Name: Celeste Hoelzl

Major(s): Business Administration, Spanish

Hometown: Wilton, CT

Graduation Date: May 2014

Tell us about your current internship?  

This summer I completed Target’s Stores Executive Intern program where I had the opportunity to make an impact on the store through my business, leadership, and people skills.  As an intern, I received training from leaders in the store and was expected to offer innovative ideas that would help to guarantee amazing guest service. 

Is this your first internship? 

No, before Target I interned at Enterprise Rent-A-Car and Tauck World Discovery.  Also, I am currently interning at the Office of Career Development as a Peer Career Advisor.  Each internship has been a new and exciting learning experience. 

Motivation.  Why did you decide to do an internship?

Since freshman year of college I’ve tried to engage in as many internships as possible to gain experience in different areas of business. 

How did you find this particular internship?

I discovered Target’s internship program through Career Development's On-campus Recruiting Program. 

Recommendations for other students?

I highly encourage students to explore as many internship opportunities as they can.  It is a great way to gain experience in a career path of interest and sometimes it is even a way to land a full-time job. It is best to start an internship search as early as possible since it can be a long process.  Talking to friends, family, or Geneseo’s Career partners is a good starting point. 

What did you learn about yourself by doing an internship?

As an intern, I had weekly statuses with my mentor and the store manager.  I received feedback about what I was doing well and what I needed to improve on.  I found this insight to be valuable in my development as a young professional.  Target focuses heavily on leadership development and I learned about my own leadership strengths and weaknesses while interning.    

Did you have an aha moment during your internship?

Halfway through the internship I had an “aha” moment that changed my view of success.  As a student, I have always focused on my grades and working to achieve as much as I can academically.  This means putting in plenty of hours studying and preparing for tests and presentations.  This is the mentally that I applied during the first half of my internship at Target.  I spent time trying to understand and master the details of all departments of the store.  One day I finally came to realization that you don’t have to know everything to make an impact on the store.  Success results from hard work, excellent communication, and knowing who to go to when you don’t know the answer to something.  After my “aha” moment, I begin leading team members with confidence and was able to contribute to the store in my own way.  I initiated the establishment of a gluten free endcap in the grocery section, which increased sales of gluten free product up to 1900% during a two-week period. 

How did the internship impact your career goals?  Have they changed? 

My internship introduced me to retail management as a career path.  Although it is not something I would have considered before my internship, I am excited to work in retail management after graduation.

How has the internship made a difference in your life, personal goals?

My internship improved my confidence, leadership skills, and communication abilities.

Describe a typical day at your internship (or the most exciting day). 

Each day at Target was totally different; that is the beauty of retail.  On a regular basis I coached and developed team members to drive guest experience through better service.  I communicated store goals during morning huddles and managed entire store during “Leader on Duty” shifts.  At the end of my internship I presented an “Operational Review” to my mentor, the store manager, the district manager, and the human resources business partner, which covered the “key learnings” of my internship.