXC in our India offices.

What is Demo Day like at Target?

Malyn: Demo Day began in November 2016 as an informal quarterly showcase of new and emerging innovations. It’s like a Target-only science fair—by team members, for team members—of the most valuable and exciting work delivered by Target Technology Services (TTS). Teams conduct quarterly retrospectives and choose which projects best educate fellow teams on new products and services either available now or in development.

The energy on Demo Day is very exciting. The participants pull back the curtain on projects they’ve poured their hearts into. It’s very much their time to shine—a celebration of their success.

Demo Day has become a wildly popular event. All on-campus corporate Target team members are invited, and all pyramids and solution portfolios are represented. About 1,500 team members attended the most recent Demo Day which had more than 65 booths. Sixty percent were new participants over the previous cycle, and it’s always new innovations on display—nothing anyone has seen before.

Maybe someone goes to Demo Day and gets a great idea for a complementary innovation. They see something in the works they wouldn’t otherwise be aware of, and now they’re able to iterate on the prototype and push the innovation to deliver even more value to the Target guest. This is how Demo Day builds collaboration from the inside out.

What is the GXC? How does the experimentation you do there help Target innovate meaningfully for guests?

Malyn: The Guest eXperience Center (GXC)  is a first-of-its-kind proving ground for innovation. We like to call it “the smallest Target store,” and it even has its own store number. The GXC is the “center” where we bring team members together with product and vendor partners to rally around real-world business challenges and build innovative solutions. Its mission is: Accelerate experimentation. Learn quickly. Dream boldly.

The GXC enables hands-on experimentation. It combines store fixture interaction, back room functionality, retail product and point-of-sale equipment with current store infrastructure and device technology. There are maker spaces and collaboration areas with everything you’d ever need to build something new and start testing it immediately. Then, the results of a given experiment inform the next set of prototypes. The thinking in the GXC is always stretching beyond the current construct. How do we bring our vision to life? We want inspiration and we want to engage our guest while solving some pretty difficult business challenges, like a frictionless checkout experience, for example.

What future opportunities do you see for the GXC?

Malyn: We picked a couple of key focus areas for 2019: inventory and shortage. I see that continuing because it’s driving innovation with a very positive business impact. We also want to continue building relationships like our partnership with universities like Stanford, and joint development with some strategic tech vendors.

What has been your favorite project or opportunity to see come to life as a result of the GXC?  

Malyn: We had an executive challenge: Fitting Room Experience. Within three weeks of an initial ideation session, we had a physical fitting room built in the GXC with some new technology to address the key touchpoints in the guest journey. These included requesting a different size or color, getting inspiration from seeing other options in our assortment or insights from guest reviews, and the ability to request help from a team member at any time. The resounding feedback we hear when we demonstrate this prototype is that people love it and want to see it in Target stores.

What would you tell someone considering a career in Technology or Data Sciences at Target?

Malyn: We are leading the industry. Our vibrant software engineering team is built on a culture where learning, creativity and innovation are part of our DNA. Join us.

For more on Target’s learning culture, read about our commitment to ‘50 Days of Learning.’ Interested in a role in Technology & Data Sciences at Target? Explore openings at target.com/careers.

How Target internships prepared these team members for their future careers

Target internships provide a unique, challenging, and highly rewarding opportunity for people in all stages of their professional journey. To shed light on our programs and how they help prepare interns for a future career, the Pulse team asked three Target team members to reflect on their experiences as an intern. Read on to see where they are now and get their take on our programs, opportunities post-internship, and advice for future Target interns.

 

Describe your experience as a Target intern.

Eddie, Principal Engineer (former technology intern): I started at Target as an intern in the summer of 2006, after my first year of grad school at Indiana University. I was placed with two others in a technology role supporting what is now the Stores & Financial Retail Services organization, working on adding free-form text searching capabilities to item search. The project was just starting, so I got to work on everything from mock-ups to a prototype, including preparing the project for a proof of concept.

The highlight of the internship was a few weeks afterward when I asked a team member for help finding something at my local Target store, and they were using the version of item search with the changes I had helped make.

Summer, District Senior Director (former store intern): I was an intern the summer of 2008 at a local Target store in Michigan, shadowing the Executive Team Leader-HR (ETL-HR) and Store Director. I loved having the opportunity, encouragement and free reign to create, implement and measure the success of a training program for all cashiers to help them better understand and sell the benefits of the Target REDcard to our guests. Specifically, I created content, rewards and training materials that I used with team leaders to help each cashier feel fully informed and engaged in the expectations of their role.

Michael, HR Business Partner (former distribution center intern): I interned the summer of 2016 at in Suffolk, VA. It was an opportune time as our building had just converted to an Upstream Distributional Center (UDC), which allowed me to experience a brand-new building format. I had a great experience as a Target intern, due in part to my mentor who did an amazing job helping me engage with the team and understand the business. It was this foundational time that really allowed me to know what was expected of me in the role and give it my all.

 

In what roles have you worked since your time as an intern? How did the internship program prepare you for your career path at Target?

Summer: In my 10 years since the internship, I’ve held multiple roles across multiple districts and states that helped shape my leadership. These roles include; Executive Team Leader (ETL) in HR and Logistics, Store Director, Human resources Business Partner, Human Resources Director and now District Senior Director. The internship gave me a true idea of what each role would entail and success factors of each so that when provided those opportunities, I had a shorter learning curve.

Eddie: The internship lead me to the Technology Leadership Program (TLP), which exposed me to many different types of roles over a two-year period. I spent time with the Client Support Center (CSC) enterprise support, vendor management and business intelligence (BI) development teams. Then I returned to a stores technology team to work on BI and proof of concept work. The internship prepared me for this in two ways – getting exposure to stores and its systems, and how to “live” on a team full time and contribute. The internship was modeled after a singular TLP rotation at the time, so it was a good immersion experience into the team and prepared me for the change from school to work.

Michael: After the internship program, I joined Target as a full time Operations Manager (OM) within the distribution center. Just over a year into role, I was promoted to the Certified Executive Trainer (CET) for my department where I was able to train and onboard eight new Operations Managers. After developing and training those OMs, I was promoted to my current role of HR Business Partner where I support one-third of our buildings’ total staff (around 400 people). The internship program helped me prepare for my career at Target by providing me with a realistic job preview of my role. It also allowed me to have a better understanding of how the business worked which enabled me to be successful earlier in my career at Target.

 

What are you working on now?

Eddie: I’m currently working on several guest facing experiences. Specifically, Service Hubs – the devices replacing existing price checkers and adding new capabilities for our guests in store and “MyDay” – the primary application team members in our stores use to do their daily work. In both cases, I’m working on projects that touch the most visible aspect of what we do – our stores. Similar to the most impactful part of my internship, I can see the things I develop at work, in use as I walk through a store. Everything I do has an impact, from infrastructure work to API development and networking.

Summer: This year I’ve spent all of my time and energy implementing a completely new operating model to my 9 stores, our first change in op model since I have been with the company. From new titles and new core roles to an entirely new way of scheduling and getting work completed, “stores modernization” has helped lead us to our record-breaking stock prices, happier teams (that are truly business owners) and better looking stores. My role in this has been building my dream team of leaders, training my Store Directors on new skills to lead differently, and validating behaviors throughout stores daily.

 

What opportunities does Target provide for learning, growth and development?

Eddie: So many varied opportunities depending on what kind of learner you are and the experiences you’re seeking. I’m a book learner, so my favorite outlet for learning is Safari Books Online, (which gives us access to their entire library of books) but there are several other online training resources for guidance. What’s important is that Target gives you time to learn things.  As for growth, you get connections to business networks for almost any interest or personal alignment, and it’s also easy to find mentors; just a matter of asking. I’ve never experienced anyone declining a request at mentorship in my entire time here, which really speaks to our culture of growth as well.

Summer: One of the favorite aspects of my journey over the last 11 years are the additional programs I’ve been part of. Aside from new roles and challenges within my roles, I’ve had multiple mentors and bosses that have gone on to Lead Director level positions in the company. I’ve also been part of developmental programs that helped me explore my leadership style. Each Target meeting or training has left me motivated, curious and determined.

 

How would you describe the Target culture?

Michael: Target’s culture is the reason I stay. It allows you to be your authentic self and lead with your strengths. It allows you to get feedback in a constructive environment and drive change. This is the only company where I feel that I’m able to be who I want to be, and I’m accepted for that. It makes all the difference in the world.

Summer: Target is a place where leaders can leverage their authentic selves to drive results through talented teams. There is a strong sense of self-awareness, teamwork and constant learning. It is a culture built on 360-degree feedback and transparency. It is a fast-paced environment where strong performance and effort are recognized and rewarded.

 

Looking back on your experience as an intern, what advice would you share with someone considering an internship with Target?

Eddie: Rather than thinking of yourself as “the intern,” just be a team member on a working team. Express interest in learning what the team does beyond just working stories in a sprint, or get to know your business partner and their peers to see how your project is part of a bigger picture.

Michael: Own your own development. Set up time with people and be open and honest about what you want to do, take opportunities to change things that need to be changed, tell people about how you’re going about it, and be receptive to feedback. Don’t ever think that just because it’s always been done this way means that it should always be done that way. Lastly, come into the internship with no expectations and be prepared to experience a great opportunity with an amazing company.

 

Curious about a Target internship? Learn more about our internship programs and explore opportunities near you at target.com/careers.

Get to know our 2019 Grace Hopper Celebration presenters

Target is proud to once again sponsor the Grace Hopper Celebration – the world’s largest gathering of women technologists designed to highlight the research and career interests of women in computing. This year we’re bringing a few of our best and brightest to share their insights with attendees, while also showcasing how Target is leveraging data, technology and a culture of learning to drive innovations in retail.

In advance of the conference, the Pulse team caught up with a few of this year’s presenters. Read on for what excites them most about their work – and then visit jobs.target.com/gracehopper for the schedule and topics they’ll be covering at this year’s event.

 

What’s the most exciting or innovative project your team is currently working on?

Mike McNamara, Chief Information Officer: I love when we work through complexities to make things simple. To paraphrase Steve Jobs: through focus and simplicity, you can move mountains. For example, I’m excited for our work to create one, enterprise checkout system – for stores and online sales. I’m also excited about the innovation and simplicity of the new, personalized mobile platform we’re developing for store team members.

Jodie Kautt, VP Cyber Security: I truly love what we do so I find it all exciting! We actually have 12 patents pending right now, which demonstrates how we’re continuously driving innovation in the cyber security industry.

Tell us more about how data and technology innovations have enabled Target to be a leader in the retail industry.

Yolanda Smith, Lead Info Security Analyst: I have yet to encounter a company as guest-obsessed as Target. It is truly fanatical and this attitude is reflected in the unique technology experiences we provide to our guests that our peers in retail do not. We don’t just want our guests to come in when they need something, we want our guests to genuinely look forward to spending time in Target and finding that certain something that they wouldn’t find anywhere else. There’s a feeling you get when you go into a Target or shop on our website. Our data and technology innovations are critical to inspiring that feeling and driving the guest experience. It is through these innovations that we enable our guests to feel truly seen without being intrusive; to inspire creative solutions to complex, sometimes regional challenges and; to provide a unified, ‘one Target’ digital-to-stores guest experience.

Mike: For years, consultants have talked about this lofty term “omnichannel” to describe how digital and physical are coming together in retail. That’s just a reality of how we live today. And Target’s become a leader in this space with experiences like same-day delivery, Order Pickup, Drive Up and the Target App. Great technology and data are foundational for Target’s efforts to lead the way in retail.

How about a time when Target incorporated diverse perspectives to influence an initiative?

Joana Cruz, Sr. Engineering Manager: At Target, we believe that diverse and inclusive teams make the company stronger. We not only encourage diversity of thought and background, but also invest in it. For example, in 2017 we established the Engineering Management Immersion Program (eMIP), which is one of many company-led initiatives that supports women in leadership. Its purpose is to help historically under-represented talent develop skills to prepare for managements roles in technology, and I am proud to be a member of the pioneer cohort.

Mike: My favorite example of Target leveraging diverse perspectives was when we launched our new children’s clothing line, Cat & Jack, with which our product designers took the initiative to create sensory-friendly items. They followed that up with adaptive clothing designed for kids and toddlers living with disabilities. It’s just one example of work that embodies Target’s purpose of bringing joy to all families.

What advice would you share with someone considering a career in technology or data science with Target?

Jodie: Go for it! I have grown so much personally and professionally during my time at Target due to the focus we have for continued learning and development. For example, we make a commitment to our team members for 50 Days of Learning. Think about investing that much time in yourself. Imagine the progress you will make year over year.

Connie Yu, Director of Compute Services: With over 1,800 stores, 39 distribution centers, more than 350,000 team members, and hundreds of thousands of Target guests, our work has significant impacts. And that’s one of the reasons our data science and technology teams are highly engaged – because we’re passionate about delivering the best experiences to our end users.

I believe Target creates a good culture for engineers. We make continuous learning a priority and promote a “growth mindset” to give engineers the bandwidth to learn and develop. Fostering diverse and inclusive teams is important and Target gives leaders several tools to create a safe environment to incorporate different perspectives.

So if the impact of our work and our culture sound appealing to you, my advice is to connect with us. You will learn how we keep pushing the boundaries of using technologies to create value, and you may also find several innovative projects you’d like to be part of.

Mike: Apply. We’re hiring. We want engineers who are curious and analytical, who are passionate about learning and who like to solve big problems.

Finally, what’s one word that represents what Grace Hopper Celebration means to you?

Jodie: Ignite

Connie: Inspiration

Mike: Potential

Joana: Empowerment

Yolanda: Arrival

For a more on where to catch up with Target at the 2019 Grace Hopper Celebration, including a schedule of our presenters and how to register for one of their sessions, visit jobs.target.com/gracehopper.

 

Learn how team members like Louis bring their eye for style to Target

Ever wonder who is responsible for creating the visual product presentations you see throughout a Target store – from mannequin outfits and product displays to signage and lighting? Visual Merchandisers (VMs) play a critical role in crafting these inspiring moments for guests while infusing their own sense of style into their work each day.

Interested in creating stunning visual displays of your own? Read on for insights from Visual Merchandiser, Louis.

How would you describe your role as a Visual Merchandiser at Target? What is your day-to-day like? 

My role as a Visual Merchandiser is rather unique. For me it is fun to come in everyday and see what creative work I can do. Whether it’s updating and creating eye-catching mannequin moments, making a beautiful display in our Home department, or of course interacting with our amazing guests to help them find that perfect outfit for an event or occasion. Day-to-day I come in and observe where I can jump in and sprinkle some visual magic. I partner with my peers if they need any assistance executing Visual Merchandise Guides or sets and help train style consultants on being experts in their designated areas. This training can include teaching them proper visual standards and how to take initiative making moves based on trends in their departments.

How does your role help guests discover the joy of everyday life? 

In my role, I take a lot of pride in my mannequin sets. It is a great way to inspire guests to discover styles and trends that they might not have thought would work for them. Often, I have guests tell me that they love the mannequin presentations and ask me to help pick out outfits for certain events they are going to. Those types of guest interactions always stand out and continue to make that visual spark inside of me grow and flutter. I feel it’s one of the most rewarding things about my role. I’ve had guests come back to the store and show me pictures of them wearing an outfit that I helped them pick out. They always tell me about the compliments they got and thank me again for the experience. It’s a truly satisfying and genuine moment of connection.

What has surprised you most about your career with Target? 

What has surprised me the most in my career with Target would be the appreciation Target has for their employees. When I first started with the company, I immediately felt a warm and inviting atmosphere. What I love is how everyone is always so open and engaging with one another. The work that you do is always recognized and you really get a sense of pride coming into work every day.

How would you describe the culture at Target? 

The culture here at Target is VERY inclusive. It’s a beautiful melting pot of ethnicity, cultures, backgrounds, orientations, and gender identity. It’s a place where truly anyone and everyone is welcome. Being part of the LGBTQ+ community, I can say first-hand how engaging and accepting Target really is. Especially volunteering and giving back… between their partnerships with organizations like GLSEN and the Family Equality Council, their participation in the NYC Pride walk and Youth Pride, and even other events for the Pajama Program, WIN, and so much more. I’m always so honored to go and show my support in any way I can. It always stems back to wanting to give that same feeling of acceptance and being embraced to others in the same way that I feel coming to work every day.

How do you stay current on trends and bring your unique style to the visual presentations on the floor?

I stay updated on current trends through social media. “Outfit of the Day” posts or “Style Inspiration” posts are a great way to see what trends are in style and which new innovations everyone is gravitating towards. Personally, I am often influenced by music and recording artists (for example, Rihanna, Selena Gomez, Jared Leto, Prince, and more) so I always try to incorporate their styles into presentations that I do and look to them for inspiration if I ever hit a creative block. I also love to put my own style and spin on everything that I do. Whether it’s from my mannequin presentations or merchandising focal areas to supporting changes in inventory, I always keep the theme in mind and give it a modern twist featuring current styles and trends. For areas outside of apparel, I ask myself the question: “How would I love to style my room or my apartment?” Odds are, if you really love the presentations you’re doing and would wear your mannequin outfits yourself, other people would love it just as much.

How have you grown with the support of your leaders and peers?

I have grown so much over the years with Target and I am still growing. My leaders and peers are always engaging and supportive of me. They’re always hyping me up, congratulating me on my successes, and most importantly, still encouraging me to do more and challenge myself. They know the potential I have even when I don’t see it myself and are always there to give me that extra hand or little push to really bring it out of me. I am super thankful for that.

What would you tell a new Target Visual Merchandiser just starting out?

I have been fortunate enough to train a number of other VMs for my District and Group. Each time I have been partnered with a new VM, I always pass along all the basic tools of the trade and also encourage and challenge them to take risks. The whole point of visual merchandising is to stand out. What is going to make you unique from the rest? We follow Visual Merchandise Guides and have our own set of rules when it comes to visual designs, but add your flavor, your style, your twist – that is really going to make your presentations POP!

Anything else? 

