PA’s at Target…..What’s a PA?

One thing I love about working at Target is the culture of recognition. It feels wonderful to be recognized for the great things you do for our guests, team, and business. This month that recognition is especially exciting for me as it celebrates my profession, physician assistant. To help spread the word about the profession I asked one of my team members, Jill, to share some additional information on both.

Lexie:  What is a physician assistant?

 Jill: A Physician Assistant (PA) is a medical professional who works as part of a team with a doctor. A PA is a graduate of an accredited PA educational program who is nationally certified and state-licensed to practice medicine with the supervision of a physician. At Target, PAs work in our retail medical clinics located in select Target stores providing healthcare to our guests for everything from minor illnesses and vaccines to biometric screenings and sport physicals.

L:  How are PAs educated and trained?

J: A PAs education is modeled on the medical school curriculum, a combination of classroom and clinical instruction. The PA course of study is rigorous and intense.  Applicants to PA programs must complete a bachelor’s degree with a course load similar to the premedical studies required of medical students.  Once a PA student, there are many hours of classroom and laboratory studies. PA students also complete more than 2,000 hours of clinical rotations in various practice settings which include family medicine, internal medicine, obstetrics and gynecology, pediatrics, general surgery, emergency medicine and psychiatry.

Practicing PAs participate in lifelong learning. In order to maintain national certification, a PA must complete 100 hours of continuing medical education every two years. A PA must also take a re-certification examination similar to the way a physician would.

 L: What can PAs do?

J: PAs perform physical examinations, diagnose and treat illnesses, order and interpret lab tests, perform procedures, assist in surgery, provide patient education and counseling and make rounds in hospitals.  At Target Clinic, PAs provided high quality medical care to our guests and team members.


Now let’s take time to recognize!

I would like to recognize all of my PA colleagues for all of the hard work and dedication you exemplify to the healthcare profession and for Target Clinic. Research shows that patients are just as satisfied with PA-provided care as they are with physician care and I think that is AMAZING! Keep up the hard work and thank you for all you do to keep our guests and team healthy!

Interested in a career with Target Clinic? Click here to learn more. 

the one where it all begins

I have a confession to make: I completely overuse the word “love.” You may be wondering why I’m choosing to start off my first blog post like this, but I feel it’s important to make sure everyone’s on the same page. I use the word “love” to express my feelings about everything from people to a new Excel macro.

That being said, I think it’s important to note WHY I use this word so much. I’ve been at Target working as the business analyst for ice cream since I first started training on the desk last August. After interning the summer before, I thought I knew what I was getting myself into when I decided to return to Target for a full-time position as a business analyst…but I really had no idea what an amazing experience it would turn out to be. Knowing this, I want you to know the three reasons for why I overuse the word “love” since I’ve started working at Target:

Reason #1: I’m Surrounded by Ice Cream 24/7

  • I think this is a given. Who wouldn’t want this gig?! Besides being delicious, ice cream always puts a smile on peoples’ faces. I love that I can help create joy and a special moment for our guest when I ensure that they can find their favorite flavor on the shelf.

Reason #2: One Team, One Dream

  • Target is all about our team–both as a whole and within your specific area. Every day I work with some of the most intelligent people I’ve ever met, and I’m lucky enough to call them my fellow teammates. The importance of team is emphasized daily, and it’s embedded in Target’s culture. From team meetings to Friday breakfasts to fun team adventures, Target encourages the creation of strong bonds within your team.

Reason #3: Leadership Opportunities

  • Beyond being the business analyst for ice cream, I hold a variety of captainships within my department and in my division. I get to drive company initiatives for my area, as well as create and invest in projects of my own to drive my business. From optimizing expenses to creating a division-specific intern curriculum, I get to use so many parts of my skill set every day at work.

As you can see, I’m confident that I work on the best team ever,  at the best company ever. I love my job. I love working in ice cream. I love the opportunities that Target has offered me to drive my business and my development at the same time. I love my goofy teammates… and I really love the fact that they gave me the “Superlative Award” once because I exaggerate how much I love everything all the time.

So, now you know: I overuse the word “love.” I’ll do my best in my posts to limit its use and expand my vocabulary (anyone have a thesaurus I can borrow?), but sometimes there’s just one word that can truly capture how I feel about my job and my team. And yes…you guessed it…it’s “love.”

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

a culture of appreciation and recognition

Below is a post from one of my peers, Andrea, who joined the Talent Acquisition Strategy & Operations team last year:

How many times do you stop to say thanks to someone you work with? When was the last time you expressed gratitude to one of your employees? Have you ever received an email from a business partner just to tell you how much they appreciate the work you did for them?

When I started my job at Target seven months ago, one of the first things I noticed was how often my new coworkers recognized others for their work. Team meetings start with recognition; team members thank each other or share with the team how someone on another team did a great job, and our manager reads emails she’s received from business partners about the work our team has done.

I’ve worked for a few other companies and while I never felt underappreciated, I have never worked at a place where recognition was such a focus. In fact, at first I thought it was little overboard! And I was a bit worried that I wouldn’t be able to find enough things to show appreciation for.

However, after a few weeks, I found myself excited to look for opportunities to say thank you. I started writing down when someone helped me complete a project and made notes when someone hit a milestone or achieved a goal. I really looked forward to the opportunity to publically thank my co-workers for the work they did. It was fun to recognize others and gratifying to receive their thanks in return.

There are many reasons I decided to take this position at Target – among them being Target’s reputation for developing great leaders. However, joining a culture of appreciation and recognition was not on my list of must-haves before accepting the position. But after a few short months of living each workday in this culture, I think about work differently. Feeling appreciated and having the opportunity to share gratitude regularly not only makes work better – it makes life better.

