Internship Experience: Katie Grosso, Executive Stores Intern at Target

In this “Internship Experience” blog post series, we will be featuring the profile and thoughts of our students from Syracuse University’s Martin J. Whitman School of Management as they return from summer internships.

Name: Katie Grosso
Graduation Year: May 2021
Major: Retail Management
Hometown: Middletown, CT
Intern Company/Title: Target – Executive Stores Intern 

Describe your position and some of your daily tasks?
As an Executive Store Intern, my job is to lead my team to run a successful store. Whether it was unloading a truck, pushing merchandise onto the floor or changing the store layout to optimize sales, my daily goal was to meet sales goals and give outstanding guest experience. I’ve learned how to evaluate a store’s performance, analyze planning schedules and adapt to customer’s needs.

How did you land your internship?
After hearing good things about Target’s internship program from a friend, I applied to their position and reached out to the recruiter on LinkedIn. Throughout the series of interviews, I noticed the passion in their employees and the excitement they had whenever they talked about Target. My first two rounds of interviews were phone calls and they requested my third and final interview in person, at a store, because they wanted to show me the Target culture that they were so proud of, and rightly so. I gratefully accepted the offer and I don’t regret it!

What did you learn from your internship experience?
I really enjoyed getting to work in a retail environment at an unprecedented time. It was interesting to see how stores plan for pre-planned campaigns such as back-to-school and seasonal summer merchandise, while keeping up with unplanned trends due to COVID-19, such as craft supplies for kids and athleisure apparel for work-from-home adults. Aside from physical retail, Target has seen an increase in e-commerce, and they rely on stores to fulfill these orders. It’s been super beneficial to learn about both physical retail and electronic retailing and the connection between them. 

Has your experience changed your plans or career choice when you leave college?
My internship experience has only illuminated my passion for the retail industry. In the future, I hope to grow and find opportunities for me to learn about retail at a higher setting than a store and experience the autonomy of making buying and planning decisions for companies. 

How will your internship experience help you after graduation?
This experience at Target has helped me gain an understanding and respect from the store-level of retail, something everything who works in the industry should have. From here, I will carry my knowledge to future roles with the respect and understanding of customer’s needs and consumer behavior. 

How has the Whitman School prepared you for your internship?
Retail majors are few and far between in business schools across the country, so I consider myself lucky that Whitman has provided me with an advantage of knowledge before entering the field. Whitman has also encouraged the habit of keeping up with current business news and trends that helped me with my ability to adapt to the industry and apply what I know to my work.

What did you enjoy most about your experience?
Working in a store rather than a corporate setting as given me the ability to see retail as a bigger picture. It has provided me with additional insight into how industries like supply chain and marketing directly affect retail stores. 

Do you have any advice to students who are looking for an internship?
Keep an open mind! Pay attention to what employees have to say about their company and the type of culture you feel when talking with recruiters. Don’t be afraid to contact people on LinkedIn, start a conversation and make a connection! Express interest for what you want to do and don’t be afraid to ask questions, let the recruiters know you are eager to learn. 

Kimmy Kimball