In November of this year, I will make 5 years of working with Target. I started off as a Seasonal General Merchandising team member, transitioning to a full time Style Consultant. A year into working with Target is when I was presented with the opportunity to become a VM. I jumped at the chance, and now look where I am. I am thankful for that opportunity. Style had always been a passion of mine, but I did not know how to pursue it. Target gave me the tools and the opportunity to try something new, bold, and different.  Recently our store became the visual training store for the Group, and I am so appreciative and proud of that. These past few years doing visual merchandising has honestly been amazing. I’m doing something that I love to do and working in a place that is fully accepting and supportive of me. I truly enjoy merchandising my presentations and inspiring guests to discover what’s new. I am super thankful for every peer and every leader that has had any part in my development, because it has all ultimately gotten me to where I am today. I hope to continue to grow and flourish, and spread my wings and see where visual merchandising can take me. I am up for the ride!

Interested in a role as a Visual Merchandiser? Learn more and explore opportunities near you at target.com/careers.

How Target is Propelling More Women into the Ranks of Engineering Leadership

The Engineering Management Immersion Program (eMIP) is a development program launched in 2017 that helps to prepare engineers for leadership roles. This program is aligned with Target’s commitment to diversity and inclusion. Wonder what it’s like to be an engineering professional in the eMIP program? Here’s your chance to learn more! They’re making things happen in Target Technology, and we spent some time asking them what the program is all about…

Describe your background prior to eMIP.

Millie: I studied computer science, art, and language in college. After college I had the opportunity to teach English in Spain and work for a Non-Governmental Organization in Switzerland. After a year, I came back to the Twin Cities and began looking for a job in the tech industry. I started working at Code42 as a server-side Java Engineer. I then moved to Prime Digital Academy as a Software Development Instructor, where I taught adults about full stack software development, led projects, and coached them as they entered the tech industry. I came to Target to be part of this program in November.

Joana: I have been a dedicated software engineer for 20+ years. Delivering results and rallying teams for outcomes where I am deeply involved motivates me. At Target, I have established domestic and global teams in Guest POS domains, led engineering transformation and product modernization development efforts in Supply Chain, and currently part of Enterprise Guest Services team. In addition, I am the Target Women in Science & Technology (TWIST) External Partnerships & Community Leader focusing on K-12 volunteerism and philanthropy efforts.

Sowjanya: I started my professional career working at Sun Microsystems on Solaris Cluster, a clustering solution where my interest in distributed systems began. To further pursue my interest in this field, I completed my Masters in Computer Science at University of Minnesota, Twin Cities. After graduating, I joined Microsoft on the Dynamics AX team, an Enterprise Resource Planning product. Just prior to Target, I worked at Oracle for 5 years on Oracle Hierarchical Storage Manager, an archiving and data management software. I worked as a developer and primarily in product-based companies throughout my career and I ensured to take up new technology domains at each of my roles, be it Storage, ERP or High availability and with Target, retail industry is a whole new space for me and a challenge that I look forward to.

How did you hear about eMIP initially and what inspired you to apply?

Sowjanya: A Target recruiter reached out to me through LinkedIn about eMIP. I have been contacted by recruiters previously regarding job openings, but never have I come across a position/program that is specifically geared towards your personal career development at a leadership level through a formal process. And also, since Target is based in Minneapolis, the opportunities for exploration and growth within the company are immense. These reasons were enough for me to make the decision to leap forward in spite of being seven months pregnant at the time and not let the opportunity pass by.

Joana: I heard about eMIP from a few members of TWIST, who attended an open house at Target. I then attended an online open house to get more information about the program. It took me several days to internalize if this program was for me, as I hadn’t considered management as my career path. To help me with my decision, I consulted a few leaders and co-lead engineers, researched further about women in leadership, and reconnected all inputs to my goals. As a result, knowing that the new management expectation is to maintain our technical skills, I decided that this was the right program to help bridge the gap for me. And I am glad that I applied!

What has surprised you most about the program?

Millie: I have learned so much. The days are jam packed with a mix of technical challenges, formal manager trainings, and on the job shadowing opportunities. I’m getting a lot of practice prioritizing and balancing this mixed work load. As a Senior Engineering Manager at Target, you do both people management and contribute to the tech. Finding this good balance can be hard for new leaders, so having this time to practice before being formally in the role is very helpful.

Sowjanya: Early on in the program was a constant learning period for me – the culture, resources, product, technology stack, developing leadership skills, and so on – which was both overwhelming and exciting at the same time. I was pleasantly surprised at how thoughtful and well-structured the program was right from the start. I am also appreciative of how invested everyone is in bringing the right experiences and exposure to the cohort members – from the advisory board and trainers to the hosting team, leaders, sponsors and mentors.

How have the different parts of the curriculum (formal learning sessions, on-the-job experiences, mentoring) helped to develop your leadership skills?

Millie: The formal curriculum sessions have been great pillars for management learning. These sessions have focused on a variety of topics from communication, like storytelling and assertiveness, to more tactical strategies like Target Interview Training. In between these pillars we have the opportunity to practice the skills we learn on the job. We also have shorter follow up sessions to share out how we are implementing these learnings on the job. These follow up sessions have been very useful to hear how others are applying their learnings and get new ideas to take back to our teams.

Sowjanya: The formal trainings provide a wealth of resources. And on-the-job experience has enabled me to put those learnings into practice and develop my soft skills. I also consciously apply those techniques to communicate effectively and gain credibility. The leader, sponsor and mentor relationships provide an opportunity to brainstorm and get insight and guidance on various topics. These interactions have helped me get a better understanding of what it takes to become an effective leader and be prepared for any challenges that may lay ahead.

How would you describe the culture of the cohort? Or how has having a cohort helped you?

Millie: The current cohort is all women, but we are all very different. We have different backgrounds and experiences. Being able to pull from the group’s wider experiences or rely on them for advice when facing something new is helpful. The flip side of this is that we all have different needs and perspectives. We don’t always agree and sometimes it can be a challenge to get to consensus. But this isn’t unlike how our experiences will be as we prepare for a Senior Engineering Manager role, so it is excellent practice in helping guide teams of driven, smart, and passionate individuals to common destinations.

Joana: I think the best part of the program is being bonded with strong and talented women. Having a group that you know you can trust, supporting you while you are vulnerable, and helping and lifting up each other to be successful is what I genuinely appreciate most on this journey.

How has eMIP changed you?

Joana: More than the role, it is about growing and improving myself. eMIP has opened several opportunities for me as a woman in leadership in an accelerated time frame while retaining my authentic self.

Sowjanya: In just a few short months, eMIP has already made a positive impact on me. In addition to learnings and leadership, it also gave me a chance to reflect upon myself, focus and develop on my strengths. This brought in a lot more confidence in myself and prepared me with a better approach to challenges as a leader.

Millie: I can feel that I am changing and growing by being exposed to so many new opportunities. I expect to look back on my experience in the program far into the future and recognize it as a period that changed the direction and accelerated the growth of my career.

Interested in expanding both your leadership and technical skills in engineering? Learn more about opportunities in the Target Engineering Management Immersion Program and apply today.

Tammy Redpath talks Target in India

While you won’t find Target stores in India, the bullseye is a growing presence in the city of Bangalore. Sometimes called the Silicon Valley of India, Bangalore’s culture of innovation and technology has led many U.S.-based companies to open global capability centers there. Today, Target employs around 3,000 team members in Bangalore. They work on almost every area of Target’s business – from technology and data to marketing and supply chain.

Tammy Redpath, a Target executive from Minneapolis, is just completing her second year as president of Target in India. The Pulse caught up with her to talk about what she’s working on in Bangalore.

What are some of your top priorities for Target in India?

Tammy: The things that are important to Target in India are the same things that are important in United States – delivering our brand promise to guests, investing in the future and making Target a great place to work. But because we don’t have stores in India, our community brand is largely built on team member experiences. For leaders in Bangalore, our job is to build an inclusive culture that values people and helps them build meaningful careers.

How are you building a strong employment brand in Bangalore?

Tammy: We have a really high performing team here – some great minds with incredible experience. Target in India isn’t just delivering back office support. Our team members in India work closely with their Minneapolis counterparts to solve some of the most complex problems in retail, like computer generated imagery and artificial intelligence.  So, when I think about branding ourselves as an employer of choice, we’ve got a great story to tell. It’s about curiosity, innovation and continuous learning. And that shows up in all kinds of ways. For example, we host an Accelerator Demo Day at Target where team members get one-on-one exposure to entrepreneurs and start-ups. We also created a team member incubator program to help those who have a great idea but need mentoring and resources to bring it to life.

Is Target seen as a great place to work in Bangalore?

Tammy: Absolutely. We’re doing a lot to invest in our teams, like giving every technology team member 50 days this year to devote to learning. And we know that everyone’s first obligation is to their family, so our policies reflect that. We offer competitive parental leave and pregnancy care options for expecting moms. For women who’ve left the workforce to be stay-at-home moms, we offer a program that helps them sharpen their skills if they decide to return. There’s also Ignite, a developmental experience to give women the confidence and skills that will help with their career journey. We even have an immersion opportunity that identifies promising engineers and teaches them the soft skills they’ll need to one day manage a large team.

Any advice for someone who’s considering a career at Target in India?

Tammy:  I often tell our new team members, “Don’t just work somewhere, work somewhere you love.” That’s the thing that’s kept me at Target for 28 years. This is a company that cares. From the day you pick up your badge, you’ll have tremendous opportunity to make a difference, while growing your career at the same time.

Interested in a role with Target in India? Explore opportunities and apply today.

Meet our Home Based Target.com Guest Services Senior Specialists

Our Financial and Retail Services (FRS) organization is close to the action when it comes to interacting with our guests. Through exceptional service and support at critical moments for guests and team members alike, FRS cultivates loyalty and satisfaction with every interaction. And they show up and deliver more than 100 million times a year when someone reaches out to an FRS call center for help. 

We sat down with a handful of our Home Based Target.com Guest Services Senior Specialists within FRS—Stephanie, Hunter, Cecilia and Karla—who put their responsiveness and expertise to work for the benefit of the thousands of Target.com shoppers each day. What’s more—they do it from the comfort of their home as a member of our recently launched home based team member program. Read on to learn more about their role and the work-life balance they enjoy as a home-based team member. 

What’s a typical day like as a Home Based Target.com Guest Services team member?  

Stephanie: I help guests with problems they’re having with online orders. It includes taking phone calls or responding to emails to help keep our guests happy—and properly documenting their experience. There is so much competition these days—we want to make sure we provide the greatest customer service so they continue choosing us. My typical work day also includes attending meetings/statuses, reviewing updates and trends, and having fun and staying positive.  

Hunter: help guests with any Target.com-related questions or concerns they may have. I help with such a broad variety of things that there isn’t really a “typical” guest interaction. My work day is usually composed of handling escalated guest phone calls, answering guest emails and using instant messaging to stay connected with my team and leadership. 

Karla: My typical day at work is taking inbound calls from guests, providing “service with heart,” and working to accomplish one-time call resolution. Every day involves research time to follow up with our guest, vendors or any of our partners. I also work on different projects that I may have with my team or with the Diversity and Inclusion Committee.  

What helps you to be successful in your role?  

Hunter: My empathy, along with the support of leadership, has really helped me excel in this role. I’ve always been able to put myself in the guest’s shoes to really understand how a situation may be impacting their life. And our leadership team has encouraged me to lean into that when assisting guests. 

Cecilia: I use skills learned in my prior positions and life experiences. The soft skills and de-escalation skills I learned while working in both Collections and Fraud Prevention and Dispute Resolution have helped me in Target.com Guest Services as well. As each call or email is different, I try to put myself in the guest’s position to understand and have empathy for their situation while working on a resolution that is best for both the guest and Target. 

Karla: What helps me to be successful in my role is having the support from my leader and my peers. And working from home has increased my productivity 

What is the most challenging aspect of your role? 

Hunter: The hardest part of my job is not being able to resolve issues our guests face the exact way they want them to be resolved. We usually have more than one option for how something can be resolved, but every once in a while, we may need to relay disappointing news. This role has the ability to make or break a guest’s experience. No one likes to have to contact a large company when something goes wrong, but I always try to make guests feel like they’re talking to a friend they haven’t caught up with in a while. I do all I can to let guests know that I honestly care about their satisfaction with Target.com. 

Stephanie: Escalating calls to a leader is hard in this position, because you like to feel confident in your role and what you can do for the guest. But sometimes, the guest requests to speak to someone higher, and that makes you feel like you didn’t do enough. But at the end of the day, you really did. 

What’s the best part about working from home? 

Stephanie: It’s so nice to not have to commute in to work and be able to spend more time with my husband and two young kiddos. Work is actually my mini-vacation away from the chaos. I’m in the comfort of my own home and can still do my job efficiently. I also find it rewarding to have this unique opportunity with Target as many companies don’t offer working from home.  

Hunter: It has been an awesome experience. I have more time in the morning to walk my dog or take her to the dog park, and I’ve been able to avoid the stressful morning and evening commutes. I am able to create my own workspace. The desks on site are great, but knowing I can make changes in my workspace that can help me excel has been a game changer. I also love having a silent place to work, and that isn’t always possible in the office. The best part is the time savings. I am probably only saving an hour of my day by not commuting, but it has been so worth it. My dog loves the extra time to play in the morning.  

Cecilia: The flexibility I have now to pick up hours is great. Since I work part-time, I can add hours more spontaneously as I do not have to commute to work. I also love being able to control my own environment, like heating and cooling. It may not seem like much, but it is very nice.  

Karla: Having the opportunity to work from home has been an amazing privilege and has enabled me to balance both work and life. It’s very important to me because as my shift ends, I prepare myself for my kids to get home from school; whereas before, I was in traffic and I couldn’t pick them up and prepare for after school activities. But now, I’m able to get up, get ready, make my coffee and start working without any stress. And during my breaks, I get some stuff done around the house which has also decreased my stress.  

What advice would you give someone exploring a home based opportunity with Target.com Guest Services?   

Cecilia: Being an organized and self-driven person has made the transition to working from home much easier. I was worried that I would be distracted by things that needed to be done around the house, but I just plan out what I want to accomplish during breaks and lunch at the beginning of the day, and I don’t worry about it until then. The one thing I do miss about working in the office is seeing my fellow team members and that interaction. But through IM and emails, I still touch base and even partner with them on cases if needed. 

Hunter: Trust your gut. If you need more face-to-face interaction with peers, it may be difficult to ease into. But there are many rewards to working from the comfort of your home.  

What do you enjoy most about Target? What keeps you here?  

Hunter: I love being able to be my authentic self at work every day. I’ve been on some great teams and have had great leaders that have felt like family. And the competitive pay is definitely a bonus.  

Cecilia: Originally, my plan was to put in for retirement this summer. But with working from home, and all the benefits I mentioned, I decided to work with Target.com for at least another five years. 

Stephanie: I’ve had many other roles in my career life, but being with Target is my favorite. Target leadership really cares that you have a good work-life balance. The culture and diversity are so great. People really work together and take the time to just check in on how work and life are going. The training is also great. We have so many awesome people who have so much knowledge, and they are always willing to help you. I’m so thankful my dad Craig, who has been at Target for 16 years, recommended it as a great place to work, because it was the best career decision I’ve made yet. It’s good to feel excited to work.  

Interested in a role on our Financial and Retail Services team? View current openings at target.com/careers. 

Meet our Target team leaders

Team leaders lead a business that has one purpose: to help guests discover the joy in everyday life. They lead a team that is obsessed with the guest and creates an experience that makes them say “I love Target!” to their friends and family. They bring an expertise in sales, service and merchandising and have a deep understanding of the impact they and their departments have on sales growth and total store profitability—all while building a team that truly cares about each other and the guest. From coaching, training and developing talent on their specialized teams, to inspiring and delighting guests at every touchpoint—no two days as a Target team leader are the same.

So what’s it like to be a Target team leader? We recently sat down with a few team leaders to get the inside scoop.

 

What do you enjoy most about your role?

Christian, Closing Team Leader: My favorite thing about being a Target team leader is working with a diverse group of leaders and learning from them. I also enjoy inspiring and engaging my team members so that they can deliver the best Target experience to our guests. I spend most of my time developing and working with team members, and connecting with them on a deeper level to see what drives them. You really get to work with some amazing people every day.

Tyler, Style Team Leader: I think my favorite thing is working with my entire team on a daily basis. Being in the team environment and just getting to know all the people I work with and taking the right steps to accomplish all of our goals together. Since I’ve moved into the style position, I’ve enjoyed teaching my team solid routines and watching us become more successful.

Craig, Service & Engagement Team Leader: What I really love about my role is just developing others and the connection I make with the community. Being able to connect with my staff members or enabling them to carry on with their duties and roles without me being present is rewarding. So being in service and engagement, not only do I get the opportunity to really be the first and last impression of the store, I also get to make sure my team understands what that means, and make sure that we really impact Target’s mission and that each guest enjoys the experience.

 

How have you been able to bring your own unique approach to your role?

Tyler: My team does these fit sessions. Every time we transition into a new set or season, I’ll have my team build outfits and then try them on, so that way they can speak to guests about what goes well together or how certain things fit. It really helps the whole team from a creative standpoint. I think it gives the team a better understanding of what we sell versus just putting stuff out on the floor and trying to remember where everything is.

 

How have you grown with the support of your leaders and peers?

Christian: I hone my skills through day to day interactions with my peers in collaboration to complete tasks. Plus, Target offers a wide variety of growth opportunities. My leadership team provides me with a feedback-rich environment and the tools to succeed.  They’ve supported my development by constantly challenging me and pushing me to be my best self.

Maria, Human Resources Team Leader: One of the things I have learned from Target is leadership skills—how to develop relationships with the team and to get the best out of everybody by teaching them. I think everybody has potential, and by us investing in them, we can get the best out of everybody.

 

How would you describe the culture at Target?

Abdi, Service & Engagement Team Leader: When I’m in the store, it feels like home, and it’s beautiful. Everybody loves everybody in our store, and it is amazing. We work together side by side, and we help each other to get the job done—we are all family.

Vanessa, Human Resources Process Team Leader: That togetherness, the family feeling, the one team, one dream kind of atmosphere—because everybody’s there for our guests but if one succeeds, we all succeed. So what I love most about working in my store is the people, because there’s always jobs—but when you work with people that you really like, that you’re comfortable with, that you know have your best interest at heart, it makes the job a whole lot easier.