If a culture of appreciation and recognition isn’t on your list of must-haves when you consider taking a new position, it should be. It is definitely on my list now!

*Picture is of Andrea and her direct report, Amanda with a recent Great Team Card Award

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

Repeat after me: Love your B.A.

Behind every great buyer is an even greater business analyst.  And behind me—a still-learning, puts-her-best-foot-forward, occasionally-makes-some-flubs buyer—is a great business analyst.  The BA (“business analyst” takes way too long to type…)/ buyer relationship is an interesting one.  Together, they equal a business unit.  Apart, they can’t really get the job done.

Buyers are in charge of setting and executing the business strategy of a particular category.  This includes developing assortments and marketing plans to build sales, profitability and long-term market share.  BAs let the buyer strategy come to life by analyzing sales trends, forecasting with vendors and negotiating inventory levels to distribute product across our stores in the most profitable way.

A lot of Target buyers started as BAs after undergrad, which is why the company is full of really talented and experienced merchants who understand the implications (cost + logistics) of buying decisions.  They help balance out the folks like me who joined the company with a hungry strategic lens obsessed with driving sales + profitability, but with zero past merchandising experience.  Fortunately, Target embraces my diverse career background and by working closely with Jo (my BA extraordinaire), I’ve learned a ton about how to be thoughtful in my planning, how to maximize productivity of the items I choose to buy and how to keep ridiculously neat + organized color-coded Excel grids.

I received some great advice when I was an MBA intern.  It was simple and clear: “Love your BA.  No really.  Love your BA.”

I took that advice seriously, and I hope Jo recognizes how much I appreciate her support, patience and thought partnership.  Aaaaand her eagles eyes.  She catches everything.  Many a times has she caught something fishy on a buy grid, ad entry or negotiation template.  I guess it doesn’t hurt that her boss is really good at crafting homemade photo hunts – way to keep those eagle eyes sharp Matt!

Anyway, for all those future buyers out there: just remember to love your BA.  They keep things running smoothly and can often times get you out of a pickle.

(PS : if you’re wondering what “smapps” is… SMAPPS = small appliances.  hi-five to Jo for coining that one!)


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

target fundamentals: rec·og·ni·tion [ rèkəg nísh’n ]

Let’s play twenty-questions:

When was the last time a colleague or employer took the opportunity to say “thank you” for a job well done?  How about the last time you returned the favor?  Would you be surprised if I told you that “thank you’s” are a key part of what makes Target a Fast, Fun, and Friendly (FFF) place to work, as well as a workplace where team members are valued for any number of various contributions?  At Target, we refer to these “thank you’s” as recognition.  For those who are unfamiliar, I wish you more recognition in your immediate future—the definition is as follows:

recognition (n)

  1. appreciation: appreciation of the value of an achievement

Recognition is just that—appreciation of an achievement, regardless of the complexity!  During the course of a given day, team members are recognized multiple times for achievements such as assisting guests by asking “Can I Help You Find Something?” (CIHYFS?), assisting fellow team members with tasks on the floor, and driving safe behaviors among peers and guests.  By taking the time to provide verbal or written recognition to the team, leaders are able to promote productive and (more importantly) FFF behaviors on a store level.  While verbal recognition is somewhat self-explanatory, written recognition is delivered using Great Team Cards (GTCs).  GTCs are small pieces of paper through which the writer recognizes a co-worker for superior performance, at which time it is placed on a display board for the individual to view/remove.  A favorite activity among Target team members is searching for GTCs that have been written to them as they pass by the board—I’m guilty myself!  The board is a great way to reinforce positive behaviors while showing appreciation for your team and the value they provide!

Our store recently had the opportunity to recognize the store team on a ‘global’ (store-wide) level for driving team safety throughout the store.  The celebration was complete with food and drinks, including the incredible Target-baked cake shown in the picture above.  The focus of the celebration was placed on increased wins from the team in regards to driving team and guest safety, as measured by ‘incident free’ days and safe behaviors.  Celebrating these does an excellent job of displaying our store’s commitment to safety, as well as rewarding the team for driving personal wellness initiatives.  Needless to say, food is always a welcome incentive for the team!  As myself and my peer leaders continue to challenge the store to achieve higher safety goals, we’ll most definitely find ourselves raising the stakes in regards to the incentives!  Tacos?  Wings?  Possibly something other than food (crazy, I know!)?  The sky is the limit with an asset as great as my team!

Does any of this sound appealing?  Could you use more recognition in your life (of course!)?  Welcome to Target, where you can ‘have your cake and eat it too!’


As you may have read elsewhere, Target lingo can be a bit difficult to discern at times…  No worries!  I will continue to share what I know, and summarize as follows:

FFF = Fast, Fun, and Friendly (our culture at Target)

CIHYFS? = Can I Help You Find Something?

GTC = Great Team Card

Interested in a store management role at Target? Learn more and apply for openings here.

The ABC’s of Target Pharmacy: A is for Appreciation

Holy cow!  One of our former guest’s family members just delivered flowers to our pharmacy in appreciation for taking such good care of  her mom.  We just found out Ms. “R” passed away this week.  We had been delivering prescriptions to her for several years, and I had no idea we meant so much to her.

Our pharmacy is a little unique in that we deliver prescriptions to a local assisted living facility.  The residents are self-sufficient but, for the most part, no longer drive.  Some of our guests (Target’s terminology for customers) we know quite well.   Others, not so much.  Ms. “R” was that way.  We rarely heard from her, and I’m not so sure I had ever even met her.  But, come to find out, she had been filling out those little surveys that appear on the bottom of certain receipts, bragging all about us.  Talk about motivation to please our guests!  I am thankful to be in a position to help out not only the residents but also the family members.

Interested in a healthcare career with Target? Search and apply for opportunities here.