The 411- Tips for New Interns

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Beginning your first internship can be an experience filled with nerves and excitement. If you set yourself up for success and are open to anything, there’s no need for nerves. As an intern you are going to have the chance to learn so much and contribute so much. Target isn’t looking for interns to get their executives coffee and make copies. Target is looking for interns that are leaders. Interns do the exact same things their mentors do. That’s the best part. You will attend executive meetings, run the sales floor, solve guest complaints and manage your team. So once you’ve gotten here, it’s up to you to make the best of it. Your leaders want you to do well and want you to take on important responsibilities, be engaged and show them you’re ready.

Once you first start your internship it’s extremely important to build relationships. By having relationships with those around you, you can feel comfortable asking for help and offering feedback. This also includes being able to receive feedback. Target is a huge feedback driven culture and you will receive this feedback through statuses with your mentor, interactions with other leaders in your building and your team, and even from guests. My one biggest tip for feedback is: don’t be scared of it! You are receiving that feedback to help you become a better leader. Instead of letting you make a mistake again, you team cares enough to help you work on it. The same goes for giving feedback. You want your team to be as strong as it can be. Instead of seeing a team member make the same mistakes over and over without knowing it, be there to lend a helping hand and guide them through it.

You want to be resilient and adaptable as an intern and be open to anything! The retail industry is definitely a crazy one and you have to be ready for it. Different things will come your way every single day and that’s what’s so exciting about it. You’ll never be sure of what your day lies ahead, so don’t be afraid of the unexpected.

Finally, set goals for yourself and go out there and make them happen. Know the team wants you to do well and will be there to support you. Partner with those around you to make the store better than it was when you entered it. Don’t be scared to try new things and remember to utilize your resources. Sure you may make mistakes, but that’s okay! You’re an intern and now’s your time to try new things and learn from your experiences. Before you know it, the 10 weeks will be over and you will want to be able to look back and know you made a difference.

Post by Araima, Stores  Executive  Intern

Learn more about Target opportunities for college students here.

Time to Say Goodbye

Well everyone, the time has come for me to say goodbye. This last year of blogging has been fabulous and I am so glad that I was able to share my first year as a Target business analyst with you. Before I start getting too sappy (tear, tear) I want to share my closing words with you. It just so happens that we received a “Wise Words” page from our senior leadership yesterday, full of good tips for how to succeed at Target (or any company for that matter). What better way to end a journey then by offering tips to help you begin yours! So here it is. Soak it up and live by these words because they are indeed, very, very wise.

Own your performance:

-Be passionate about what you do. Do something that matters.
-Never be the “least dressed” in the room. When in doubt, dress more professionally.
-Consider using more pictures instead of words.
-Body language can be more powerful than words.
-Own your opportunities.
-Come to work with a positive attitude and be friendly.

Perceptions are reality:

-Ask yourself, “Could I use this as an example in an interview?”
-Be open to change or new challenges. They are often the times you learn the most.
-Be credible, especially with financials.
-Don’t be afraid to make a mistake. All that matters is you learn from it.

Own your business:

-Deliver your financials.
-Know your guest.
-Take risks and take partners.
Have facts to support your opinion.
-Take 30 minutes Friday afternoon to organize your desk & calendar for the next week; it helps with your mental stability.
-Think big picture. Anticipate the implications of your decisions.
-When there are issues that we need to discuss, come with potential solutions. Show effort in determining the problem and solutions.

Own your network:

-Keep meeting new people. Be open-minded and inclusive.
-Invest in other people. Teach them what you know.
-Keep your partners (Manager, Buyer…) informed. If they don’t know what you are working on, then you will not be recognized for your hard work.
DON’T BURN BRIDGES; you may work with that person again in the future!
Smile, make eye contact, say “Hi!”
-Take time to keep in touch with old acquaintances by setting up coffee.
-Get to know people personally. We spend more time with our co-workers than our friends and family.

So there are words of wisdom passed down by some people who are pretty dang important. The biggest thing I would emphasize for anywhere you choose to work going forward is that perceptions truly are reality in the work place.  It matters how you come off to people. Which makes sense when you think about it, because how you come off to people IS the reality of who you are to that individual. Use this knowledge to your advantage because once you understand this, and own it, you will truly be able to thrive in the workplace.

Thank you so much for sticking with me and reading my year worth of blogs. It has been such a joy and I cannot wait for a new business analyst to begin covering their experience throughout this next year. Meanwhile, feel free to support my business and buy a pool online- summer is right around the corner, I just know it!

Interested in a career in buying, planning and brand management? Search and apply for jobs here.

headquarters intern welcome

Target HQ is rolling out the red carpet to welcome its 2012 Summer Interns!  Headquarters will host over 350 interns this summer.  On Monday, Interns representing 42 different colleges travelled to downtown Minneapolis to begin what for many is the first day of a long-term career at Target.

Headquarters offers internships in areas like merchandising, finance and marketing.  The 10-week program involves a project and preview of what a full-time role at Target is like.  Interns gain experience solving a problem and presenting their findings to Target leadership.  Along the way they are immersed in Target culture, learning everything from what it means to “coffee” to how to give and receive feedback.

The day began with advice from Keri Jones, SVP of Merchandise Planning, and Corey Haaland, SVP of Financial Planning Analysis and Tax.  Interns listened eagerly as the two bestowed advice on making the most of the Target experience.  Next, interns received a crash course in everything Target, discussing topics ranging from W4’s to what to wear.

There’s no better way to kick off the summer than with a pizza lunch!  Interns enjoyed pizza while they met their mentors for the first time.  Intern mentors will be there every step of the way providing onboarding guidance, feedback and project advice.  More mentoring took place during the Former Intern Panel as interns listened to tips and tricks from those who had been in their shoes just a few years ago.

The day was full of excitement as the interns learned more about the summer ahead of them.  The next 10 weeks will be filled with barbecues, volunteer events, Twins games, and of course a great Target experience!


Learn more about Target opportunities for college students here.

Development Matters

When I meet with new people at work, we generally like to share how long we’ve been with Target and an area or two that we have worked in.  Whenever people share that they recently joined Target after working somewhere else, I am always extremely curious—what do you see as the biggest differences at Target?  I take pride in the fact that I have worked at Target for my entire career, but naturally, I am curious about other company cultures.

One thing that people regularly mention is our feedback culture.  Unlike some companies where you get your performance review once a year and that’s the one and only time where you talk about development, we talk about performance and development a lot.

I have a quarterly meeting with my manager to discuss my strengths and opportunities and how things are going.  In addition to that scheduled time, my manager, another leader, a partner, or a peer may at any time share feedback with me.  This can be in the form of recognition, “Wow, I am impressed with how you handled that tough question” or sometimes as feedforward, which is something to work on in the future.  Even though I often receive ideas about things to work on, Target is definitely a “soar with your strengths” kind of place and I’ve definitely experienced that.

All in all, I would say that our feedback culture has led me to grow my skillset extremely quickly and it keeps me motivated and excited to work for Target.

*the picture is of the Coolest Crustacean Award- it’s a traveling piece of recognition on my team

Want to learn more about and career in talent acquisition & human resources at Target? Search and apply for opportunities here.