 

What would you tell a new team leader just starting out?

Maria: One of the things that makes a team leader successful is working hard. Proving yourself and learning every single day, being open to change, absorbing information, and providing that feedback to team members. One of the things that I’m a firm believer in is that you have to teach and model what you expect. So when you work hard, your team members are going to work hard for you because they want to make sure that you get those results.

Karla: What I do tell new team members is that it’s a new opportunity. Target is looking for people to grow, and they’re going to help you. Dig into yourself and see what you have inside, like your strengths, even if you don’t think that you have those types of strengths. The company is willing to help you both improve on your weaknesses and help you with those strengths.

Abdi: I would tell a new team leader to expect a great and welcoming environment, a lot of opportunities, great leaders of course, and great benefits.

 

Interested in a role as a Target team leader? Learn more and explore opportunities at jobs.target.com/teamleader.

 

Meet our Data Sciences Team

EDABI team converses.

Target’s Data Sciences team employs a uniquely capable and brilliant team of engineers, data scientists and analysts. They’re responsible for creating the tools and data products that enable business partners to make sound, data-based decisions, and they help develop the technology that personalizes the guest experience—from product recommendations to relevant ad content.

The Pulse team sat down with three Data Sciences pros to find out what’s interesting and exciting about working with data at Target. Hear from Brindha, Senior Manager, Business Intelligence Engineering, Janet, Director, Data Sciences and Kristina, Principal Data Scientist on what it’s like to work on Target’s Data Sciences team.

What’s the most exciting or innovative project you’ve worked on recently? 

Janet: For the last year, we’ve been moving into computer vision, which is algorithms to understand images. Why is that important? We use it to algorithmically understand the images of our products, which in turn allows us to help guest find visually similar or complementary items as they shop. A lot of our products are very style based and since a picture is a worth a thousand words, if we understand what style a guest is interested in, we can create a far more customized, intuitive and relevant experience for them.

Brindha: Closed-loop reporting tells us about impressions and how much our ads are driving sales. We provide Marketing with the data points that help the company make sure their campaigns are planned properly, and which platforms to launch to reach the most number of guests. We help close the loop to report on campaign effectiveness to inform future campaigns. It’s pretty exciting and I can see an immediate impact on the business.

Kristina: We are working on our internal A/B testing tool. I’m giving UX feedback, taking what I do on a day-to-day basis, and turning it into a user interface. It’s almost three years in the making. We used to use a third party, and then we built our own tool which integrates with Target.com and apps. It’s exciting because when we started, we’d only use vendors for something this complex. With our own, custom-built tool we can run more tests and be more effective.          

What has surprised you most about your career with Target? 

Kristina: I’ve spent most of my career at Target, and the most surprising thing is the scope of the role, the opportunities and the different teams to support. During the first ten years, I was supporting two or three teams with different functions, never really doing the same thing twice, solving tons of different problems—and holistic problems versus an online only company. From Marketing, Merchandising to Finance, there are big financial decisions to make, and there are lots of areas where data plays an important role.

Brindha: I’m a data enthusiast, so the one thing that’s amazed me is the scale of the data that we’re working with—and it comes with an equally big responsibility. I want to build optimized products. Making sure that my team has a high-performing solution—this is part of the responsibility. We are a very fast paced retailer so we need to build high-performing optimal solutions for our business teams.

Janet: The importance of company culture and how that can fuel success. The culture of support, collaboration and team work has been a strong influence through my time at Target, and I’ve learned so much from it. While I’ve gained technical skills, I’ve also become a better team player. People really work together.

Speaking of culture, what do you enjoy most about the culture within data and technology teams at Target?

Brindha: The people are the best thing about Target. It feels very much like a family. We are very focused on our work, but we make our everyday life as fun as possible. For new projects, we always try to understand through the eyes of a guest: What do we want to see? What do we want to be served? Culture is especially important to me as a leader, and it’s so important to me at Target. We always work as a team, not in silos. We are one team at Target. That’s our mantra.

Janet: There is a real culture of curiosity and exploration so when you pair that with collaboration you have it going both ways—learning and teaching—and I think that’s really powerful. People are encouraged to explore and innovate. You’re encouraged to try stuff and to take smart risks. You’re not expected to necessarily do the same thing the same way over and over again.

Kristina: Generally, the culture is one where everyone wants to move fast. It’s a whole bunch of people interested in getting things done, but it’s not super hierarchical in terms of who responds to what—there’s always someone monitoring when you’ve got a question. It’s a lot of people who are excited about their work and what they bring to the table, and they openly share it rather than withholding. They’re driven to get the answers to the business teams faster. We’re moving fast in a good way. It’s about agility.

How does Target motivate and retain team members in your space?

Kristina: First of all, it’s just exciting work. We are invited to use creativity and build our skill set. For a lot of people, that’s important—you want to feel like you’re gaining skills rather than working repetitively. Target really does care about data and analytics as crucial to our success and believes that it’s an important investment in the company.

Janet: One big way we retain talent is the breadth of problems that team members get to work on. When a team member comes in, there are many different problems and projects to work on. After a team member has been here for a while, they can switch tracks and dig in on something else. There’s a lot of variety and opportunity to solve big problems. There are also opportunities for learning and new growth in terms of hopping onto new projects, but team members are also encouraged to learn and develop their skills.

Interested in a career in data and technology with Target? Explore opportunities at target.com/careers and apply today.

Get to know Laura, Store Leadership Team

What is the best thing about being a leader at Target?
I enjoy the ability to mold great leaders. Target embraces inclusivity and diversity which makes it incredibly rewarding to be able to help guide people in their career. Target has created a culture of strong values and delivers a great experience for the team and most importantly the guest. I love being a part of this.

What was the most exciting thing that happened this month?
Right now, I oversee the Specialty Department and have a some incredible direct reports. It has been very exciting to see how they have grown and the level of talent that we have created. I have a Visual Merchandise Team Member who has been taking initiative and heading the training of our new Team Members. It is a rewarding sight when the Visual Merchandiser can not only create buy in, but be able to implement true leadership in the department.

What should every leader be reading right now?
I have always been passionate about putting people first. One of my favorite inspirational websites is InspireYourPeople.com as it goes through important soft skills that you have to possess to create followers as a leader. The 212 has a message that can relay to any team. It is about putting in that extra effort into everything you do. Whether it be people development, task completion or even something as simple as creating a schedule, that extra effort can make a big difference.

What’s your greatest accomplishment in your career at Target so far?
The biggest accomplishment I have a achieved at Target was being able to influence and give feedback to our corporate partners about a new operating model. The company truly values feedback and encourages ideas.

What is your favorite thing about working at Target?
I came from a retail company that valued a people first mentality. It was a culture that kept me engaged and challenged for nearly 14 years. I wanted to ensure that the next journey in my career embraced this practice. I was very selective about where I wanted to invest my time and talent and was able to find a home in Target as it aligned with the culture that I value.

What did you want to be when you grew up?
I wanted to be a teacher and a fashion designer. Throughout my career, I have always been in a position of teaching and training. I believe this comes from my core values as a child and of course my keen sense of fashion. 😉

What is the hardest thing about being a leader?
I think the hardest thing about any leadership role is ensuring that you have provided all the necessary resources and provided consistent feedback to guide your team to success. Your success as a team depends on it. Training and teaching should always come first- it is a hard balance when there are deadlines and tasks so we must remember that the investment we make in our people will pay off in the end.

Best career advice that you’ve received?
When I was a District Manager, I had to ensure that I was creating stores and teams that could operate at the highest possible level. At times, it may be difficult to understand that progress is actually a win and to not expect perfection all the time. My Regional Director would always challenge me to ensure that I recognize progress and not expect perfection because it is progress that will get us to where we need to be. I carry that with me in all aspects of my life and career.

Dogs or cats?
Dogs! I have 2 incredible rescues who love my kids and are the sweetest animals you would ever meet.

What is your superpower/unicorn flavor?
If I had a superpower it would be to read people’s minds. But my current superpower is people development. 🙂

Think you have what it takes to become a leadership team member? Explore opportunities at jobs.target.com/teamleader and apply today.

Get to know Danny, Store Leadership Team

What is the best thing about being a leader at Target?
This is such an amazing company to work for! For me, the company’s appreciation for the team was evident even during the interview process. I don’t know about everyone else, but when it comes to me, going to interview for a role you really want can be extremely scary. However, while I was going through Target’s process, before I was even hired, I was overwhelmed by the warm welcoming environment, inclusivity, and positivity from the team. Being able to bring this feeling alive for our current team and potential team members is the best thing about a Target Leader.

What was the most exciting thing that happened this month/year?
This month, being able to be 100% staffed with leaders and team members going into the holiday season AKA the busiest time of the year. We’re staffed with a pretty amazing team too! This year, 9/1/2018 was an extremely exciting life changing day – I asked my best friend to marry me!

What should every leader be reading or following right now?
Your dreams! Dare to dream and always follow your dreams. On top of your dreams, you should follow the advice of your mom or mother figure. Your mom will always have your back and your best intentions as their top priority. Hate to say, but as an adult I realized it’s true, moms are always right. My mom has always been my biggest supporter and one of my best friends. She has always been the one encouraging me to follow my dreams and ensuring those dreams were BIG.

What’s your greatest accomplishment in your career at Target so far?
Umm, this! Being chosen to appear on pulse blog is pretty awesome!!

What is your favorite thing about working at Target?
Having the opportunity to work with and influence such a diverse dynamic team. We have a huge team. Being able to teach and learn from them every day makes work enjoyable and so rewarding.

What did you want to be when you grew up?
A Judge! I always wanted to use a gavel.

What is the hardest thing about being a leader?
Having to let your team fail sometimes. If we are always there as a safety net we will never develop our teams. It’s important to encourage everyone to try new things. They can’t be afraid to fail. Sometimes we have to fall before we can figure out how to fly!

Best career advice that you’ve received?
Keep it simple! Don’t over complicate matters and always use your common sense.

Dogs or cats?
Dogs- 100% dogs! I have Charlie, a 4 year old Yorkshire Terrier. At times he’s annoying– sometimes the reason I say I won’t have kids, but I love him all the time. I guess cats are cool too. I’m allergic so I always stay away, never gave them a chance. The jury is still out on if I want kids too. I’ll be the judge of that!

What is your superpower/unicorn flavor?
My laugh. I’ve been told numerous times my laugh is the best and that it’s super contagious. It’s very distinct. Once you hear it you’ll laugh and then you won’t forget it.

Think you have what it takes to become a leadership team member? Explore opportunities at jobs.target.com/teamleader and apply today.

Get to know Darren, Store Visual Merchandiser

What is the best thing about being a leader at Target?
The best thing about being a leader at Target is being able to share my knowledge and experiences as a visual merchandiser with other team members. Nothing is better than helping a team member who may be new to merchandising, really understand a Visual Merchandising Guide!

What was the most exciting thing that happened this year?
The most exciting thing to happen to me over the past few months was the new full store remodel at our Target store. This was an awesome opportunity to completely revamp the style floor pad and watch the entire team play a part in making the Apparel & Accessories 2.0. vision come to life.

Who should every leader be reading right now?
“Leaders Eat Last” by Simon Sinek. It is about making your team feel valued and how to be an effective leader.

What’s your greatest accomplishment in your career at Target so far?
My greatest personal accomplishment thus far in my Target career was being recognized by our Visual Merchandising Director in front of the entire group for my outstanding work during the new brand launch of “Wild Fable”. My greatest leadership accomplishment was training two new Visual Merchandisers in our district.

What is your favorite thing about working at Target?
My favorite thing about working at Target is that everyone works together as a TEAM! Since the day I have started, everyone has been willing to offer a helping hand when needed.

What did you want to be when you grew up?
When I grew up, I wanted to be a Fashion Designer! Unfortunately I couldn’t draw, so my dreams shifted to being a wardrobe stylist and I get to express my creativity every day by putting looks (outfits) together.

What is the hardest thing about being a leader?
The hardest thing about being a leader is getting your team on board with you. Once you have your team behind you, you can accomplish anything!

Best career advice that you’ve received?
The best career advice I’ve received is to never give up on your dreams. Even when things aren’t going the way you predicted, you have to be consistent and persistent with whatever goal you want to achieve in your career. Period.

Dogs or cats?
Neither, I’m allergic.

What is your superpower/unicorn flavor?
My superpower is the ability to put fashionable looks together. You have to have a certain eye to know what looks good on someone, and for me it comes naturally.

Anything else?
Follow me on twitter @VMDarren1345 🙂

Interested in learning more about a career at Target? Visit Target Careers!

Get to know Angelica, Senior Specialist

Describe your typical work day.
My typical work day consist mainly of taking inbound and making outbound calls to help REDcardholders find solutions to bring their accounts up to date. We all have a schedule each day that will specify when we have breaks, lunches, and/or any other meetings, etc. The majority of the day is on the phones, but during the week we may also have a few department events or meetings. It could get monotonous to be on the phone all day, but we make it fun by having games or contests throughout the week.

What is the best thing about being a Senior Specialist?
The best thing about being a Senior Specialist is being able to help others in difficult times. Understanding their situations allows me to empathize with cardholders to help them move forward to a solution. Making a positive impact in our guest’s life is a great feeling and that’s what keeps me going.

What is the hardest thing about being a Senior Specialist?
There is really no hard part of being a Senior Specialist, it’s all about learning and being adaptable. For some people having a set schedule, dealing with guests who sometimes can be upset, and/or dealing with changes can be a challenge. However, if you have an open mind and stay focused on the goals and priorities of helping our guests, you’re able to adapt to anything that comes your way and make a smooth transaction.

What makes you successful in your role?
What makes me successful in my role is having the full support from my leader and peers, as well as the constant recognition for my accomplishments. Being able to receive and implement feedback is also a key factor to my success within Target.

What was the most exciting thing that happened this month?
The most exciting and memorable thing that happened to me this month was having the opportunity to present my developmental growth within Target Collections Loss Prevention Tempe leaders. This gave me the opportunity to showcase my accomplishments and identify my strengths and areas of focus to continue to work on my development.

Best career advice that you’ve received?
The best career advice that I’ve received is to believe in myself and stay positive.

What’s the most memorable event that your team has taken part in?
The most memorable event that my team has been part of recently was a yoga class hosted by the Well Being committee in which every single one of my peers attended and participated in. Being able to attend this class helped us become closer and understand that our Well Being is just as important as the work that we do.

Dogs or cats?
Dogs.

What is your superpower/unicorn flavor?
My superpower is Enthusiasm. Sometimes it can be difficult to bounce into work with a smile, which is why having a positive attitude is important.

What is your favorite thing about working at Target?
My favorite thing about working at Target is the positive energy that is carried throughout the department. Having the opportunity to be part of a company that is constantly finding ways to help others at the same time keeping employees top of mind is awesome.

Interested in learning more about our service centers? Visit our career site anytime!

Get to know Shea, Sr. Data Engineering Manager

What is the best thing about being an engineer?
One thing I really like is the continuous opportunities for improvement, growth, and fresh problems. There are so many ways to get better, learn more, and completely change gears that I know I’ll never get bored or stagnate.

What was the most exciting thing that happened this month?
I’m really excited about the new engineer, also a good friend of mine, who joined our team! It’s really great to have him on board and been fun seeing his perspective on what we’re doing and how we operate as he’s shadowing me.

Who should every engineer be following right now?
I think “engineer” is way too broad of a category for this, but maybe I’m just not following the right people! I do have a favorite talk to recommend to people who haven’t already seen it: Constraints Liberate, Liberties Constrain by Rúnar Bjarnason.

What’s your greatest accomplishment in your career at Target so far?
I’m proud of the work I’ve done to rearchitect and standardize our team’s build system and continuous integration, in a way that we’re hoping to extend to the rest of the teams in EDABI and even eventually generalize it to cover how we define our computational pipelines.

What is your favorite thing about working at Target?
I really love working with the amazing people on my team, learning from their different expertise and perspectives, and applying that skill and energy to problems with real-world impact

What did you want to be when you grew up?
I wanted to first discover the mechanisms underlying intelligence and consciousness in the brain, and then invent devices to enrich our experiences and make us smarter. I still do think I want to try some of that eventually, but I think I’m constitutionally allergic to academia.

What is the hardest thing about being an engineer?
I find it challenging to navigate the tradeoffs between quality and agility. I think in general gaining a reliable general intuition for the costs of a hack is a career-long process.

Best career advice that you’ve received?
Something I think has definitely made a huge difference my whole career, that I internalized growing up from my dad, is “it can’t hurt to ask”. Applies to asking questions when you’re confused (“no stupid questions”), to when you want to do something you’re not sure you’re empowered to do (including job applications!), and to when you want something different from someone else than you’ve been getting. Of course, it’s not quite as simple as the one-liner implies, sometimes it definitely can hurt to ask, especially if you don’t ask the right way, but I think we as a culture tend far too strongly in the direction of trying to figure it all out ourselves and stick with the status quo.

Dogs or cats?
I have both and love both, but if I had to choose I’d say dogs. I feel like my relationship with my dogs is more emotionally invested and we have more fun together.

What is your superpower/unicorn flavor?
Something that’s always felt fairly natural to me but I’ve learned comes hard to others is an ability to identify the right people to solve a given problem, coordinate their efforts to solve it, and make sure the right kind of communication is happening.

I have no idea what a unicorn flavor is and googling doesn’t help. Is this what getting out of touch feels like?

Anything else?
A good friend of mine once wrote a post talking about how she tries to avoid superlatives when possible, because they often say more than you really mean, because it’s rarely that useful to your audience, and because avoiding them pushes you to give more details about the thing you’re describing. So for these questions I tried to avoid giving a direct answer to “best” or “favorite”, instead talking about something good or something I like.

Get to know Marlys, Senior Specialist

Describe your typical work day.
My typical work day is taking a combination of inbound and outbound calls. Guests will call in to work out a payment arrangement and to resolve issues with their account with me. I also will call guests to try to bring their account current. When guests are current, they are able to use their REDcard in store or on target.com and save 5%!

What is the best thing about being a Senior Specialist?
I love it when a guest calls in frustrated or confused and then I have the ability to turn their experience into a good one by resolving their issues!

