‘When I Was a Target Intern… ’ How Five Team Members Started Their Careers

August 9, 2018 - Article reads in
Jasmine snaps a selfie with Bullseye; Zach holds Bullseye's paw; Maysa stands in front of a building

It’s no exaggeration—our Target interns do a little bit of everything! They’re in our stores, making shopping fun and easy for guests. They’re at our distribution and fulfillment centers, making sure guests get their orders quickly. And they work with HQ teams on projects supporting nearly every area of our business.

A Target internship is a great way to build skills and make connections—and for many, it’s the start of a long and promising career. That’s because we proudly support all team members, including our interns, on their career journeys, providing them with meaningful work and opportunities to build and develop the skills they need for success in the retail industry and beyond.

Target interns go on to do amazing things, including right here at the Bullseye. Meet five of our team members who started as interns, and take a look at what they’re doing across the company today.

Maysa stands in front of a brick building

Maysa A.
Financial Analyst, Properties Finance

“During summer of 2017, I moved from Texas for an internship on the Merchandising Finance Food & Beverage team at Target HQ in Minneapolis. My project focused on a new tool that assessed the profitability of different Target merchandise pyramids and groups. It helped me develop my critical thinking skills—but even more special to me were the coaching techniques my manager and mentor used that allowed me to reach my own conclusions and follow my different trains of thought that led to a great final project.

I love that Target’s work atmosphere always lets me put me first. The company values were loud and clear, the positivity of those around me shone through moral support, friendship and understanding—that’s what made me want to come back full-time.

My motto? If you like something, keep doing it until you stop liking it. Moving away from my family was tough, but I took a risk because I like being here, I like my job, and I like the people. I’m going to keep working hard and making the most out of every day in the office.”

Dan and his wife and daughter pose together at an event

Dan G.
Human Resources (HR) Director, Global Supply Chain and Logistics

“I was an intern on Target’s Assets Protection team in the late 90’s at two stores in St. Cloud, Minnesota, focused on functions and total store operations. My project gave me a deeper understanding of the variables that lead to strong or poor operational and cultural performance. I really enjoyed the team atmosphere, working and volunteering with my colleagues.

The experience taught me that retail is hard work, but it’s also a lot of fun. I remember working my first Black Friday, feeling the awesome energy from the team and guests, and knowing it was something I wanted to be part of going forward. I also learned the value of asking questions and being curious. (My team today would tell you that’s still true!) If I see something and don’t understand how A is connected to B, I’ll ask and clarify. I truly love learning about new parts of the business, as well as upcoming initiatives and trends.

I currently live and work in Minneapolis, but I also get to work all over the country in my current role, which is leading a regional HR team within our supply chain network. Our region consists of the team members at our import warehouses, fulfillment centers and several regional distribution centers who work together to get Target’s products to our many guests. I’ve had the chance to live in many areas of the country, travel the world, and make lifelong friends. If someone would have told me that during my internship, I honestly would’ve laughed, yet here I am. I truly believe you can do whatever you want at Target—if you have curiosity and ambition, the opportunities are endless.”

Jasmine snaps a selfie with mascot Bullseye the dog

Jasmine B.
Store Team Leader, Taunton, Massachusetts

“I was an executive team leader intern during the summer of 2012, working with a mentor who showed me the day-to-day aspects of her job and the business. I enjoyed the fast-paced environment and team culture, and I learned so much about myself as a leader. One major tool I took away from the experience: learning to be aware of how I’m perceived by others as a leader and a person. Looking back, having that time to train and dig into routines and department specifics was crucial in preparing me for a full-time role.

Since then, Target has treated me like a member of the family. I receive amazing benefits, and had opportunities to take on new roles over the past six years and advance my career based on my own hard work. Today, I manage a Target store with more than 170 employees, whether that’s making sure products are available for our guests, training the teams on new lines of clothing, or following up with the store remodel team. I’ve truly enjoyed my time with the company, and appreciate the work we do to stay relevant and on trend in the market, and treat our people well while driving these changes.

So if you’re thinking of joining the Target team, I’d say, do it! If you enjoy interacting with people, having a different day every day, and leaving work feeling a sense of accomplishment, then Target is for you.”

Zach stands next to the real Bullseye the dog, holding his paw

Zach V.
Lead Data Scientist, Enterprise Data, Analytics & Business Intelligence (EDABI)

“I was the first Ph.D. intern hired by the Data Science and Engineering team within EDABI back in 2014, and my project involved using data to investigate the popularity of products in different regions and locations. It was an ah-ha moment, seeing how data science could be used to help guests find items they love. It was easily one of the most rewarding experiences in my career.

The most import lesson I learned that summer is the value of relationships. Target does an amazing job of hiring hardworking, talented individuals, and there’s a ton of knowledge within every pillar of the organization. As a data scientist, it’s on me to build relationships with business partners that will enable me to leverage their expertise.

Today, I have a full-time role on the Data Science and Engineering team, working with a group of bright, passionate, highly motivated people. We work in a fairly fast-paced environment, and there’s an abundance of interesting problems involving optimization for pricing and promotion, forecasting for merchant and supply chain, personalized recommendations for guests, and augmented reality for enhancing the guest experience. The relationships I built with the existing Data Science team members made my transition to full-time employment much easier.

My advice to incoming interns and team members? Foster a love for learning and storytelling. Good data science, at its most basic level, is all about using data to tell stories.”

Vandhana and two of her teammates work on laptops in front of a large screen

Vandhana M.
Software Engineer, Target Technology Leadership Program (TLP)

“I was an intern on Target’s Guest Reliability Engineering team in Minneapolis during summer 2017, working on projects that helped the team automate recoveries if servers had issues. I also participated in mini hackathons where several teams from different areas would tackle a specific project. That meant I got to dive in and use many coding languages with which I had little or no prior experience. I developed a better understanding of why those specific languages were being used (instead of, for example, Java or C++) as I noticed the differences. I also improved my presenting skills, which made me more confident when speaking to a large audience.

Some of my favorite memories are discussing hobbies and interests with teammates, having lunch together and playing badminton. I also enjoyed Demo Days where we could learn about other teams’ projects! I noticed that Target teams value learning and growth, and there are countless opportunities to improve one’s skills. That’s how I knew I wanted to be part of the Target team.

I’m currently living in here in Minneapolis and working in my new full-time role as a software engineer. During my first weeks, I collaborated with other TLP team members on an ongoing project from past programs—an amazing experience using technology I’d never used before. And for the next six months, I’ll be working with Target’s Self-Checkout team.

To anyone thinking of joining Target, my advice is to be yourself. Creativity and diversity are vital in bringing new perspectives and solutions to the table. Don’t be afraid to ask questions and share your ideas. Be open-minded and always willing to learn.”

Thinking of joining the Target team? Explore our Careers pages to learn about available roles, and meet more of our team members on The Pulse blog.

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