Ice Breakers: Target Team Members Share Twin Cities Winter Fun Faves

February 9, 2017 - Article reads in
Three team members and their families enjoy outdoor activities in the Twin Cities

The Twin Cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul, Minn., are known as a haven for winter fun. But Rule No. 1: Be ready for anything, because the weather can swing from cold and snowy to warm and melty in a matter of days.

Luckily, the cities offer a menu of activities perfect for every forecast, from skiing and snowboarding to ice fishing and pond hockey games. There’s the newly launched Great Northern Festival, a mashup of several popular local events (check it out—Target’s a sponsor). And for those who prefer to stay cozy indoors, there’s the vibrant arts and theater community and a medley of popular bars and restaurants.

The Twin Cities are also home to Target’s corporate headquarters and dozens of stores, where thousands of team members work across several business areas, from product design to technology, helping to transform our guest experience from every angle. Meet five of our team members who recently moved here, and read on for some of their favorite ways to spend a winter day.

Edgar Cobos in his outdoor gear holding a coffee cup

Edgar Cobos
Software Engineer, Technology Leadership Program

Why Target? I made the move from Southern California six months ago when I heard Target’s tech department was growing. I felt I could be a driving force that shapes the products, and I like that we get time to work on side projects and take part in hackathons.

Minnesota myth, busted: My main concern was driving my fully electric car in snow and not being able to go outside for extended periods because of the cold. But I found an apartment with indoor parking, a built-in gym and other amenities, all within walking distance to the downtown Minneapolis area. On really cold or snowy days, I usually take public transportation, or just stay home and bundle up.

Favorite outdoor activities: It’s my first winter here so I’m just getting started. I liked ice skating and snowboarding—the cities are fairly flat, but all it takes is a short drive out of town to find some decent slopes.

Indoor fun faves: Trivia galore! I was amazed by the number of trivia events happening nightly throughout the city. Friends are usually up for a game night when it’s snowing. And I recently discovered indoor electric go-karts. 

Best eats: I have to say Noodles & Company. And if you like craft beer and cocktails, you’ll enjoy all the micro-breweries and small batch distilleries.

Tips for making friends: Join social groups, whether it’s a fitness group or an amateur sports team. Or, just hang out with your co-workers. I joined a local rugby club and formed most of my new connections there. 

Rebecca Molloy and her husband with santa and a reindeer at a Christmas Market

Rebecca Molloy
Senior Buyer, Exclusive Brands

Why Target? I came here from Austin, Texas, last year because I really liked the people and the brand, and wanted a job that would challenge me.

Minnesota myth, busted: I heard a rumor that if you go outside with wet hair when it’s negative temps, your hair can break off! Seriously though, I was worried that I’d never want to go outside during the winter, but there are always fun activities every weekend—Minnesotans really do embrace the winter. My tip: Use the skyways—they make it super easy to avoid the cold.

Favorite outdoor activity: Shopping the local markets. (I love the Christmas markets.) Also on my short list are going ice fishing, snowboarding at one of the local resorts, ice skating and cross-country skiing.

Indoor fun faves: My husband and I enjoy rock climbing at Vertical Endeavors. I also like taking a warm yoga class at Core Power yoga and sipping coffee at Spyhouse in the North Loop. And we enjoy cheering on the local sports teams and going to shows at the Lab Theater, within walking distance of our apartment.

Best eats: Black Sheep Pizza—we probably order a pizza from there at least once a week.

Tips for making friends: The MBA network is strong here and my co-workers have been so welcoming. Honestly, it was much easier to make friends than I expected.

Parents and kids sledding on a hill

Matthew Moss
Senior Manager, Merchandise Finance

Why Target? My wife and I are originally from Orlando, Fla., but spent the last 10 years moving around the country while I served in the Navy. We moved here from Madison, Wis., six months ago to take my Target job. Target stood out hands-down for the culture and the people who work here.

Minnesota myth, busted: I heard this crazy rumor that once it starts snowing, I wouldn’t see any of my neighbors again until the snow melts in the spring! I definitely wanted to make sure we were ready for the winter in time, that we had a snow blower, learned to winterize the house, and had the right type of clothes and boots.