What is the hardest thing about being a Senior Specialist?
Some of our guests are going through hardships that no one should ever have to experience. Hearing about their issues, relating to them and finding the best solutions can be quite draining. It definitely takes a special person to work in Collections.

What makes you successful in your role?
I love to learn! When laws or policies change, we have the opportunity to learn new procedures or ways of doing things. I’ve been successful because I embrace those changes and really enjoy helping others learn too.

What was the most exciting thing that happened this month?
I love attending the events Target has during Fall National week! We’ve had fitness classes, speakers (like Serena Williams), concerts, and tons of other things! I’ve gotten my picture taken with Bullseye the past two years in a row. I love him!

Best career advice that you’ve received?
The best career advice I’ve received is to share your career goals with others. This will keep you on track and keep you accountable. Also, if you let people in on your goals, they may keep you in mind for opportunities in the future.

What’s the most memorable event that your team has taken part in?
Our Team has potlucks about once a month where everyone brings their favorite foods in. We always have more food than you can imagine. No one will ever starve in Collections!

Dogs or cats?
Dogs! I lucked out because, during my first week at Target, there was a pet adoption event where they brought in puppies! We could hold them, take pictures and learn how to apply to adopt them. What other company would bring in cute, cuddly puppies on a random Wednesday?!

What is your superpower/unicorn flavor?
My superpower is my laugh because it’s contagious!

What is your favorite thing about working at Target?
Target genuinely cares about the community and about its employees. For example, during Hurricane Maria, there was a picture on the news of cars evacuating Florida on a major highway. In contrast, in the same picture, a Target truck was headed into the path of the storm to deliver much-needed supplies to people. Target’s heart really shines through everything that we do.

Interested in learning more about our service centers? Visit our career site anytime!

 

Get to know Taeler, Store Leadership Team

What is the best thing about being a leader at Target?
This is SUCH an exciting time to be a Target Team Member!! We are laser focused on the FUTURE and investing in the most important part of what we do- our people! I am so proud to say that I work for Target!

What was the most exciting thing that happened this year?
Starting week 1 in my first Store Assignment!!!!!

Who should every leader be following right now?
#1 Get on LinkedIN!! #2 Simon Sinek, Sophia Amuroso and as MANY Instagram influencers / Blogs as you can!!! Love it or hate it social media is how we connect with each other in 2018 and life is moving faster each day… this is how I know whats cool before it’s cool!

What’s your greatest accomplishment in your career at Target so far?
Being a part of all of the exciting progress at Target- from our update to our Logistics process, to our huge investment in Teams with our Selling training.. getting to LEAD our Teams through this time is the most rewarding part of what we do!!

What is your favorite thing about working at Target?
Working for a Brand and Team with a clear purpose that I believe in!

What did you want to be when you grew up?
A lawyer- I still am obsessed with all iterations of Law and Order. 🙂

What is the hardest thing about being an leader?
Understanding that perfection is impossible. As leaders, we make mistakes (Gasp!) and fall short sometimes- the mark of a great leader isn’t perfection.. it’s willingness to accept the failures as a challenge rather than defeat!

Best career advice that you’ve received?
Saying ‘Thank You’ when receiving a compliment as well as when you receive feedback- constructive or positive. Being humble enough and gracious enough to accept BOTH interchangeably. That… and “It’s not that serious”- don’t get worked up unless it’s REALLY something to get worked up about. Choose your battles wisely! C’est La Vie!

Dogs or cats?
CATS- I have 3! Bijoux- a Tiger Tabby, Coco- a Russian Blue, and Magick- a fluffy Persian!

What is your superpower/unicorn flavor?
I am an EXTREME morning person! I pretty much jump out of bed at 5am everyday, and I am my best most productive self in the AM. I like to think of it as a superpower!!

Anything else?
I LOVE to sing karaoke!!!! My husband (Dylan) and I are SERIOUS- we practice and keep a playlist on our phones of potential songs.

Get to know Chris, Product Designer

What was the most exciting thing that happened this month?
We recently had our huge annual all team meeting, Fall National. One of my fellow designers and I signed up to be a part of it not really knowing what our participation would entail. Turned out to be a set of 3 Minute to Win it style challenges with none other than Jonathan Van Ness guiding us through! There aren’t many companies that can bring an experience like that to you and I’m lucky to have outgoing, hilarious, and fun teammates who will sign up for something like that with me.

What should every designer be reading right now?
The best designers are passionate about helping people because, at the end of the day, that is what we are doing. We are trying to make experiences, products, buildings, UI, etc. easier to use and navigate. With that said, I would say every designer should be reading anything that gives them insight into people who are under served by society today. And more than just read or follow, talk to those people. Engage with people who are unlike yourself and try to see the world through their eyes. That will make you a better designer because it increases your empathy and ensures your product will serve everyone.

What’s your greatest accomplishment in your career at Target so far?
Meeting the goodest boy, Bullseye.

What is the best thing about being a Product Designer?
Constantly being surprised by our guest.

What is the hardest thing about being a Product Designer?
Constantly being surprised by our guest.

What is your favorite thing about working at Target?
Target is known for its beautiful design and branding, and now we are getting recognized for our innovation within digital. I love being at the intersection of these two things designing for the Target app. We are constantly pushing ourselves to think bigger and better for our guest while maintaining the high standard of the Target brand. It’s a super fun challenge and makes for an exciting environment.

What did you want to be when you grew up?
I was a real showboat as a kid so I naturally wanted to be a world-famous singer/actor. As I grew up I switched gears and discovered a love for science and art but didn’t really know how to apply those skills together. In college I discovered design, which felt like the perfect marriage of the two, and instantly knew it was the field I wanted to work in.

Best career advice that you’ve received?
When I did yoga teacher training, my instructor told us that when we are teaching a class, we set the energy for everyone in the room. If we are distracted or off center, the class will feel it and in turn be distracted or off center. I find this applies to my work life as well. Taking time to center myself before a big meeting or check in with myself throughout the day helps not only me, but everyone I’m interacting with. TL;DR Self care.

Do you have a favorite patio to hang out at?
Lush in NE. And, if you stay long enough on Saturday you can catch the weekly drag show inside!

What is your favorite thing to do in Minneapolis?
Eat. I lived in New York City for about 4 years before moving back to Minneapolis (I went to school here—Go Gophs!—and my husband is from here.) and every time we came back to visit I so looked forward to eating at all my favorite spots.

Anything else you want to say?
Download the Target app! 🙂

Get to know Asher, Data Engineering Director

What is the best thing about being an engineer?
The best thing for me about being an engineering leader at Target is the opportunity to solve problems at scale that have never been solved before.

What was the most exciting thing that happened this month? 
The most exciting thing for me this month has been that two engineers on my team are now Apache contributors. This not only showcases the kind of focus Target has on open source, but also showcases our engineering capabilities. This really puts a retail company like Target with the likes of large tech companies like LinkedIn and PayPal in terms of our engineering capabilities. This sets Target apart from our competitors and also enables us to bring top engineering talent to Target.

What should every engineer be following right now?
There are a ton of exciting open source projects going on at the Apache Software Foundation. I would highly recommend every engineer to stay aware of those and understand these technologies so they can leverage them to solve their problems.

What’s your greatest accomplishment in your career at Target so far?
Enabling engineers on my team to collaborate with the Apache community and contribute on Apache projects like Hadoop and Knox. This gives Target the ability to not only contribute to open source software but also to drive the direction and road map for open source projects that benefits Target.

What is your favorite thing about working at Target?
The scale that we operate at in terms of data.

What did you want to be when you grew up?
I always wanted to be a Software Engineer. I started coding when I was 13, which is probably old for today’s norm, but it was considered a pretty young age back then.

What is the hardest thing about being an engineer?
Problem solving in ways that can make everyone (maybe most people) happy.

Best career advice that you’ve received?
Three things are most important. Relationships, relationships and relationships.

Dogs or cats?
Dogs! Even though I don’t have a dog right now. But I can see us getting one as my son grows a bit older.

What is your superpower/unicorn flavor?
I pride myself on my customer service and relationship building skills. I can find common ground with everyone I meet.

Anything else?
I’m very excited about the next 12 months at Target. We have an exciting year ahead of us and lots of fun stuff to accomplish for Target.

Get to know Randi, Lead Accessibility Consultant

What should every designer be reading/following right now?
A few resources for accessibility news/topics.
WebAIM blog: https://webaim.org/blog/
Level Access Blog: https://www.levelaccess.com/blog/
Deque Systems Blog: https://www.deque.com/blog/

What’s your greatest accomplishment in your career at Target so far?
Helping to make accessibility part of the development process from start to finish. We are part of product teams now instead of being the roadblock at the end of the process.

What is the best thing about being an Accessibility Consultant?
The best thing about being an accessibility consultant is the variety. We’re always working on new things and having to come up with new accessibility solutions to make sure the cool things our designers and engineers want to build will work for all of Target’s guests. I like having to continually learn and grow.

What is your favorite thing about working at Target?
I like working with a variety of teams and digital products. I also like working at a place our guests are so loyal to, that makes it fun to give them new things to be excited about.

What did you want to be when you grew up?
A sports journalist. I’ve always been a huge sports fan and wanted to work in that industry, then realized I didn’t have the personality for it. I wouldn’t be aggressive enough in press conferences.

What is the hardest thing about being an Accessibility Consultant?
The hardest thing about being an accessibility consultant is having to defend the need for accessibility of our products, I have a hard time wrapping my head around why individuals sometimes don’t see the importance of giving equal access for all people.

What is the best career advice that you’ve received?
Find something you love and do that. Sounds simple enough but having had jobs and a career before Target that I didn’t love I realized, given the amount of time we spend at work, it’s critical to do something you get excited about.

Do you have a favorite patio to hang out at?
Pizzeria Lola – BEST PIZZA EVER! Pair it with a cold beer and a nice summer evening and it doesn’t get much better than that.

What is your favorite thing to do in Minneapolis?
Swim, bike, and run. As a triathlete, you can’t ask for much better than the beautiful lakes and trails we have here. Minneapolis is a great place to get your exercise on, then find a good patio afterword. Even in the winter our city keeps the paths around the lakes clear for runners and cyclists.

Get to know Pete, Lead Product Designer

What was the most exciting thing that happened recently?
I took some new designs to a store and had the cashiers test them for usability. It was a huge success. It was easy to use and they really liked the new designs.

What’s your greatest accomplishment in your career at Target so far?
My greatest accomplishment is that I’ve done so many different things at Target. I worked on Target’s first digital product, Cartwheel. I helped bring the weekly ad to mobile devices. I improved the online and mobile app checkout experiences. I designed software for team members to plan promotions and now I’m working on in-store technologies like the software on cash registers and self-checkout.

What is the best thing about being a Product Designer?
I love solving big problems. Working with business and technology partners to solve problems for our guests and team members is so rewarding. Whether it’s creating new experiences or improving existing ones, seeing the work pay off through measured results is always a thrill.

What is your favorite thing about working at Target?
Target’s willingness to learn and grow is pretty impressive. Target is constantly adapting to changes and learning new ways to do better work. I have the support to research and analyze problems, strategize and define options before designing and testing solutions. This allows me to create the best possible experiences for Target. Rather than being an obstacle that I have to overcome, Target offers me whatever I need to do great work.

What is the hardest thing about being a Lead Product Designer?
When working with people who haven’t worked with a user experience professional before, it takes time for them to appreciate what we do. People who aren’t software engineers never expect that they could sit down and code a great experience. However, lots of people, who aren’t digital product designers, think that they can sketch a few things on a white board to design a great experience. It takes people time to learn that great experiences don’t come from an opinion and a pen. They come from research, analysis, strategy, architecture, design and testing. They come from trial and failure, iteration, collaboration and experience. When I’ve spent time with partners who have learned the value of the work I do, it makes the work so much better and so much easier and fun to do.

Best career advice that you’ve received?
Someone recently told me to focus on learnings and outcomes. What falls in-between can be an exciting journey but it’s those two things that matter most.

What is your favorite thing to do in Minneapolis?
I’m a lover of live music. Seeing a great band in a small club is the best. Whether they’re a national act or a local group there’s always someone playing somewhere. We’ve got a lot of great places from St. Paul to Excelsior and a lot of great music from punk rock to hip-hop.

Get to know Juliano, Lead Product Designer

Hello, my name is Juliano, and I’m a Lead Product Designer at Target. I’m currently the lead product designer on Nicollet Design System. I previously founded Cympel, an adtech startup, worked at Best Buy, led a web design meetup group, and worked as a print designer.

What is the best thing about being a Product Designer?
When I was starting my career as a designer back in the 90s, I was drawn to the art and composition of an effective piece of work. Back then, my understanding of design was very skewed toward “making things pretty” and art. Well, it turns out that a designer’s job is a lot more than creating visuals. It’s also about impact and transformation.

The best thing about being a product designer is the journey of putting myself in a position to be in the shoes of the guest while working with highly talented individuals on product teams to build (hopefully) delightful and profitable products. It’s about the transformation that we submit ourselves to. Let me explain.

Working on a team with engineers, product managers, accessibility experts, researchers, designers, and writers may seem simple and straightforward, but there’s a lot of tension and orchestration that needs to occur in order for a team to achieve a successful outcome. This healthy tension and orchestration have always made me reflect and grow not only as a designer, but as a person. Being able to admit that your idea was not the best or that you were wrong (with good intentions, of course) takes courage and humility. Sometimes we take these little things for granted, but these seemingly small moments of courage yield great results. It becomes less about the outcome and more about the journey with the team.

What was the most exciting thing that happened this year?
Nicollet Design System. We launched in April and adoption is growing every single week. We have many components now in production (thanks, Registry and Adaptive).

What should every designer be reading right now?
Earlier in my career, I thought that a designer’s genius or “talent” was the utmost important component of a successful product or idea. In fact, as Khoi Vihn’s article says, this sense of genius or supertalent has been counterproductive to our industry all along. So, it wasn’t until I had to build a product for survival that I began to understand the value of engineering, business and design working in harmony.

I’m a big believer in acquiring complementary skills as a designer and while I follow/admire talented designers and developers in our field, I believe product designers (working in a product model) should be a little uncomfortable once in a while to learn skills that will help them build better teams, products and better communities. My suggestion, no matter where you’re at in your career, is to become a bit more familiar with a complementary skill.

What’s your greatest accomplishment in your career at Target so far?
I’ve had many accomplishments at Target and I’m proud of them all. Target has given me opportunities that have had a great impact in my career. And while I’m grateful for all projects and teams I’ve been a part of, I’m very proud of the nimble team we’ve built that is transforming how we build products at scale: Nicollet Design System.

What is your favorite thing about working at Target?
My favorite thing about working at Target is the people I get to work with every day. I’m surrounded by highly talented folks who teach me a great deal of things every single day. I often feel I’m the least qualified person in the room, but I learn and grow a lot.

What did you want to be when you grew up?
It’s a tough question, but initially I wanted to be a professional table tennis player. I was influenced by my father, who would intensively teach me table tennis since I was 13 years old. But, as life would have it, I ended up becoming a designer.

Growing up in Brazil, I was exposed to design very early in my life. My father owned private schools in the northern part of Brazil, and my cousin, Alex, was responsible for my dad’s entire business’ visual identity. He was very talented and highly respected in our region among many businesses, local TVs, and design firms. He gave me an opportunity to work with him for a little while and told my parents to enroll me in a local school to take design lessons. My parents followed his advice. His work and mentorship inspired me to what I am today. So, besides a tennis player, I want to be a designer when I grow up. (I’m working on it.)

What is the hardest thing about being a Product Designer?
Perfectionism and compromise.

Best career advice that you’ve received?
The best advice came from my then graphic design professor, Karen Alves. I was graduating from her class and getting my first job as a graphic designer in America. I was very nervous but this is what she said: “Juliano, you’re young and very smart. You take this job, if it doesn’t work out for any reason, you’ll leave and find another job. But, the most important thing that will happen to you is you’ll meet a lot of people in your journey. Some people will become part of your life for a long time and some won’t; some people will hurt you and some people will make you feel at ease and confident; but, what you’ll learn from them will help you grow as a designer and more importantly as a human being. You’ll have a great impact in people’s lives, and people will have great impact on your life. You’ll grow and all of these learnings and experiences are priceless.” I confess that I didn’t fully grasp what she meant and I couldn’t connect dots in the future, but as I reflect today about my life, I can certainly connect the dots in the past. I felt vulnerable to my own skills; I didn’t feel confident but I was happy to be taking the next step in my life. Every time I’m faced with a new change or challenge in life, I think of what my professor said to me. And she was right. All these years have been priceless.

Dogs or cats?
Dogs. I love dogs.

What is your superpower?
Well, this is a tough question. I don’t think I have a superpower, but I’m always looking for ways to grow. My ability to understand and contribute to how designs are built, and speed up the process of building digital products is very helpful for me as a designer.

Anything else you want to say?
The most fulfilled and effective people I know—world-famous creatives, billionaires, thought leaders, and more—look at their life’s journey as perhaps 25 percent finding themselves and 75 percent creating themselves.

Meet Britiany, Inventory Analyst

What is your favorite part of working as an Inventory Analyst?
I really love that I am able to utilize my curious nature and develop new strategies or process improvements to help my business run more efficiently. This role is truly what you make it and you are empowered to challenge the status quo and think outside the box.

There’s never a typical day so, what does a week as an IA look like?
At Target the workload comes in waves depending on the time of year/season. Sometimes you are preparing for a Transition- where you are getting out of old product, and replacing it with new product, others you are building strategies to protect inventory for special events (i.e. promotions, holidays, bad weather, competitor liquidation, etc.). Mondays are primarily spent recapping the previous week, “Status” (aka meeting) with your Business Unit (Buyer, Planner, Associate Buyer, Merchandise Specialist, Manager, etc.), and validating domestic purchase orders. The rest of the week consists of troubleshooting out of stocks, putting out fires, collaborating with vendors on forecasts, and any tasks that need to be done for your captainship.

