Right on Target
AN INTERNSHIP EXPERIENCE IS AN INCREASINGLY IMPORTANT COMPONENT OF THE COLLEGE JOURNEY FOR MANY MAJORS AND CAREER PATHS. “THE EXPERIENCES AND SKILLS THAT STUDENTS BUILD WHILE INTERNING OFTEN HAVE LONG-LASTING IMPACTS ON THEIR CAREERS,” SAYS STEVE SCHWARZ, ASSISTANT PROFESSOR OF GLOBAL BUSINESS. “OFTEN, INTERNSHIPS LEAD TO JOB OFFERS, AND MANY OF OUR GRADUATES ARE STILL WORKING FOR COMPANIES WHERE THEY INTERNED.”
March 21, 2018
By Greg Skoog '89; as seen in the CSB/SJU Magazine Spring 2018
Senior Morgan Merritt, from Canby, Minnesota, understood that and wanted that learning opportunity. How and where would she find it? At CSB/SJU, faculty is a great place to start. “Having professors who are easy to talk to and are willing to help you find positions is one of the biggest things here,” says Merritt.
Prepping for her search led Merritt to check out the services available to her. “I had my resume overseen by (the Office of Experience & Professional Development),” she says. “They helped me to amp it up and make it look good. And then I did a couple of mock interviews with them. Also in some of my business classes we spent time covering how to respond to inquiries in an interview. That was helpful to learn how to brag about yourself without feeling like you’re bragging about yourself.”
Frequent panel discussions for global business leadership majors, featuring a range of business professionals, helped Merritt get a picture of what’s out there. “One time we had a Target person come in,” she recalls, “and she did overnight logistics. I thought, ‘oh, that sounds interesting.’”
“We bring alums and guest speakers to campus to create personal and professional connections with our students,” explains Schwarz. Those connections are key and self-perpetuating, he emphasizes. “At CSB/SJU, we create such strong relationships with our students that when they enter the workforce, they come back to pay this forward.”
A conversation with the Target representative at the CSB/SJU Internship Fair led to an interview for a competitive Target Executive Team Leader (ETL) internship. After two interviews and several weeks of waiting, she got the good news. “There are 12 to 15 stores in this district,” she says, “and they picked four ETL interns. It’s pretty competitive.”
Merritt’s ETL internship was concentrated in logistics. “I would work early in the morning because of that,” she says. “With logistics, you’re there to see the truck unload at 5:30 or 6 in the morning.”
Over the 10-week internship though, she moved around to gain experience throughout the store. “I would go to front-end one week, human resources and soft lines and hard lines…. But logistics is where I spent most of my time,” she explains.
After those rotational experiences, “the last two weeks you were basically the manager on duty. I was essentially an Executive Team Leader for the last two weeks. Which is kind of cool,” she adds with a smile.
When all was said and done, “I was lucky enough to be offered a position with Target after the internship,” says Merritt. “They recommended me, and I will be back with Target in July. It’s really exciting, and now in my last semester I can focus and concentrate on things that I know are going to be beneficial to me in my actual experience at Target next year.”
Looking back, she sees the impact of the opportunities she received. “I know for a fact that I would not have looked into this kind of position if it wasn’t for both the Internship Fair and the numerous Target reps the (Global Business) department brought in to talk to us.”