Target’s Summer Interns Share a Peek Inside Their Program

July 26, 2016 - Article reads in
Three of Target's summer interns

Summer’s in full swing, and there are a few new faces around Target’s stores, distribution centers (DCs) and headquarters buildings. They’re our summer interns, and they work with Target teams in many departments across the company, learning the ropes, bonding with our team members and honing their skills in everything from management to technology to market analysis. This year, we welcomed more than 1,000 interns to our teams across the U.S.

“We’re thrilled that our interns are here and diving in with our teams to learn all about the business,” says Tim Curoe, senior vice president, talent and organizational effectiveness, Target. “Our internship program helps interns learn things about leadership, technical skills and business acumen, and they’re a pipeline for future talent.”

Now that they’ve been on the job for a few weeks, we checked in to see what three of our new interns have been up to, and what they’re hoping to learn from their experience.

Caitlynn Davis
Human Resources (HR) intern at a Target store in Denver, Co.

Her story: A student at University of Colorado Denver, Caitlynn’s working on a Bachelor’s degree in Communication. She’s been with Target for more than a year as an extended intern, working both summer and during the school year on HR staffing and training. “As a Comms major, the role has been a really good fit because of all the chatting we do.”

Her Target gig: “This summer, my major focus is to get exposure to the other work centers in my store. I’m excited to see the different leadership styles in action and hopefully find one that I can use myself once I’m an executive team leader.”

First impressions: “The store I’m working at this summer is the most challenging and fast-paced yet. There are definitely more issues to solve, and I love that—it’s a great opportunity to grow in my leadership and development.” 

Can’t wait to: “Get out of the office and onto the sales floor, brush up on my tech skills and continue building relationships with my team. There’s so much to learn at Target and I’m doing my best to really soak it all in.”

Why Target? “I was recruited on campus by a good friend who worked as an extended intern at Target and loved it. (Even though I wasn't a student on his campus, he sent in my résumé!) It was the company culture that drew me in. I loved the idea of working for a company that really valued the diversity and inclusivity of both its team and guests.”

Zunerah Syed
Planning Analyst intern at Target’s Minneapolis headquarters

Her story: A student at Michigan State University, Zunerah’s studying interdisciplinary studies in human capital analysis with a sociology cognate and business emphasis. “That’s a mouthful, I know! It basically means exploring and digging deeper into the social issues our society—and especially businesses—deal with today.”

Her Target gig: Strategy and analysis for Target’s Produce team. “One exciting part of the project is that I’m exposed to a never-ending market and I get to work on efficiency-related strategies for the division, like ways to get the best, freshest produce to stores.”

First impressions: “I enjoy working in such a flexible environment—it makes me appreciate being completely independent while also driving results at Target. It’s important to me that I don’t feel tied to or confined by anything! My new team is a lot of fun, and always willing to help me and answer my questions.”

Can’t wait to learn: “How the entire supply chain functions as a whole. The fast-paced culture is intriguing! I’ve also been reading about the sociology of supply chain and would love to explore more from a diversity and inclusion perspective.”

Why Target? “One of the biggest reasons I joined Target was their open-minded and accepting culture. Never have I been more welcomed at a company before!”

Hannah Ihssen
Distribution Operations intern at Target’s Upstream Distribution Center (UDC) in DeKalb, Ill.

Her story: An incoming senior at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Hannah’s majoring in supply chain management and entrepreneurial management. “In my free time, I like to read, watch European soccer and hike.”

Her Target gig: Shadowing the inbound and outbound managers. “My opportunity is incredibly unique, because this DC recently converted to an Upstream Distribution Center—a facility Target uses to move product with hard-to-predict demand to stores right when it’s needed. (For instance, it’s hard to know exactly when certain areas may go through a rainy spell and need lots more umbrellas!) The idea of a UDC is new, even to Target, so it’s an awesome opportunity to learn alongside Target leaders. In the last month of my internship, I’ll spend a week in each department, learning supply chain from all perspectives.”

First impressions: “There’s a ton to learn! I think I learned more in my first week than I did in an entire semester of school. I was surprised by how big the UDC was—there are so many areas that I’ve almost gotten lost several times! The people I work with here at the UDC are incredible, and I’m learning so much from them.”

Can’t wait to learn: How to be an effective and efficient leader. “I want to learn to manage both people and resources in a way that’s good for both the company and its team members. I’m hoping to use my strategy and problem solving skills—that’s what I’m good at!” 

Why Target? “I actually worked as a cashier at Target while I was in high school. I loved the atmosphere of the stores and the people I worked with, so when given the opportunity to interview with Target I was incredibly interested. All the people I interviewed with were wonderful and friendly.”

We’d better let Caitlynn, Zunerah and Hannah get back to work! Check back this fall to hear how the rest of their internship programs went and hear more of what they learned on the job.

Want more info about Target’s internship programs? Check out our Careers resources for College Students. Interested in learning more about what life is like at Target? Explore Careers and meet more of our team members on The Pulse blog

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