What have you learned / what skills have you built in this role?
In this role I have mastered organization and prioritization—there are constant “fires” that pop up in the business that require immediate attention, so you have to be good at recognizing what is top priority and ensuring that gets done first. That leads me to the next big skill I have developed in this role: communication. Things are always changing and I’ve learned that it is important to keep everyone in your Business Unit updated since everyone’s work is so reliant on one another. Lastly, I have developed leadership skills as an Inventory Analyst through various captainships and mentoring new Inventory Analysts.

What is your greatest accomplishment in your career at Target so far?
A few months ago, I was given the opportunity to build a strategy for my Division to help safeguard inventory in Target locations impacted by the closure of a major retailer. By implementing this strategy, the team was able to funnel more inventory to those locations in an attempt to gain share in the market and support our planned sales for the Division.

What brought you to Target after your first job?
I have always loved Target. Growing up in Southern Virginia, the closest Target store was an hour away—so it was always a treat when I got the opportunity to go. Fast forward several years- imagine getting a call from that same company that you always loved and admired. To say I was elated is an understatement. I flew out to HQ for interviews and experienced Target’s culture firsthand, I was hooked. It was such a stark contrast from the company I was with at the time, and I knew I had to be a part of the Target Family—I say family very intentionally because of the strong friendships I’ve made not in my time here.

You relocated to Minneapolis. What drew you to the city and why do you stay?
Obviously Target was a big draw to Minneapolis, but outside of that I fell in love with the city itself when I flew out here for my interview. I think it is so great to be able to have a city atmosphere and then walk three blocks to a park or walk around one of the many lakes. It’s the perfect mix of industrial and nature. And there is ALWAYS something to do. There is truly a festival for everything here—even a food truck festival! Most importantly, through Target I have been able to build so many friendships not only with my past and present coworkers, but also externally. Moving here without knowing anyone was extremely scary, but I am so happy I did.

Best career advice you’ve received?
Always assume positive intent and know that everyone is doing the best they can. Things go wrong, deadlines are missed, out of stocks happen, but always know that everyone you work with is working toward the same goal and at the end of the day, you are a team.

Are you involved in anything at Target outside of your day to day work?
Yes! I am part of a kickball team that plays in Northeast Mpls. I am also part of the notorious Target Donut Club.

Favorite memory on the job?
When my Director trusted me enough to present the BRU strategy to all of Inventory Management Leadership. I was so nervous, but it was such a great experience!

Friday team breakfast is a huge part of the Inventory Management culture, what’s your go to item or the most epic breakfast someone’s brought?
Someone once brought homemade crepes with all kinds of toppings. Another time someone brought banquet sized scrambled eggs, pancakes, and bacon. My personal go-to is Mama’s Breakfast Pizza- SO GOOD!

Interested in learning more about the Inventory Analyst role? Visit target.com/careers!

Get to know Abbey, Product Design Director

What was the most exciting thing that happened yesterday/this week/this month?
Yesterday was Pitch Day! About a hundred of us piled into an auditorium to hear new Product Ideas and concept pitches (Shark Tank style) that some of our colleagues want to bring to life to better serve our guests. It’s inspiring to see products come to life that start with just one person’s idea based on trends they are seeing from our guests. These people have built a business case, lean teams and ended with gaining business buy-in to try a proof of concept. It’s just another way that Target proves you are in the driver seat in your career. Target is interested in testing diverse ideas with our guests to see what resonates with them, and they acknowledge those great ideas can come from anywhere.

Who/What should every designer be reading/following right now?
I’m really enjoying the podcast called “This is Product Management” that highlights both the business and design aspects of creating products. I love that they highlight different perspectives from people that span from large companies to three employee start-ups.

What’s your greatest accomplishment in your career at Target so far?
As a Director of Product Design that serves our guests through improving team members’ experiences, my real accomplishment is simply getting out of my team’s way. 😉 By that I mean we have extremely talented Product Designers that work cross-functionally in their Product teams. The most valuable thing I can do is make sure they get the support they need and help remove blockers that come their way.

Also, the understood need and excitement to include Product Design’s perspectives in how we create internal tools here at Target is growing quickly. It’s exciting to see the impact we are able to make and I’m proud to have been a small part of that shift in thinking that creating easy-to-use experiences is not just important for our guests, but for our team members that serve them as well.

What is the best thing about being in UX/Product Design?
At the end of the day we are problem solvers, which I love. Some days you feel like “Inspector Gadget” trying to uncover the root cause of a problem. And some days you get to really know our team members by walking a mile in their shoes… by seeing what they go through to do their work and tasks. It’s more than just about influencing the digital screens a person touches. It’s about understanding the bigger picture of what a person is going through, interacting with, and how the tools we create can best support and empower them.

What is your favorite thing about working at Target?
That if you are truly passionate about something or a problem, nothing is stopping you from playing a role in the solution. You can easily connect with people who can help make that happen. Target has something called a GTKY (Get to Know You). It’s a chance to just put 30 minutes on the calendar with someone you don’t know and want to know. It’s a great way to meet other smart people, but also to connect and learn more about the business in a way that helps us all do our work better.

What did you want to be when you grew up?
Disney Animator. #Disneynerdforlife

What is the hardest thing about being a Product Design Director?
Part of our role is being the voice and advocate for our users (in my case our team members) and making sure the digital tools we create truly serve their needs as well as delivers on the goals we set out to accomplish as a business for our guests. The hardest thing is often prioritizing what problems to solve first when your heart wants to help solve all their problems right now!

Best career advice that you’ve received?
If you want to prove to someone that you’re up for a challenge don’t just tell them what you could do if given the chance, find a way to start doing it and show them.

What is your favorite thing to do in Minneapolis?
It’s amazing how many awesome art galleries and museums we have at our finger tips. The creative community is alive and thriving here (check out Art-a-Whirl or the dozens of Art Fairs we have going on). My perfect Saturday would be a walk around Lake Calhoun with friends or family, and grabbing the best chocolate chip cookie ever created (seriously!) across the street at Rustica.

Get to know Heather, Lead Product Designer

What is the best thing about being a Product Designer?
You get to empower people, solve their problems and remove the roadblocks keeping them from unleashing the full power of their talent. The internal customers of my product are smart, dedicated and scrappy – they’re working hard to meet guest, business and vendor needs at all hours of the day. If we can help them reclaim more of their time, we know they’ll turn it into gold for our guests.

What is your favorite thing about working at Target?
There are two things – first, the supportive culture. I have a couple of persistent health issues and Target’s been a great place to thrive through them. Second, I love tackling a big, hairy problem with a group of people willing to throw down and get after it. Enterprise UX at Target gives me that.

What’s your greatest accomplishment in your career at Target so far?
We’ve had developers, product owners, VPs, interns, and marketers in customer sessions this year, which is essential for building empathy and a shared understanding of those we serve. Strong products come from strong teams and UXers are new to many enterprise (internal) teams as a formal role. It’s been wonderful to share user-centered methods and watch my partners take to them. Design happens whether a UXer is there or not – I try to give my teams the knowledge to work this way for themselves, too.

What did you want to be when you grew up?
I wanted to be many things – veterinarian, mountain climber, teacher, National Geographic writer, etc. Ultimately, I went to school to be a librarian (I have 2 Nancy Pearl action figures) and was interested in how libraries could connect communities to information online. That led to UX.

What is the hardest thing about being a Product Designer?
In enterprise work, we’re playing the extra long game. It’s hard not being able to solve everything immediately for our customers, especially when problems are interconnected and our customers have highly diverse needs. That said, the wins are sweeter.

Best career advice that you’ve received?
I read a fashion blog called Tom and Lorenzo. Their advice for wearing clothes with confidence is something I use to prep for presentations. It’s cheeky: “Head up, shoulders back, keep telling yourself everybody here wants to either be you or do you.” I’m not naturally comfortable in front of a crowd but this cuts through nerves and makes me giggle – and adopting a confident posture really helps!

Do you have a favorite patio to hang out at?
Yeah, mine! I’m obsessed with building pergolas. I’ve built two at my house (so far), and one has a patio beneath it. I like to invite my sister or my retired neighbor ladies over for coffee and donuts on a sunny weekend day. We get some vitamin D and watch the neighborhood go by.

Get to know Mollie, Lead Product Designer

What is your favorite thing about working at Target?
Working on a UX team this large is wonderful because you have access to so many talented, experienced people. It’s a community with a vast reservoir of knowledge where people feel safe asking for and sharing information freely. It’s also nice seeing the results of my work almost immediately. When working on the corporate side, and especially working in Enterprise UX at Target, we quickly see outcomes and have immediate access to users to explore how things can be tweaked to make them better. It’s truly iterative.

What is the best thing about being a UX/Product Designer?
Defining problems and collaborating with engineering and product folks to find solutions. When this is working right, it’s magic.

What was the most exciting thing that happened recently?
The release of an MVP. I never get tired of launches and that feeling of accomplishment. I’m newer to the project and Target, so I hadn’t been laboring as long as everyone else, but knowing how hard everyone worked to get to that point made it fun all the same.

What is the hardest thing about being a Product Designer?
It can be frustrating to hit roadblocks that are out of your control to change. Sometimes what we think is the best thing isn’t always the possible or prioritized thing. But less than ideal circumstances can be a fun challenge.

What did you want to be when you grew up?
I always wanted to do something with music (piano lessons started at age 6), which eventually turned into wanting to be a music therapist once I reached college. That didn’t pan out due to a persistent injury, but my career in UX/Product Design satisfies a lot of that urge to make life easier for people.

Do you have a favorite patio to hang out at?
I like sitting on my friends’ patios (preferably while they are home). Good conversation with close friends in a relatively quiet space is my happy place. As an awkward shy introvert, I’m also a fan of hanging out on my back stoop alone and just letting my mind wander.

What is your favorite thing to do in Minneapolis?
Going to a cozy jazz club and seeing local musicians. Loud rock shows are fun too, but small jazz clubs are my favorite because you get to sit (and standing is super hard) and the audience is usually listening with rapt attention so you can hear everything.

Best career advice that you’ve received?
Early in my career when I was beating myself up for not being able to answer a question immediately for a client, a mentor told me (and I’m paraphrasing), “Your doctor often doesn’t have all of the answers immediately either. But their knowledge and experience makes them the best people to research and find the answer. There probably won’t ever be a time when you have all of the answers immediately.”

Meet Erika, Inventory Analyst

What is your favorite part of working as an Inventory Analyst?
I really like how much responsibility and ownership I get to take of the inventory and the supply chain strategies. I manage the inventory for Office Supplies and when I identify opportunities in my business I am supported to go after them with new initiatives. This has allowed me to take on some projects that I’m really passionate about!

There’s never a typical day so, what does a week as an IA look like?
It is so true that no day is the same and I really enjoy the variety that this role offers! I do typically start the week with out of stock troubleshooting. I look at the previous week’s performance, what orders I have coming in, and identify any problem areas. I then put together a plan to get out of stock items back in a good inventory position. Another big weekly task is writing orders. I have both domestic and import items in my business so I spend a good amount of time looking into how much inventory I need to be ordering and placing those orders. The rest of my time is spent communicating and collaborating with suppliers or other business partners here at Target.

You recently took on Training Lead responsibilities, what’s that experience been like?
Being a Training Lead has been a great experience! I have gotten the opportunity to develop training content in partnership with other experts in the company and facilitate training classes. I have now played a role in helping two groups of new hires learn the Inventory Analyst role!

Describe what the onboarding experience is like at Target?
We offer a really great training program for all new hires coming into the Inventory Analyst role! It is six weeks of training really focused on best methods and processes. All new hires also have a mentor that they work closely with throughout the training process.

You also recently mentored a new Inventory Analyst. How did you get them caught up to speed?
As a mentor I helped support the training program with additional post training activities. For example, after my mentee learned how to write orders in class, I then helped him write his first order for my business. It really helps to reinforce the concepts and provides in department application of the processes that are being taught.

What advice do you have for new IAs?
Ask a lot of questions! It is important to leverage the more experienced analysts on your team, your manager, and other experts in the company to learn as much as you can while you are in training.

Are you involved in anything at Target outside of your day to day work?
I am a member of the Target Donut Club! We meet once a month to eat donuts and talk about donuts. We have had guest speakers from local donut shops and have played donut themed games.

Favorite memory on the job?
Writing my first million dollar purchase order!

Interested in learning more about the Inventory Analyst role?  Visit target.com/careers!

Get to know Kelsey, Lead UX Researcher

What is your favorite thing about working at Target?
I have two favorite things. The first is the discount (I do A LOT of online shopping). The second is the opportunities that Target affords us. I’ve worked at Target for 5 years and have been privileged enough to hold 5 different roles crossing multiple pyramids. I’ve found my leadership at Target to be extremely supportive of me exploring and learning new areas of interest. This ability to continually learn and pursue new interests is something I’m very appreciate of.

What is the best thing about being a UX Researcher?
It sounds cheesy, but my honest answer is the potential to learn. Working on the research team, we are fortunate to get to work with a variety of subject matter experts across numerous teams in the organization that are working to improve the guest experience. In order to do our jobs effectively we need to understand how things are meant to work, how they currently work, how guests use our offerings, what they think of them, and how both our guests and internal teams envision our offerings in the future. The exposure we have to ideas and existing functionality makes every day different and full of opportunity to learn.

What is the hardest thing about being a UX Researcher?
Appropriate prioritization! Researchers are curious by nature, and desperately want to understand and be able to help get answers to outstanding questions. There are endless questions worth trying to answer to help us improve our overall experience (how do people shop for different categories, what are primary purchase considerations, how attractive are our fulfillment options, gummy worms or Swedish Fish, etc.). The last question may be more of a personal research project, but hopefully it’s apparent that the opportunity is endless when it comes to understanding our guests’ behaviors and desires better.

What’s your greatest accomplishment in your career at Target so far?
It’s a little abstract, but I’d say that it’s the amount I’ve learned in the time I’ve been here. I’ve been able to be a part of teams in Accounts Payable, Global Trade, Digital Solutions, and now UX Research. I’ve never been the foremost expert in any of these areas, but the breadth of information I’ve obtained is something I’m proud of.

What was the most exciting thing that happened recently?
Target acquiring Shipt! I can’t take any credit for this service offering getting up and running, but a huge shout out to everyone that did. I’m a massive Shipt advocate (ask anyone in my neighborhood). When you have a baby crying, a 3 year old demanding that you go outside and give her an underdog on the swing set, dinner burning in the oven, and you just realized you’re supposed to bring treats to daycare tomorrow, you need help. Enter Shipt. Un-burned Dinner: check. Treats for daycare: check. Grocery shopping done for the week: check. A ‘congratulations you made it through the day’ piece of cake for mom: check. All without leaving the house. I love Shipt a lot. Almost as much as that piece of cake.

What did you want to be when you grew up?
A principal, teacher, and an office administrator. Basically I wanted to run an entire school by myself.

Best career advice that you’ve ever heard?
Never be discouraged from applying for a role you’re interested in just because you don’t meet all of the requirements. If you are excited about the opportunity, willing to work hard and devote yourself to learning, you’re a great candidate.

What is your superpower?
Persistence in the form of stubborn? If I hear a problem, I want to solve it. No matter the size. Regardless of what it takes. For better or worse.

 

Meet Tyler, Music’s Inventory Analyst

What is your favorite part of working as an Inventory Analyst?
My favorite part is the responsibility and autonomy that you are given. You are in charge of executing and managing inventory strategies for multi-million dollar businesses!

There’s never a typical day so, what does a week as an IA look like?
My calendar can go from being pretty tame to being totally packed from 8am-5pm. For me, it depends on the season and what new music titles are coming out. The bulk of my time is taken up by speaking with vendors, troubleshooting inventory problems, and planning the next big new music title. #department12

What do you hope to learn / what skills do you hope to build in this role?
I have been honing my leadership skills. The IA role has made this easy as opportunities are plentiful through captainships and being a “subject matter expert”. They are there for the taking and as long as you have the ambition to take them on, you are supported and trusted to do so.

What is your greatest accomplishment in your career at Target so far?
The successful planning and execution of the inventory strategies for two highly visible music programs from Taylor Swift (Reputation) and Justin Timberlake (Man of the Woods). The planning period for those albums were definitely times where my calendar was packed for the entire day…

What brought you to Target? Why Target versus other companies?
I don’t think I’ve ever met someone who hasn’t loved shopping at Target, so why not be part of the reason Target is such a lovable place? It may be a cliché answer, but the culture at Target allows you to be comfortable being yourself.

Best career advice you’ve received?
To always say, “yes”, to opportunities that you know would ultimately be beneficial to you, regardless of how uncomfortable/nervous/scared they make you feel. These opportunities are the ones that help you grow.

Are you involved in anything at Target outside of your day to day work?
Yes, I am a member of the Target Volunteer Council and have recently been doing job shadows for prospective IAs.

Favorite memory on the job?
My favorite memory is when my fellow IA, Mark, spilled his entire coffee on our table during a division-wide meeting. If you ever see him, make sure to ask him about it…it is one of his most cherished memories as well!

Friday team breakfast is a huge part of the Inventory Management culture, what’s your go to item or the most epic breakfast someone’s brought?
Most epic breakfast was homemade crêpes, eggs, and bacon. But on a regular week, I am team breakfast pizza and very against team bagels.

Get to know Jamie, Lead Product Designer for Enterprise Item

What is the best thing about being an Enterprise Product Designer?
Helping people. That seems so cliché, but it has never been truer for me in my career than working on the Enterprise UX team at Target. The software that my teams and I are working to improve and create are used by fellow team members all day, every day. If it’s difficult and frustrating to do your job, I want to fix it! It’s so powerful to have a purpose where my work helps to increase efficiency, team member job satisfaction, and data integrity. Item data (and those who care for it!) is at the heart of what runs our business at Target, and it’s exciting to be in a space that has so much team member, company, and guest impact.

What is your favorite thing about working at Target?
Our mission. I feel that mission on a cellular level, and it is so awesome to me that so many people show up each day and try again at helping to make that come true. Being a human is hard work, and I don’t know one person who couldn’t discover a little more joy in their everyday life.

What did you want to be when you grew up?
When I was young I wanted to be a writer or a lawyer. I went to college for Journalism. (Hearing people’s organic wanderings through life to find their careers is so interesting, yo!) And now here I am, an Enterprise Product Designer, still on the quest of curiosity, fighting for truth and justice.

