The Worldclass Internship – Laura Wrightson at Target

Name: Laura Wrightson Graduation

Graduation Year: 2014

Major/Minor: Marketing/ Communication

Company Interned For: Target

Hometown: Sterling, MA

AC: Target says on their career section of the website that they offer a world-class internship with a lot of leadership and career development.  Does that explain your internship in a nutshell?  If yes, why?
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LW: Yes, I have to say, Target’s internship was a useful and adequate view of what real world management consists of. As an intern, I was treated as if I was a long-time manager as I was given high authority and much insight into the full-time position. They are very adamant on ensuring that the interns are completing activities that are directly related to development and a sense of leadership. Target has a good view on what an internship experience should be like. They claim “Fast, Fun, and Friendly” and they certainly were not lying.
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AC: What was your position at Target?  Your schedule?  What were your day to day activities?
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LW: As an intern, we were essentially “hourly managers,” almost like a manager in training. You get assigned to a store (one that is in your own chosen top five), and you become part of that store immediately. There are five different work centers with which you can be assigned to, and with that, you get the respective manager to that work center as a mentor as well. You perform all of the duties a regular manager would perform (which includes taking out the trash!). Later in the internship, you get a bit more authority and are given the ability to perform “LOD,” or leader on duty tasks, which essentially gives you the rights to the whole building (which means authority over the store manager as well!). It is a bit uneasy at first, but once you get the hang of it, it is an absolute blast. You truly get a full boat of authority!
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AC: What sets Target apart from other companies?
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LW: What I like about Target is they are understanding of the fact that many students may not have experience prior to this internship. One of the biggest problems students can have these days is the inability to get a hold of a job because the job requires a certain amount of experience, experience you cannot get if you don’t start the job! Target, however, operates on the idea that no one is going to come in and know exactly what to do. Therefore, they choose candidates based on their personalities and their perceived ability to learn as they believe that you can train anyone in any position. That, and their very intensive, involved, and interactive internship, is what I believe sets them apart from other companies. On a side note-every single person you meet is fantastic because of the fact that they hire based on a fast, fun, and friendly personality.
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AC: How did you hear about this internship?
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LW: I first learned about this internship through the Bryant Marketing Association. Even though this internship was not consistent with the marketing theme, they were a fantastic addition to the career fair with many representatives, a lot of information, and a great set-up! I spoke to a Target team member about the internship that night and quickly went back to begin applying. After three very information intensive interviews, I was in!
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AC: What experiences at Bryant helped you the most during your experiences with Target?
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LW: I would have to say that my communications courses, particularly interpersonal communication, offered the most insight into my internship. Having learned about types of relationships and different ways to communicate with different types of people, I believe my perceived status as a manager to the other team members was increased. Communication and skill in that area is one of the most important things I think a person needs to have to be successful in the business world. You could have all of the ideas in the world, but if you don’t have the skills to relay that information in a way that interests people enough for them to listen, then you’ll forever be another fish in the sea.
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AC: What did you take away from this internship?
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LW: I took away the ability to demonstrate courage, the knowledge of the tough road to becoming a manager and how to be a successful , and most importantly, I walked away with more of a desire to take risks-something that I think will be most important to me in my future marketing career.
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