Favorite outdoor activity: Taking my two boys (ages 2 and 5) sledding on a local neighborhood hill.

Indoor fun faves: Lots of LEGO-building with the kids in front of a fire when the weather isn’t cooperating.

Best eats: We don’t have a favorite yet—I’m still overwhelmed by all the great places to eat around the metro. We haven’t been here long enough to even make a dent in our list!

Tips for making friends: Take advantage of the many events and happy hours through work—they helped speed up the process with getting to know my peers.

Dominic Smith and his wife and their dog, standing on snowy steps

Dominic Smith
Software Engineer, Adaptive Team

Why Target? I moved here last year from San Francisco when I heard about all the different tech career areas Target offers. I like that the company is exploring ways technology can make life easier for both guests and employees. 

Minnesota myth, busted: I hadn’t experienced a real winter before moving to Minnesota, and where I’m from, anything below 55 degrees is cold. My third day here, it was -8 degrees. Since then, I’ve learned that it’s all about layers and a good pair of socks. Cold isn’t scary if you’re prepared for it.

Favorite outdoor activity: My fiancée and I brought our 5-year-old Golden Retriever with us, and we were concerned that he wouldn’t handle the cold or snow well. We were totally wrong. We like to get all bundled up and take him out on walks or to the dog park. His favorite thing to do is make doggy snow angels. When it’s really cold, we put booties and a jacket on him. It’s adorable.

Indoor fun faves: Minneapolis has some pretty decent coffee shops. I like to work on side projects from the Dunn Brothers on 3rd Avenue South. It’s a pretty cool old brick building that used to be a freight house. On the second floor they have a fireplace and a lot of comfy seating.

Best eats: We live in North East Minneapolis, a few blocks from Saint Anthony Main, where there are a ton of good restaurants in walking distance. A Glam Dolls Donuts just opened in our building, and their donuts are so good. We’re also big on brunch, and like to go to The Copper Hen a couple times a month. They have a seasonal menu, and you get all the great tastes of winter.

Tips for making friends: There are some great interest groups at Target that meet regularly, so that’s a good start. If you want to branch outside the Target world, I’d recommend looking at the app and website Meetup. No matter what you’re in to, you can find a group of like-minded individuals there to hang out with.

Travis Thein and his friends on a sledding hill

Travis Thein
Senior Manager, Stores Finance

Why Target? I moved here last year from Chapel Hill, N.C. The idea of being able to walk into a physical Target store anywhere in the country and see my projects in action really resonated.

Minnesota myth, busted: I heard a story about a guy who lived in an apartment with a skyway connection and didn’t step foot outside for five weeks his first winter. (Not true.) I’ve also heard from many people that your nose hairs can freeze inside your nose when it’s really cold. Turns out, that actually is true.

Favorite outdoor activity: Pop-up events at breweries around town are always a lot of fun. I’m signed up with a big Target group to go ice fishing this month and I’m beyond excited. I also hope to go skiing and snow shoeing at Wirth Park before it gets warm again.

Indoor fun faves: The new Hewing Hotel with floor-to-ceiling windows makes for a cozy date spot, especially when it’s snowing. I also like ice skating at The Depot, dancing at The Loop, and going to watch the Timberwolves, Vikings and Wild play.

Best eats: Tough to choose. Maybe The Freehouse? Their breakfast gnocchi is delicious, and the buffalo tofu is a dark horse menu item for both vegetarians and carnivores. Brunch at French Meadow is also a must. Just go there and order their breakfast burrito and tell me I’m wrong.

Tips for making friends: With all the Fortune 500 companies headquartered in Minneapolis, there are so many transplants that finding people who want to do something fun during the week or on weekends is not a problem.

Want to see more of what the Twin Cities have to offer? Check out Explore Minnesota for the latest upcoming events and activities. Interested in learning more about what life is like at Target? Explore our Careers pages and meet more of our team members on The Pulse blog

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