What is the hardest thing about being an Enterprise Product Designer?
The limitations of time and resources. It’s so hard to hear about team member or merchandise vendor pain points and then have to send them to the backlog because they don’t fit in with current priorities.

Anything else you want to say?
High-five!

2018 Summer Interns – We’re Ready for You!

It’s almost June, which can only mean one thing – it’s time to welcome our summer interns! Target’s program representatives share more about our intern programs and what’s planned for this summer.

Christen, Field Campus Program Manager, Field Talent Acquisition
Jenna, HQ Internship Program Owner, HQ Campus Talent Acquisition

What internship programs does Target have?
We have 10 total undergraduate internship programs and 4 total graduate programs across HQ and the Field. The HQ Internship Program spans several businesses including, Digital, Target Technology Services, Inventory Management, Associate Buyers, Space and Presentation, Product Design and Development, Finance and Accounting, and Marketing for undergraduates. The graduate interns span across Digital, EDABI, Finance and Supply Chain (HQ and in the Field). For Field-based internships, we have the Stores Executive Internship and Fulfillment Center Operations Internship.

Who is involved in the planning of an internship program?
Believe it or not, but planning for interns takes a village! With Target being as large as it is, there are several moving parts and key stakeholders. Work spans an entire year from hiring, to onboarding and a lot of other stuff in between (we’ll spare the details) to coordinate the details of a 9, 10 or 14-week program. From all of the work behind the scenes by our HR generalists, learning and development partners, Target systems and technology experts, and Travel Services team to our frontline teams in Talent Acquisition including our recruiters and HQ and Field managers, mentors and administrative assistants. What’s also unique about a Target internship is that we partner with other Fortune 500 companies to plan joint internship events across the country. It’s through all these partnerships that we ensure our interns have a place to live, a way to travel, a community of peers, a project, a computer (sometimes two!), access to Target’s systems, access to C-Suite leaders, critical resources…oh, and did we mention fun?!

How connected is Target to Universities around the country?
We take our campus relationships very seriously. It’s vital in how we secure some of the amazing talent we do. Whether we’re on campus at a Career Fair, or hosting our own event, we make the most of every campus visit. We love to engage with potential candidates, meet with professors and partner with Career Services teams to ensure Target, the students and the College/University benefits. If we aren’t on campus, we are likely posting job opportunities or sourcing potential candidates from other schools.

How many interns are joining Target this summer?
Across HQ and Field, there are roughly 750 total interns joining us in summer 2018. At HQ, we have 220 total interns across our graduate and undergraduate internship programs. In the Field, there are 65 total Fulfillment Center undergraduate interns and 465 Stores Executive interns.

What piece of advice to you have for our interns?
Take advantage of this amazing opportunity! Be curious and ask questions. The more effort you put in to your experience, the more you’ll get out of it. Meet a lot of people and put the guest at the heart of what you do (because let’s be honest, you’re a guest too right?!). Most importantly, have fun and just be yourself. Embrace who you are and all that you bring to the table. That is why we hired you after all, because Target celebrates the different perspectives and experiences you bring. Our hope is that you head back to campus this fall feeling like you’ve made a real impact at Target this summer!

How can people stay connected to what the interns are up to this summer?
Follow our hashtags #TGTInterns2018 and #WeAreTarget. You can also check out A Bullseye View for Target updates and intern testimonials coming later this summer.

Interested in learning more about Target’s internship program? Visit our career site anytime!

What the UX team learned packing rice – and why you should join us next time!

On April 11, members of the UX team volunteered at Second Harvest Heartland, a food packing facility for families in need. This event was organized by UX designer Courtney. She took the initiative to get us organized and ready for our volunteer day. We proudly wore our red Target t-shirts, arrived at the facility and had a short orientation. Together we helped pack over 3,000 pounds of rice for families in need.

My name is Julieta, and I’m a UX designer for Target.com. I tried writing this article (emphasis on tried) as a chronological, inspiring journey with facts and metrics on why volunteering matters. As I was writing it, I realized how jaded I’ve become with Buzzfeed-style listicle articles that are easily digestible and easy to read, so I landed on that approach instead. Plus, as a novice writer, it makes it much more entertaining for me to write.

That being said, I do hope this inspires you and hopefully lights a fire inside you that will make you want to make time for volunteer opportunities.

HERE ARE THE TOP 5 REASONS WHY “VOLUNTEER DAY” WAS JUST WHAT OUR TEAM NEEDED:

1) Bonding time!
The UX team is pretty new. We as a team have grown in the past year, and we’re all slowly getting to know one another. Having time to connect outside of work while doing good for others is the perfect way to build connections with team members that you may not normally have conversations with. Plus, (surprisingly) it’s a pretty good way to relieve stress!

“A highlight for me was being able to spend time outside of work with my colleagues, and when we found out just how much food we were able to pack. It surprised me how much I was able to let go from my work-related obligations on a weekday. I had so much fun doing something so repetitive, I found it therapeutic.” – Jill, UX designer

2) Embracing our differences
There was a total of 40 volunteers that day, including our team from Target, teams from other companies like Wells Fargo, young students from a local high school, and senior folks who seemed to do this type of work regularly. I’ll let Todd say it more eloquently:

“Although we were presented with a placard stating we had packed 3,322 pounds of rice, like an oversized check presented to the winner of a sweepstakes, my impression was that our achievement there was much smaller, and yet more significant: people from diverse backgrounds working together toward a common good. I thought of that famous quote from Mother Teresa, ‘Love cannot remain by itself – it has no meaning. Love has to be put into action, and that action is service.’” – Todd, UX writer

3) It was work, but it was also fun
While we were packing rice, I spoke to a gentleman whose sole job was to add the expiration sticker to the rice pack. He took his job so incredibly seriously, and you could see he took pride on having the sticker straight, and on the correct place. After the first hour of practicing the motions, I became fixated on how perfectly I could seal each pack of rice. I knew these were for families in need and I wanted them to be perfect. It became fun to have little challenges in which I challenged myself to do it the fastest, and the neatest. As Kim also expressed:

“I felt like I was actually making a positive difference in someone’s life, and I couldn’t believe how easy (and fun!) it could be.” – Kim, UX designer

4) We’re so lucky
Not every company encourages their employees to take time out of their day to help out others. Target has a pyramid of volunteer hours that we as a company need to complete by the end of the year. It’s truly an amazing thing that Target allows us to do this, and for that I’m thankful! As Courtney also put it:

“What I liked about volunteering last week was getting out of our daily routine to help people who need a basic necessity such as food. It was so satisfying to learn how many meals we were able to pack and to feed people, and we did it all in less than 2 hours! It feels so good to give back directly to my community. It made me feel proud to work for Target and to be able to do that with my colleagues.” – Courtney, UX designer

5) Perspective
A few themes emerged from this whole experience: the teamwork, the fun, the greater good, but most of all, the “put your words into action” sentiment. We all care about our own causes: hunger, the environment, female rights, animal rights, you name it. But how can we take those issues that are dear to our hearts and start doing something about it? There’s no easy answer to that, and we all try our best. So with that, I’ll let Jen close the article with a quote that I think summarizes the entire day:

“For me, spending time with my colleagues at Second Harvest while we all happily packed rice together allowed me to see each of them in a very different light. While I was well aware of the depth that is inherent in each of us – volunteering translated that ‘knowing’ to ‘seeing’ and ‘remembering.’
Three hours of packing rice together might not change the world, but within those same three hours, two significant things happened: my colleagues changed the way I see the world and we nudged a plateful of food just a bit closer for someone in need. That is putting hope into action.” – Jennifer, PhD., UX researcher

To learn more about Second Harvest, visit 2harvest.org.

Speaking at DevFest 2018

Eric at DevFest

By Eric W., Lead Product Designer

I was recently invited to speak at DevFest MN 2018, [https://devfest.mn/] a Google Developer Group’s local conference intended to bring members of the engineering community together to learn and share. As a Product Designer speaking to Engineers, I was excited to represent my discipline and share some advice on how to improve the ways we work together.

Great Product Design requires great relationships, and few relationships are as important to the success of a product as the one between design and development. Both parties need to understand each other, challenge each other and compromise effectively to build the right things, at the right time with right level of quality.

Most of us however, have never been meaningfully introduced to the other’s world nor felt what it is like to walk in their shoes. So the relationship between Designers and Developers can often strain under the weight of assumptions and abstractions.

My journey toward empathy began with a simple goal of wanting to better understand the Developers I worked with every day. I wanted to be a better partner to them and communicate more effectively. So I learned to code. I didn’t do this with any intention of submitting pull requests, but simply to increase my awareness.

I watched Stanford lectures on Computer Science, listened to coding podcasts and did tutorials and coding puzzle games. As I became more immersed, something surprised me. I was struck by the sheer variety of ways I could solve any problem. Often times the goal was clear, but there were so many ways to get there.

This experience reminded me of something familiar…and then it hit me. I was using the design process. Coding was a form of creative problem solving. I was pushing code rather than pixels but just like Product Design, coding was a craft. It could even be an art form. I had far more in common with my Developers than I ever realized and I wanted to tell the world. DevFest was a great start.

Speaking at DevFest was about highlighting what we have in common and leveling up the audience’s understanding of the world of User Experience. If you peel away the jargon and tools, Designers and Developers want to make great things, and make things that matter. In a high-level but comprehensive way I built up their context by defining UX, demystifying titles like “Information Architect” and “User-Interface Designer,” describing the tools Product Designers use and the challenges we face.

I left them with a challenge:

“On Monday, when you get back to work. I want you to ask the Product Designer you work with to coffee. Ask them ‘Why did you become a Product Designer? Why do you do what you do?’ and then listen graciously to what they have to say. I think you will find you have much in common and let that be the beginning of empathy for one another. The beginning of a stronger working relationship. A relationship that leads to better products and more enjoyment in our work.”

I give you the same challenge.

Get to know Chris, Lead Accessibility Consultant

What was the most exciting thing that happened yesterday/this week/this month?
Over the last month, seeing Target’s design system come to life with a collection of reusable web components. All the components and design tools are vetted and documented for accessible use. This was the “source-of-truth” type of library we have been iterating towards for the last couple of years. It’s also fostering a design and engineering culture that thinks even more deeply about accessibility, speed, efficiency, and quality.

Who/What should every designer be reading/following right now?
Anything that helps us think beyond our own assumptions about the world around us. A couple books that have had a great impact on me: The Power of Different by Gail Salts, MD and The Warmth of Other Suns by Isabella Wilkerson.

What’s your greatest accomplishment in your career at Target so far?
Joining the Accessibility Team. Truly. I’ve been so challenged and sharpened through what I’ve been learning and leading during the last 5 years. I want to be involved in this work for a long time.

What is the best thing about being an Accessibility Consultant?
Making the topic of accessibility… accessible! Helping teams within Target understand what it means and how to fuse that level of user experience with all their other inspirations, processes, and approaches.

What is your favorite thing about working at Target?
The absolutely smart, creative, and down-to-earth people I get to work alongside. Additionally, the impact of our accessibility efforts goes far beyond Target. I believe we’re raising the universal standard of what it means to design and build accessible digital experiences.

What did you want to be when you grew up?
A Correlian smuggler turned hero of a Rebellion. Also, a Force-sensitive Jedi Master. But mostly, a truck driver like my dad.

Best career advice that you’ve received?
“I’ve found that just letting the appropriate people know what you want can open opportunities for you.”

Dogs or cats?
A couple years ago, my daughter charmed us into getting a Yorkie-Poo. It’s a kind of a super tiny dog-cat-hamster. So… both + hamster?

What is your superpower/unicorn flavor?
Superpower – I’m a wicked-awesome basement storage organizer.
Unicorn flavor – these days it contains less sugar, but more caffeine.

Get to know Shani, Sr. Frontend Designer Email

What is the best thing about being a Sr. Frontend Designer?
The opportunity to work in a field that provides opportunities to learn and try new things. I like that it merges design and coding. And even though there are many devices and different ways to digitally interact, it’s still relevant and engaging to our guests.

What is the hardest thing about being a Sr. Frontend Designer?
Helping people understand the complexity of designing emails. It can be dynamic, data driven, static or a combination of all three. There’s a lot that goes into designing, building and testing emails and educating our partners is a big part of the job.

What is your favorite thing about working at Target?
The feeling I get working with great people and the ideas they share and get excited about.

What’s your greatest accomplishment in your career at Target so far?
The big platform migration for email was a great accomplishment. It was a fantastic opportunity to define standards and processes for email development, discuss how to intelligently create reusable content and update what wasn’t working.

What was the most exciting thing that happened this month?
We recently launched a new shipping confirmation email to guests and I’m excited to see if they find it less confusing. Our goal was to simplify the experience and eliminate the number of emails we send.

Who/What should every designer be reading/following right now?
I largely get a lot of info online from many sources via Twitter which surprisingly is the best way to interact with other email designers and developers. Another resource is through various sites: Really Good Emails, Campaign Monitors Resources sections, Litmus’s community and blog. All these resources cover topics like trends, tip and tricks, dev, design, and thought leadership. This is for the beginner to experienced email geek (pro and hobby).

What did you want to be when you grew up?
I wanted to be a chef or an art teacher. I love the process of creating and collaborating.

Best career advice that you’ve received?
Treat people nice and don’t beat yourself up about things that don’t go right. Remember that you always have choices.

Dogs or cats?
Definitely dogs. I love their personalities and their inherent goofiness. I love the look and the idea of cats, but sadly, I am allergic to them. Me and cats are better interacting with each other at a distance.

What is your unicorn flavor?
I think it would be Taffy Rainbow Glitter Corn. I do and dabble in a little bit of everything — brainstorming/ideation, QA, troubleshooting/planning long-term fixes, strategy, visual design, and quite a bit of Frontend Development for operational email. I also love to interact and collaborate when I can, and try to keep whatever I am doing engaging and add a dash of joy.

Anything else you want to say?
It Never Hurts to Keep Looking for Sunshine – Eeyore

 

Get to know Stacia, Lead Product Designer

What is the best thing about being a lead product designer?
I love exploring the art and science of what I do, which is great for me because I’m an equal mix of creative/artsy and logical/analytical.

What is the hardest thing about being a lead product designer?
Every hour at work I go back and forth between blue sky strategic ideas and in-the-weeds design decisions. That roller coaster can be difficult to manage, but I enjoy the challenge.

What is your favorite thing about working at Target?
I truly do love Target as a brand, and how we proliferate “design for all”. Our famously clean stores, unique assortment, amazing digital experiences, and firm stance on social issues make me proud to work for Target.

What’s your greatest accomplishment in your career at Target so far?
I was part of the original team that conceived the software I’ve been designing for three years, Ivy Promo. It’s been a dream come true to build modern software from the ground up that solves some of Target’s biggest technical problems. We power all the promos for stores and online. I feel so proud walking into a store and seeing a Sale sign that I know people using Ivy Promo originated.

Who/What should every designer be reading/following right now?
I’m still obsessed with the design podcast “99% Invisible”. It’s about the built environment around us – from park benches to statues adorning the oldest Manhattan buildings. I’m also really into the Velocity channel, especially shows where old cars get rebuilt. I believe digital designers can learn a lot from 3D designers. Big lessons on usability and the history of human + environment interactions are available from so many disciplines.

What did you want to be when you grew up?
I still want to be a published author when I grow up. My degree is in creative writing, and there’s a part of me that still thinks of myself as an author.

Best career advice that you’ve received?
Right before I graduated college, I had a phone interview for a copy writing position with a company in Milwaukee. The interviewer listened to me try to sound more experienced than I was, then she very kindly gave me advice on how to recognize what I’m good at and highlight what makes me unique. I thought about that conversation a lot in my early career. It helped me be more comfortable with taking risks, like switching from writing to UX.

Dogs or cats?
Cats! I hope to get one soon after five years without a kitty roomie.

What is your superpower?
A colleague recently told me that I’m the keenest observer he’s met. Quickly taking in my surroundings and minding people’s behavior comes naturally to me. My heightened observation skills allow me to make smart decisions by realizing potential issues while others are just beginning to see an opportunity.

 

Get to know Sara, Director of Product Design – Target.com

What is the best thing about working in Product Design?
What I’ve always loved is solving a big, gnarly problem involving technical limitations and true guest problems / benefits that has a nice juicy financial impact. Ecommerce provides lots of opportunities to do that.

What is the hardest thing about working in Product Design?
Having to make compromises and sacrifices to get things done. I’m a recovering perfectionist and I’ve learned it’s more important to ship something than to hold it close until it’s 100%. We need to get things out there and learn from the reaction to them.

What’s your greatest accomplishment in your career at Target so far?
Building our team! Over the five years I’ve been here, we have grown from a team of 10 working on a project-by-project basis, to the team of 60 we have today. We’re embedded within products for Target.com, Target apps, Registries and Enterprise tools for corporate and store team members. And we’re still growing, influencing and making great software for Target. It’s been an amazing ride so far and our trajectory is pushing us toward even greater impact.

What is your favorite thing about working at Target?
This is a company whose mission I really believe in. The image Target has of being an inclusive, fun and caring place is true both in our stores for our guests as well as at the office. I truly love the people I work with and enjoy coming to work to hang out with them and work together to create cool stuff.

What was the most exciting thing that happened this year?
Target announced its’ holiday (Thanksgiving through New Years’) earnings results and they were amazing. It’s always great to see how all of our efforts pay off for the guest and the company. Retail is a tough industry right now and I truly believe in the work we’re doing here and I’m happy to see our guests respond to it as well.

Who/What should every designer be reading/following right now?
I’ve enjoyed Luke Wroblewski’s series of “what would augment reality?” http://bit.ly/2n3MDQV

For research, Tomer Sharon is doing some really interesting work in gathering & making research insights available to an organization: https://medium.com/@tsharon. This is something we’re working on developing at Target as well because we do so much research and we need to make sure everyone can access and use it.

What did you want to be when you grew up?
It’s hard to remember that far back. It was probably a princess and a teacher.

Best career advice that you’ve received?
Always be training your replacement. It’s the only way you yourself can move on to new things.

Dogs or cats?
I have one of each at home. I’d also like to own goats, chickens, a pig or two, keep bees and also have a couple of horses. I’m not willing to choose any one species, apparently.

