Summer Internship: A Day in the Life of Sydney King

September 17, 2021

Business Management Major

Sydney King, Business Management major.

Sydney King, Business Management major.

Hello! My name is Sydney King and I am a fourth year Business Management major in the Fowler College of Business. This past summer, I had the incredible opportunity to serve in the Executive Stores Intern role at Target!

It all started with my LinkedIn profile. LinkedIn is a networking platform that hundreds of people utilize to discover internships and job opportunities. I have taken several classes at SDSU that have encouraged me to take advantage of these platforms to help progress my career, and sure enough, it worked. After months of updating and enhancing my profile, a campus recruiter from Target discovered me, and after three rounds of interviews, I became one of four students in San Diego to be offered the intern role at Target. 

As an Executive Stores Intern, I had the opportunity to spend time in each work center, Service and Engagement, Specialty Sales, General Merchandise, Human Resources, and Assets Protection to learn how to lead each team and drive overall company success. I spent most of my time leading the front end of the store, Service and Engagement. I was ecstatic to have been offered this position, as I’ve never worked in retail, let alone manage a large retail store. I knew my time at Target would provide me with the opportunity to apply and experience in a real business setting the material the Fowler College of Business has taught me for the past three years at SDSU.

Here is a typical day in my life as an Executive Stores Intern at Target:

7:00 am - Upon my arrival at the store, the first thing I do is log onto my emails. I check to see if there are any developmental webinars, workshops or conference calls being facilitated by the Target campus recruiter team for my program. I also read the closing notes from the previous night’s closing leader to see if there is anything I need to take into account for the day such as missing property, machines requesting maintenance, sales of the prior day, drive-up order times, loyalty statistics, as well as attendance for the day prior. During this time I will also check our store metrics and make sure that we are hitting our goals for the day, week, month, and year. I review each survey we receive from our guests’ experiences and take action if needed. Each day counts towards our success as a business, so it is critical that every day I evaluate where we are succeeding and where our biggest opportunities for improvement are, and adjust our business accordingly. 

8:00 am - The store opens at this time, so I will head down to the sales floor and check in with my team as they show up for their shift. On my way to the front of the store, I will grab and log into our special handheld devices called “MyDevice” and grab a walkie talkie to carry for the day. On my MyDevice, I will check our Loyalty status and see what our goals are for the day and the week then write it on the break schedule as well as any notes I might have for my team. Next, I will partner with each team member and relay the goals I have for them for the day in terms of promoting our loyalty programs, the Target Credit and Debit RedCard as well as our mobile app, Target Circle. I will also relay any closing notes that I deem are important for them to be aware of including customer scammers who are a threat to the business as well as recognition or opportunities for succeeding in their role. 

King's desk at her internship.

King's desk at her internship.

8:30 am - Once I have checked in with each of my team members, I will start writing out the break schedule and make sure that each fifteen minute break and forty five minute lunch is covered so that our sales floor will continue to operate smoothly in their absence. There are many positions in each work center. In Service and Engagement in particular, there are seven positions that need to be filled at all times, and multiple team members fulfilling those positions. It is my job to make sure that our breaks are scheduled accordingly so we are never short staffed. 

9:00 am - I check in, or in Target lingo, “status”, with my other team leaders to get them up to speed for the day so that they may continue to lead our team while I take my first break which typically includes a visit to our in-store Starbucks.

9:15 am - I’m back in action leading the front of the store with my other team leaders and keeping alert on my walkie talkie in case any team member does not know how to handle a situation or needs help with anything. My day consists of a lot of walking, as I am constantly monitoring the status of the front of the store. I make sure our team members are effectively checking out guests, lines stay short, the shopping cart rack stays full, our guest service desk is running smoothly, and our team members have everything they need to be successful to make the business successful.

11:00 am - I status again with my other leaders and take my lunch! 

11:45 am - Once a week, my internship mentor and I set aside a time for us to status and go over my week. We discuss what developments I have made, what challenges I faced, as well as advice and wisdom she would like to share with me. We discuss Target as a culture and our store’s culture specifically and how I see Target’s values come to life every day. Biweekly I have statuses with my Store Director, which is a more formal process. We both evaluate my performance using an internship program provided scoring sheet and then compare our answers during our meeting together so that we can figure out how I can be successful as an intern in my program. We elaborate on leadership techniques and how to communicate effectively in a large business setting. I enjoy these statuses because it gives me a higher scope perspective as a leader and continues to develop my business acumen.

Sydney's Crayola endcap she completed when working with the General Merchandise Team.

Sydney's Crayola endcap she completed when working with the General Merchandise Team.

12:15 pm - Once I return from lunch and my status with my supervisors, I status again with my other team leaders so I can jump right back into it. If there is a period of time where the store is not busy and we have sufficient coverage on the sales floor, I will go into the office computer and write the break schedule for the next day. I color coordinate by position and assign break times to my team members. Target requires team members to take a lunch break before they hit their fifth hour of work. I have to take this policy into consideration while writing the schedule. 

1:00 pm - I take my last fifteen minute break!

1:15 pm - I check back in with my other team leaders once more and continue to supervise the front end of the store. For the remainder of my shift, I interact with guests, assist my team members with transactions or guest assistance, and do anything I possibly can as a leader to make the team successful. I observe my team members when they interact with guests to ensure they are providing an exceptional guest experience that meets our standards in terms of performance. This entails recognizing team members when they are succeeding and coaching them to be successful when the opportunity is present. 

3:00 pm - I check my emails one last time and clock out for the day!

The culture that Target cultivated made this the best company to have my first internship with. No day was exactly the same and I was always encouraged to keep an ever-growing mindset. Each day, I was taught something new; by learning from my peers and mentors, or by experiencing it on the job. My team at Target had faith in me to lead them towards company success which gave me the confidence to thrive as an intern. This opportunity is one that I am extremely thankful for, and I am excited to carry my new knowledge with me as I progress my career! 

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