What is your superpower?
Solving problems and being persistent in getting the hard stuff done.

Anything else you want to say?
We’re hiring Designers, Researchers and UX Writers on most of our teams!

Get to Know Jennifer, Principal UX Researcher

What is the best thing about being a UX Researcher?
Being a researcher means you are getting paid to ask a lot of questions and it is an asset to keep one’s child-like curiosity. My most favorite part is during analyses of findings because a researcher has this exclusive chance of knowing something “new” that potentially no one else knows or has thought of before. It is a brief moment, magical almost, but it is an experience shared by researchers around the world and throughout history – the joy of discovery.

What is the hardest thing about being a UX Researcher?
To be a researcher is like being that one horrible person telling everyone else that “their baby is ugly.” It is something that researchers need to prepare for, mentally & emotionally. I have experienced different reactions through the years and I have learned that what separates great researchers from rest is the fact that great researchers don’t say “your baby is ugly” but instead, telling others “so it is not perfect but it could approximate perfection, let us work together to make it better than how it is right now.”

What’s your greatest accomplishment in your career at Target so far?
My first month at Target can be best described by the phrase “hitting the ground running” because as I was just getting to know my colleagues, setting up my benefits, and learning the new acronyms used in the company, I was also running back-to-back research studies both in-person and remote. Thriving within Target culture is something I consider an accomplishment. With regards to “the greatest” – that is yet to come.

What is your favorite thing about working at Target?
At Target, I have never felt lost or alone. Despite the sub-zero temperature on my first day, the UX and Product teams have given me the warmest of welcomes. There was always someone who could answer my questions or pointed me to someone who could. At Target, I am surrounded by strong & intelligent people. I appreciate working alongside people who are accomplished and talented but, more notably, people who see me, hear me, and treat me as their equal.

What was the most exciting thing that happened recently?
EVERYTHING has been exciting but if I have to choose one, it’s got to be the research that I have been doing with Apparel & Accessories. On the surface, the task disguised itself as like any other research round that I have been doing for many years now. However, when I started talking to guests about the topic, I have discovered perspectives, motivations, experiences that I was not previously paying attention to. The experience was a growth opportunity and what could be more exciting than that?

What should every designer be reading right now?
Every designer should try to have a deeper understanding of how the human mind works, no matter how difficult or boring some of the reading materials might seem at first. Daniel Kahneman (a Nobel laureate) and Amos Tversky are two of my favorite cognitive psychologists because their studies on judgment and decision making & behavioral economics have a lot of practical applications, especially with user experience design work. For starters, I would recommend reading Kahneman’s “Thinking, Fast and Slow.”

What did you want to be when you grew up?
I have always wanted to become a scientist. Growing up in Philippines, I used to watch a science show on television and part of the intro song goes this way: “tayo’y likas na scientist” (we are born with the curiosity of a scientist). I took that to heart. When kids around me would say they wanted to be a doctor or a lawyer, I said: “I am going to be a scientist” even when it was not cool to be one or when no one really knew what it meant. Instead of pursuing medical school after my undergrad, I left home to study abroad – that adventure led me to be a researcher at Target.

Best career advice that you’ve received?
“It is ok to be confused. It is ok to change your mind.” These were the words of my adviser in graduate school. She said this when I was not sure which career path to take for fear that I would make a mistake in my decisions and end up unhappy and feeling trapped. Her advice made me more aware that my needs and wants may change over time. Isn’t it curious when statements of “uncertainty” are the ones that actually make us feel more “certain” about the decisions we make?

Dogs or cats?
Dogs. 100%. I have a dog named Blue, a 14-year-old, Rottweiler and Blue Heeler mix. He is our part-time pillow, part-time cuddle-buddy, part-time alarm clock, pretend attack dog, and full-time eating machine.

What is your dream superpower?
I would like to be able to read minds, from afar. That would streamline communication big time. Also, that would make me the best researcher the world has ever seen.

Anything else you want to say?
If you would like to enjoy the sun, sea, and sand while learning about User Experience in Southeast Asia, join me in Manila, Philippines in May for the User Experience Philippines Conference (#UXPH2018). As the current President of the Board and one of UXPH’s founding member, I invite you to follow our journey at www.uxphilippines.com.

Get to Know Sunoh, Lead Product Designer

What is the best thing about being a UX designer?
The best thing about being a UX designer is that our jobs put us at the frontlines of problem-solving for our end-users and our contribution is known. Since my background is in fine arts, I’ve always appreciated the feeling of creating physical things. Though UX is digital and not physically tangible, its impact on bottom-line value and improving user experiences are still very measurable and the profession is finally receiving the recognition and market-demand it deserves. I think it’s a great time to be a UX designer.

What are some of the challenges of being a UX designer?
Communicating effectively and respectfully with your product team & users when there might be disagreements about the design, whether it’s an aesthetics concern, usability issue or simply a preference thing. I’ve found that it’s not only about “what’s right”, “what’s best”, “what I like”, or “what’s easiest”… in a team-culture focused company like Target, you still need to foster collaboration, transparency and shared wins.

I’ve worked in small teams, big teams, remote teams and co-located teams and every single environment poses different challenges and advantages when it comes to influencing and efficiency.
Currently, Target’s dedication to an agile development process and co-located scrum team pods is definitely my favorite but I am still working through the nuances of trying to make the product great and also keep everyone on the team happy in the process.

What is your favorite thing about working at Target?
I love the culture. There’s a lot of energy and contagious enthusiasm. Everyone seems to exhibit optimism and genuine desire to do good work. As an introvert and systematic communication style guy, I feel encouraged and challenged to focus on people, relationships and team-building over simply producing deliverables or being all-business.

What’s your greatest accomplishment in your career at Target so far?
Though I’ve only been with Target for 8 months, I’m most proud of how many different growth opportunities I’ve been able to take part in. I created visuals for Demo Day and helped a cross-functional redesign workshop for another team. Months later, I pitched a product idea that was selected to go through Techstar’s Pitch Bootcamp and eventually presented in front of a larger audience and panel. I also got to attend a PowerTalk training session in between and later this month I’ll attend a design conference in Chicago, recruiting for Target.

What was the most exciting thing that happened recently?
I visited the Upper Peninsula (Houghton, Michigan) this past weekend where they get a ton of lake effect snow. A foot of fresh snow had fallen the day before and so we were surrounded by 4-5 feet of snow in many areas. While we were driving by Lake Superior, I noticed there were huge ice slabs scattered throughout the shoreline. From a distance, it didn’t look like much but upon closer inspection, we discovered an incredible sight: rare blue ice formations across the coast line.

Apparently, ice only appears blue when it is sufficiently consolidated so that air bubbles do not interfere with the passage of light. We stopped by the road to walk onto the frozen lake and got to climb/slide around the wonderful blue ice formations. Explore the details because they might lead to huge discoveries and #optoutside.

What should every designer be following right now?
Tesla / Elon Musk. I think their forward-thinking culture should be emulated and their early-adopter mindset is pushing the envelope on what can be accomplished.
Though reading news & browsing inspiration is nice… I think designers should be eagerly and BUSILY trying out new websites, web-applications, mobile apps, services, etc. Being an early adopter is no longer a geek thing—it’s an investment into your future and one of the best ways to keep the creative juices going.

What did you want to be when you grew up?
I wanted to be a Catholic priest, live with my mom, and make art (sculptures) on the side. My devotion to my faith, love of my mom and creative side have not diminished by any means but I think I’ve managed to find other equally awesome ways to do those things as I’ve “grown up”… (I’m getting married in June, recently purchased a house with plenty of room for my mom to visit/live in and I feel like design is a “practical application” of art!)

Best career advice that you’ve received?
I learned a very important lesson in my first internship during my junior year of college: Before I had to present some deliverables to a super high-up internal client, one of the senior designers sat me down and coached me to be direct and clear about expectations and if necessary, to refuse committing to any deliverables or timelines that were not realistic. Though the internal client was a VP and I desperately wanted to impress, I took his advice to heart and have always stuck by it—whether it’s with freelance clients, my fiancé, past bosses, or even in my current role working with various stakeholders and leaders.

I believe this was a practical application of the “always under-promise and over-deliver” advice and I’ve found it to be the key to maintaining a healthy work-life balance while building up a reputation of reliability.

Dogs or cats?
DOGS. I have a French Bulldog named Luna and she has her own Instagram with more followers than me @Luna_LaFrenchie

What is your superpower?
I think I have a unique superpower in organization/cleaning.

Get to Know Joe, Principal Product Designer

What is the best thing about being a Product Designer?
Working with the guests. I like solving problems, but the real fun is seeing the solutions at work. In the app world, that means frequent visits to the store and awkwardly approaching random guests. It’s my favorite type of research.

What is the hardest thing about being a Product Designer?
Bringing groups together to talk about tough situations and solve problems. As a designer, there is a lot of energy put into negotiating across groups.

What is your favorite thing about working at Target?
As a Minnesota native, I have always appreciated and admired Target’s presence in our community. I’m proud to work for an organization that has helped make Minnesota a great place to live and work.

What’s your greatest accomplishment in your career at Target so far?
Being a part of the team that brought the flagship and Cartwheel apps together. It was a great experience to be part of the project from initial discovery, to research, and final roll out. Merging Cartwheel and the flagship app was a huge project, but it felt great to accomplish the goal and – I might be a bit biased – but I think the experience is pretty awesome!

Who should every designer be reading/following right now?
Luke Wroblewski (@lukew) – Product Director at Google – Many designers already follow him or have seen him speak. If you don’t follow him on Twitter, do it now. I appreciate his straight-forward presentation of information.

What was the most exciting thing that happened this month?
For the past month, I’ve been working with my 7-year-old son on his Cub Scout Pinewood Derby car. This will be the 3rd car we’ve done together. Building the car with 100% participation from my little guy has been challenging (ever tried to get a 7-year-old away from his iPad?), but, I persisted, and we have had a lot of fun.
The whole process has a lot of similarities to my role as a designer: We started with his idea and sketched it on paper. The first pass was to cut out large pieces from a block of wood and then we did the refine work. Between multiple coats of paint, we tweaked the wheels to get better movement. Finally, we assembled the car and added weights to get it to exactly 5 ounces.
Up next: Testing his car on the track. Then, race day – to be continued…

What did you want to be when you grew up?
Astronaut, then pilot. I went to Space Camp when I was 10 years old and was in Civil Air Patrol in High School. Total air and space geek. Not sure what happened . . . but life brought me to design/UX.

Best career advice that you’ve received?
It was my first job out of college and I was lacking in confidence. As a result, I went to my supervisor with A LOT of questions. One day she interrupted me and said, “Only come to me with a question, if you have some solutions in mind.”
The idea of always bringing solutions – along with my questions – really stuck with me.

Dogs or cats?
Neither. I grew up with cats and dogs, but as an adult – I have no interest.

What is your superpower?
GSD – I get stuff done. Make that list and systematically check things off. Nothing better than seeing that completed project.

Anything else you want to say?
Keep it simple.

Get to know Kristiana, Principal Product Designer

What is the best thing about being a Principal Product Designer?
For me, the best thing about being a designer is tackling the big, sticky, complex problems underlying guest experiences and finding that “ah ha” moment when you realize how to make things easier and more delightful. I enjoy using diverse skills every day (visual design, information architecture, research, strategy) and working with different subject matter experts to accomplish things I never could have done alone.

What is the hardest thing about being a Principal Product Designer?
Wanting to do so many things and not having enough time. Where does the time go?

What was the most exciting thing that happened this month?
I partnered with the Internal Innovation Team (facilitators of Techstars) to develop a new curriculum for product teams to take their pitching skills to the next level. The half day workshop provided the skills needed to craft and deliver effective pitches for product ideas, from 30 seconds in an elevator to 4 minutes on a stage. It all culminated in the final Shark Tank-style pitch competition with an executive panel of judges to help the teams secure support & resources to pursue their big ideas. It was a lot of fun!

What’s your greatest accomplishment in your career at Target so far?
Spending nine months building a business case and lobbying to start a new product team for operational email. It took a lot of time and persistence to help people see the vision and commit resources, but it was worth it. We got some rock star talent on the team and they are really making a difference!

Who/What should every designer be reading/following right now?
TechCrunch and Wired are my go-to’s for design/tech news. I’m also really interested in service design, so I follow Andy Polaine, Christopher Noessel, Jeff Gothelf and the Adaptive Path crew. My favorite things to read by far are books by Brené Brown, Sheryl Sandberg and Adam Grant, or watching TEDtalks by awesome female entrepreneurs.

What did you want to be when you grew up?
A professional figure skater, a unicorn or a designer. My parents are both designers so I had some great inspiration. I guess I’m kind of a unicorn too?!

Best career advice that you’ve received?
Be true to yourself and focus on your strengths. Don’t spend your whole life trying to overcome all your weaknesses and be something you’re not. Find allies who can compensate for you in those areas and together you’ll make a strong team…and you’ll be happier!

Dogs or cats?
I love both! I lived with dogs growing up, but currently we have two rescue kitties at home: a black cat named Mozzie and a gray tabby named Neal.

What is your superpower/unicorn flavor?
Maybe the flavor would be rainbow? I do a lot of research and IA work, brainstorming/ideation, visual design, prototyping, and sometimes front-end code. I also have a background in marketing, so I do a lot of writing and selling ideas. My leader likes to tell me I am the queen of designing PowerPoint decks (not a compliment), but it’s mostly because I enjoy helping people become persuasive storytellers. I don’t have one specialty – I kind of dabble in a little of everything.

Anything else you want to say?
For me, UX design is a part of daily life that I can’t turn off in my brain. When I go somewhere and the signs are confusing, or there’s a bad interface that causes frustration, my first thought is always “how would I fix this?” I usually turn to my husband and express these inner thoughts, to which he rolls his eyes and says “stop working.” Honestly, when you are in the business of being a designer who solves usability problems, your work is never done!

Get to know Ryan, Lead Accessibility Consultant

What is the best thing about being an Accessibility Consultant?
Knowing that the work we do reaches literally millions of people. That’s empowering.

What is the hardest thing about being an Accessibility Consultant?
People not realizing just how easy accessibility is, so they are daunted by it. If I had a nickel for every time I had to reassure people that accessibility was easy, I’d be up to $3.85 by now.

What was the most exciting thing that happened this month?
I am working on a project to give greater in-store shopping access to people who are blind and visually impaired. The fact that I have the freedom to work on this is incredible. I appreciate the ability to be able to pursue passion projects alongside my other work.

What should every designer be reading right now?
Web Content Accessibility Guidelines, Snow Falling on Cedars by David Guterson (but just because it’s an amazing book, even though it has nothing to do with design or accessibility).

What’s your greatest accomplishment in your career at Target so far?
Speaking at SXSW about the importance of creating a culture of accessibility. That was amazing, and we heard from a lot of people who wanted their companies to emulate us.

What is your favorite thing about working at Target?
All the friendly people who are excited to push the envelope. Accessibility isn’t something we do. It’s who we are.

What did you want to be when you grew up?
A guitar player in a local band who got to play weekend gigs at the Silver Bullet (The Silver Bullet closed decades ago).

Best career advice that you’ve received?
Meet people where they are, but still invite them to your party.

Dogs or cats?
Cats until I can spend more time at home. Then both.

What is your superpower/unicorn flavor?
My superpower is a D10 in public speaking, and my unicorn flavor definitely contains curry.

Anything else you want to say?
People with disabilities are just people. I don’t want to be treated differently or handled with care. I just want to have the same opportunities and live the same life as everyone else.

 

Get to know Bill, Principal Product Designer

What did you want to be when you grew up?
I wanted to be an architect. My mom used to clean houses for a living. Much to her chagrin, I would tag along during the summer months on jobs as she cleaned rich, fancy homes. I would thumb thru her client’s copies of Southern Living to look at the architectural house plans that were printed in each issue. I took drafting classes early in high school and can still sketch a beautiful floor plan in AutoCADD. But ultimately, my interest and ability in math was my demise. So, now I craft digital plans instead.

What is the best thing about being a product UX designer?
The best thing about being a product UX designer is that there are no guardrails. We are responsible for designing and creating products. With qualitative and quantitative data at our finger tips, we are more empowered than most to discover new ways to engage with our guests. Layer on top of that the amazing design, research and engineering talent we have on our UX team, and the possibilities are endless.

What is the hardest thing about being a product UX designer?
The hardest is balancing the simple vs. the sexy. By simple, I mean the work which is no frills, straightforward experience design. And by sexy, I mean the snazzy, eye-popping work that grabs the attention of colleagues and industry experts. The simple work often leads to engaging, metric driving experiences; but it may not be the talk of social media. Designers must find the balance, which isn’t always easy. If a designer can leverage the power of simple and reach of sexy, they can create something amazing.

What’s your greatest accomplishment in your career at Target so far?
The experience that is Target.com. I was a part of the small team who “went rogue”, stowed away in a room and started building what came to be the new Target.com. The audience and attention that the site gets today makes it more gratifying and rewarding.

What is your favorite thing about working at Target?
Our potential. That sounds cliché, so hear me out. We’re an inclusive, loved brand that’s been around the block. We’re grounded in marketing excellence, creative genius and merchandising distinction (amongst others). That, in and of itself, is something most strive for. Only recently have we begun to see the impact of including technology as a foundational pillar. The potential for our brand and, more importantly, our guests is great. And I believe all of us in design can have a direct impact on that potential.

What was the most exciting thing that happened this month?
You know when you work so hard at, what seems to be, a small task in the grand scheme of things? This often leads to that “What’s the point?” feeling. I had a breakthrough last week. I realized that, by taking services and capabilities (those “small tasks”) that already exist in our digital portfolio, we could combine them in a way that solved a real guest problem. And with it, a differentiated, industry leading experience. Now the fun work begins.

Who should every designer be reading/following right now?
Dann Petty. Most of his activity is on Twitter (@DannPetty). He’s generating and delivering content in new forms and finding ways to give back to the design community in the process.

Best career advice that you’ve received?
It’s a toss-up! A former boss once told me, “We’re not here to prove we’re qualified. That’s why we were hired. We’re here to mesh our qualifications and talents together. To learn how to work collaboratively and cohesively with one another.” And one of my favorites from a colleague was, “Why can’t you?”

Dogs or cats?
I don’t know if I’ve ever heard someone say, “Ugggh, I can’t stand dogs.” Cats on the other hand? I side with the majority on this one. Dogs.

What is your superpower?
I’m great at seeing opportunities everywhere. Let me explain. Anyone can solve problems, but when you can turn that problem-solving solution in to a growth opportunity, then you have something special. Here’s an example: You attended a concert last night. When your favorite song played, you probably grabbed your phone to capture a video. The video and audio quality isn’t great, but you’ve captured the moment. How might you solve the quality problem? You could get a better camera or you could purchase and download a live recording of the same song. But you’re missing out on an opportunity. You certainly weren’t the only person to record the concert. What if you were able to stitch your video together with other’s video of the same song at the same concert? Through enhanced video and audio mixing, you could create a quality, live recording of that song. The result is content which is valuable to you and many others. I’ve been told, the way my mind thinks, is unique. A superpower, if you will.

Anything else you want to say?
The opportunity to learn, grow and connect at Target is vast because of our size and culture. If time allows, I suggest others to take advantage of this. You can learn a lot.

Get to know Julieta, Senior Product Designer

Hi there, my name is Julieta and I’m a Senior Product Designer at Target. I previously worked at American Airlines, PayPal and Make-A-Wish foundation. I was asked a few questions about my time here at Target so far. Also, apparently I don’t know how to hold a mug properly. Enjoy!

What did you want to be when you grew up?
A painter like Bob Ross.

What is the best thing about being a UX designer?
That we get paid to play with computers.

What is the hardest thing about being a UX designer?
The industry is ever-changing, so you really have to keep up on the latest programs/trends/solutions. What was an innovative tool a year ago is obsolete now. The platforms change, the devices change, and people’s behaviors change. It’s difficult but also makes it very exciting.

What is your favorite thing about working at Target?
I’m from Mexico, and some people don’t know that every Sunday we get a Target insert in the newspaper with sales and promos. Growing up, I remember my brother and I browsing the insert together and pointing at what we would like to buy some day. We don’t have Target in Mexico so Target is not only aspirational, but indeed a magical place for my family. All 100+ members of my family are very proud I’m here.

What was the most exciting thing that happened this month?
A lot of exciting things happened! I’ve presented my work to over 30 people in different areas of expertise; I’ve successfully survived my first negative zero temperature days (I come from the desert); and I’ve met some of the smartest, kindest, eloquent and inspiring people on the UX team!

Who/What should every designer be reading/following right now?
I have a love/hate relationship with design inspiration. Sometimes it is better to forget what everyone else is doing and just throw crazy futuristic ideas on the table and see how we can realistically scale it down and maybe come up with an original solution.

What’s your greatest accomplishment in your career at Target so far?
Within my first month, I was able to research, sketch, design and make a working prototype for the end to end experience for Back To College.

Best career advice that you’ve received?
Form follows function (a quote from Architect Louis Sullivan).

Dogs or cats?
I love them both! Tragically, I’m allergic to cats so I can’t have one. I do have 2 Jack Russell Terriers. They’re 10 and 8 years old but act like puppies.

What is your superpower/unicorn flavor?
I’m pretty good at staying optimistic when things don’t go as planned.

Anything else you want to say?
The Target culture is humble, laid-back and extremely diverse which is very important to me. Target guides, trains and encourages women to be in leadership positions. Target embraces and continues to surprise me with its support for a diverse and inclusive culture. Target cares about sustainability: from the recycled paper in our copiers to the compostable silverware in the cafeteria … Everything you may ever need is right here, so you really can just bring your true self to your job every day, and do the best work of your career.

A Day in the Life of a Target Beauty Team Member

People don’t always think to come to Target for beauty tips – but when you talk to one of our Beauty Team Members, you’ll find just that! Lily, a Beauty Team Member in Pennsylvania, gives us some insight on how she spends her day educating and connecting with guests.

Do you have a favorite beauty tip that you’d like to share?

Creating that perfect winged eyeliner look (that awesome triangle at the corner of the eye) is as easy as using tape – who knew?? First, take some tape and place it from the corner of your eye up towards your eyebrow.  Then use your favorite liquid eyeliner to draw a line and fill in the space, resulting in that perfect little triangle that people think they can’t get – it’s easy! This look elongates your eyes and makes them appear bigger.

What is your favorite health or beauty product at Target and why do you like it?

I adore No. 7 foundation. I switched to this recently from another brand due to the great price point and found that it’s great for all types of skin!  I prefer a combination of Airbrush Away and Beautifully Matte.  It’s hypoallergenic and goes on nicely.  It’s sheer and natural and works with my skin tone.

What are you excited about with all of the movement in the Beauty space?

The new look and feel of the beauty areas within our stores. The boutique feel and open spaces will be so inviting for our guests! I also love the opportunity to help guests sample different products to find that perfect fit.  Spending time with our guests and really learning about what they are looking for in a product is a highlight of my day.

What’s your favorite part about being a Target team member?

Target is committed to fostering a diverse and inclusive workplace. Diversity and inclusion are very important to me, and was one of the things that drew me to Target.  I enjoy working for a company that supports me in bringing my authentic self to work every day.

Tell us a story of your favorite memory on the job. 

There is a woman who frequents the store who reminds me of my own grandmother.  I’ve helped her find products in the past, and we’ve shared encouraging conversations with each other about style, even sharing tips on hair color.  We’ve spent time reminding one anther that no matter what your style is, you are beautiful. The ability to connect with our guests is such a positive part of working in this role.

Target is one of the world’s most recognized brands and one of America’s leading retailers. We’re looking for Beauty Team Members that know all the latest and greatest beauty tips and love helping others.  Interested? We’d love to meet you. Learn more and apply at targetbeautyjobs.com.

My Target Internship: Jabari

Target offers Store Executive, Distribution, HQ Undergrad and HQ Graduate internship opportunities.  Want to learn more?  Jabari, an HQ intern in Technology, shares his experience below.

Name: Jabari
Lives in: White Plains, NY
College year: 4th year at SUNY New Paltz

Why I decided to do an internship at Target:  This is my second summer at Target. The first time I chose to intern here was because I had the opportunity to meet several recruiters and visit the headquarters. The Target representatives demonstrated to me Target had a great company culture, and there was a lot of new technology to be learned. After my first summer, I can say that Target exceeded my expectations. The laid back, but still hard-working and productive tech culture was everything that I imagined and more. Through that experience, I have learned skills that have jumpstarted my professional career. I chose to come back because I knew that with Target, it could only get better. I knew that even though I learned a ton of things, my ten-week experience only showed me a tiny piece of what Target has to offer.

Which Target team(s) will I be working with this summer, and what my role is:  This year I am working with Data Store Services. In particular, I will be working as a Front-end JavaScript Web Developer to develop a web portal for internal use.

What I hope to learn and what skills I hope to build: My technological skills lie primarily in the realm of back-end Java development. For this reason, I am delighted to have been placed on a team where I will be working almost entirely with front-end. I hope to end this experience as a confident entry-level web developer who has a good grasp on JavaScript frameworks such as AngularJS, NodeJS, and has a great understanding of design patterns such as Factory and Model View Controller (MVC).

My Target team first impressions:  I was surprised at the large size of the broader team, and they were all very kind when we did our rounds introducing ourselves. My immediate team is just myself and another intern. On the other hand, contrary to the larger team, I was surprised at how small our team was!

Favorite moment so far: My favorite experience so far has been when I learned that I was on a team of two that will be working on an entirely new project. Although this means more work for me, this means I will really become a master of my trade. Last year with my first experience working at the enterprise level, I really needed the support of working on a well-established team that already had its product in development. However, this time around, the team only consists of another intern and myself, and we are in charge of everything. I am ready for the challenge!

 

Welcome Interns!

June is an exciting month for Target – it’s when we welcome our summer interns! Read on to learn more about our intern programs from the program owners themselves.

Christen, Field Campus Program Manager, Field Talent Acquisition

Jenna, HQ Internship Program Owner, HQ Campus Talent Acquisition

What internship programs does Target have?

We have 8 total undergraduate internship programs and 4 total graduate programs across HQ and the Field. The HQ Internship Program spans several businesses including, Target Technology Services, Inventory Management, Space and Presentation, Product Design and Development, Finance and Accounting, and Marketing for undergraduates. The graduate interns span across EDABI, Merchandising, Finance and Supply Chain (HQ and in the Field). For Field-based internships, we have the Stores Executive Internship and Fulfillment Center Operations Internship.

Who is involved in the planning of an internship program?

It might be easier to start with who is NOT involved in the internship programs! Running the each program takes a village. With Target being as large as it is, there are several moving parts and key stakeholders. From all the work behind the scenes by our HR generalists, learning and development partners, Target systems and technology experts, and Travel Services team to our frontline teams in Talent Acquisition including our recruiters and HQ and Field managers, mentors and administrative assistants. There are many teams involved in the success of our internship programs. We also partner with other Fortune 500 companies to plan joint internship events across the country. How cool is that? Through these partnerships we also ensure our interns have a place to live, a way to travel, a project, a computer (sometimes two!), access to Target’s systems, access to C-Suite leaders, critical resources…oh, and did I mention fun?! It takes an entire year of planning for a 9, 10 or 14-week program and we take every minute of it seriously because we truly want every intern to succeed.

How connected is Target to Universities around the country?

Very! It’s vital in how we secure the amazing talent we do. Whether we’re on campus at a Career Fair, or hosting our own event, we make the most of every campus visit. We love to engage with potential candidates, meet with professors and partner with Career Services teams to ensure Target, the students and the College/University benefits. While we can’t be at every campus (although that would be fun!), we are likely posting job opportunities or sourcing potential candidates from other schools.

How many interns are joining Target this summer?

Across HQ and Field, there are roughly 973 total interns joining us in summer 2017. At HQ, we have 185 total interns in 2017 across our HQ graduate and undergraduate internship programs. In the Field, there are 65 total Fulfillment Center undergraduate interns and 723 Stores Executive interns.

What piece of advice to you have for our interns?

Go for it. Be curious. Ask questions. Ask lots of questions. Really listen. Learn. Put in the work. Dig in. Drive for results. Take accountability. Get involved. Stay engaged. Remain focused. Make connections. Have fun! Most importantly, be yourself. Embrace who you are and all that you bring to the table. Our hope is that you head back to campus this fall feeling like you’ve made a real impact at Target this summer!

How can people stay connected to what the interns are up to this summer?

This blog is a good start! Also, you can follow our hashtags #TGTInterns2017 and #WeAreTarget. For HQ internal team members, we have an HQ Target Interns Community on InsideTGT with additional resources, local events and more!

Now Hiring! Warehouse Workers

Target is one of the world’s most recognized brands and one of America’s leading retailers. And our Distribution Centers are key to that success, whether guests shop our stores or online. It’s our DC teams who make sure that products arrive at our stores (and guests’ doorsteps) on time, every time.

Wonder what it’s like to spend a day in the life of a Warehouse Worker? Here’s your chance! They’re making things happen in Distribution Centers across the country, and we spent some time asking them what it’s all about…

What is a day like as a Warehouse Worker?

o Being a Warehouse Worker in a Target Distribution Center is fast paced. You will have to be flexible throughout the work day. There are several departments in the building that process product received from our vendors domestically or overseas into the Distribution center, other teams put it in reserve or process it out to our stores. The majority of new team members come into the Inbound or Outbound departments. In the Inbound department you will be primarily unloading trucks either manually or with the help of an automated conveyor that receives product into the building. Once the product is received the Warehousing department moves the product by picking product to go out to stores, or putting it away in reserve doing a rack put away. The pulled product goes into our Outbound dock where the team sorts it by store, and is then loaded into a truck that is eventually shipped to our stores. With most of the job functions, you will need to think ahead and have an alternate plan to complete the task.

o The life of a Warehouse Worker involves different responsibilities throughout the day and making decisions to ensure product is moved at the right time to make it available to our guests. On a daily basis we are moving product that stores need depending on the level of urgency so we end up having to pull some product faster.

o Always being safe, making sure my counts are accurate, and working independently to complete tasks. Asking for assistance when necessary, continuously having a positive impact on the team. Having strong communication with my Operations Manager, team captains and peers. Working in the warehouse is a high-activity environment with lots people and equipment constantly moving.

What makes you successful in your role?

o My team makes me successful at Target. Great communication and sharing great ideas with each other. You need to laugh and have fun with your team. You have to adapt to any kind of change you will have throughout the day. Also you will have to be motivated to make your shift and building great through ideas or through the work you put in. And with no question, you will need to be safe to be successful at Target.

o At Target, I use my interpersonal skills to make a difference in any function and department. I first buy-in with the people I work with to implement my plan. Secondly, I plan ahead by starting with the most critical work to be effective and efficient .Third I take constructive action during the day to correct any deviation so the work can take to stay on plan. And finally, I communicate with the different players to implement my actions.

o I would have to say the teamwork involved in all the processes is what makes one successful in the various tasks throughout the Distribution Center. Being accountable and having a reliable team definitely makes the entire process more efficient and effective. Having the right tools at hand streamlines processes and makes things more productive for the team. Partnerships between Operations Managers and team members are essential in order to remove any obstacles the team may encounter, and in turn make individuals and the team as a whole successful.

What do you like best about working at Target?

o The people. Everyone from the top management to the rest of the building made me feel welcomed and appreciated. I have the opportunity to learn from my peers and my supervisor and generate competitive advantage for Target. I am motivated by not only working systematically, but by helping other team members create additional value for Target and satisfying the guest.

o The best part about working at Target is the teamwork. Being a team member trainer I always like to emphasize the team culture we have here at Target to new hires. Letting them know that they’re not alone and that someone will be there to help them or point them in the right direction.

o I enjoy working in a team environment while building relationships and meeting new team members. I also like the positive impact Target has on the local communities. I enjoy having opportunities to grow and acquire more responsibilities. Additionally, being able to deliver quality products at a low cost to our guests is what drives me.

We’re looking for Warehouse Workers with a passion for supply chain. Interested? We’d love to meet you. Apply now at Target.com/careers.

Now Hiring! Visual Merchandising Leaders

In order to make sure every guest has a great trip every time they make a Target run, we’re constantly testing and innovating. One of the latest innovations is an hourly position in our stores – Visual Merchandising Leader. The goal of the position, straight from CEO Brian Cornell: “To elevate our assortment and shopping experience.”

Wonder what it’s like to spend a day in the life of a Visual Merchandising Leader? Here’s your chance! They’re making things happen in stores across the country, and we spent some time asking them what it’s all about…

What is a day like as a Visual Merchandising Leader?
• My time is split between our home and apparel departments, and depending on the time of year, or merchandise sets we have currently in the store, I will spend my time in the area in need of merchandising attention. Using both my own creativity and sales data, I decide where my time should be spent as well. I love making things crisp and clean, so guests are drawn to beautiful, easy-to-shop areas. It’s fun to apply my knowledge of current trends, areas that need visual attention, and opportunities to drive sales to shape my work every day. Some days, my priorities will change, and have autonomy and freedom to identify what to work on.
• It’s fast paced, guest driven and really thinking outside the box to come up with great ideas to drive sales! Also teaching and developing the team members, and other leaders, to drive sales in all areas of the store.
• I come in and analyze the business, adjust routines to meet the need of the business and merchandise product in a way that inspires our guest.

What makes someone successful in this position?
• I really look at this with a three-prong approach.
Creative: knowing color palettes/pantone blocks, trends, what’s hot (and what’s not!), being able to create stories that guests love.
Analytical: be aware of your business numbers and cycles, being able to dig deep into trends and prepare for the next market change. Looking at weekly, monthly and year-to-date to drive those sales numbers.
Flexible: being able change your work plan for the day and being comfortable with any department in the store.
• Collaboration, seeing the big picture, teaching and showing team members the skills to become great merchandisers in their own departments. Checking the stats and see what’s working, and what’s not, and having the flexibility to new ideas and concepts.
• Organization, the ability to motivate and inspire team members and a good work ethic.

What do you like best about working at Target?
• The PEOPLE!! We have the greatest people working for and shopping at Target. You know that you will be successful when you have the best peers and team members around you. The partnership, collaboration and idea-sharing is what keeps our store running and looking great. #BestTeamAround #T1352
• The relationships and the development as a leader that I contribute to. I love being a part of the change that Target is leading in the apparel and merchandising innovation for retailers.
• I get to be a business owner, work for a reputable company and I get to work with a great team.

Target is one of the world’s most recognized brands and one of America’s leading retailers. We’re looking for team members with and an eye for design and a passion for style trends, especially in Home and Apparel. Interested? We’d love to meet you. Apply now at Target.com/careers.

Now Hiring! Logistics Team Members

A Logistics Team Member at Target helps to make sure you have your perfect Target run by unloading our trucks, stocking shelves and helping to get merchandise out on the sales floor.  Wonder what it’s like to spend a day in the life of a Logistics Team Member? Here’s your chance! They’re making things happen in stores across the country, and we spent some time asking them what it’s all about…

What is a day like as a Logistics Team Member?
• When I come to work, I arrive ready to get the job done. I can expect to have fun with my team members and leaders. We work hard and meet our goal by working as a team.
• Very similar from day to day, but it is great when you can specialize in a specific work center and really get to know the area. The work is challenging but it is fun when you can get everything done.

What makes someone successful in this position?
• It’s important to be self-motivated and have a good attitude (for example, be able to challenge yourself to stock this aisle more efficiently today than you did yesterday). You have to be a hard worker, be motivated and have good communication with everyone.
• Accurate and detail oriented.

What do you like best about working at Target?
• My favorite thing about working at Target is the people. I enjoy spending time with my peers, team members and my leaders. The people is why I continue to do what I do.
• Everyone here seems motivated and you can count on your leaders to help you resolve issues, I like working at a place that gives your recognition when you do something well, instead of just giving feedback when you do something wrong.
• I love my discount and that I can combine it with cartwheel and the red card. Target is accepting of everyone. I love my team and working with them every day.

Target is one of the world’s most recognized brands and one of America’s leading retailers. We take pride in keeping each of our stores organized, clean and welcoming. We’re hiring logistics team members and we’re looking for you! Apply now at Target.com/careers.