I never actually saw myself graduating; it’s true, I was never able to envision myself walking across the stage and accepting a diploma. It’s like life just stopped for me at 22, it was all blank. Looking back I know it was a defense mechanism, a way to avoid the unknown and bask a little longer in the innocence of my youth. Standing here today I can see for miles. The education and resources I received while at UW-Eau Claire have made me a confident and goal-oriented woman. I am excited for my future and am secure in my career as an Executive Team Leader of Guest Experience for the St. Paul Midway Super Target. I even have business cards, how official is that! I manage all guest interactions within our store; this includes the checkout process, guest service and returns, whether or not our store looks brand new and how well we are driving loyalty within our store.
Heads up folks, I never expected to be doing this, my degree is in Mass Communication (Public Relations) and now I work in management.
I remember looking around me in April of my senior year and all I saw was the success of everyone else: my roommates already had job offers and the people I worked with could not wait to move out of the state to begin their careers. Then there was me: confused, annoyed and about ready to give up. I decided to step outside the box and look at other career opportunities that were available, that is when I saw the opening for an ETL GE at Target. I was hesitant at first because of my lack of experience with management but after just a few days on the job, I couldn’t believe how many similarities my role had to any other PR role. I am the one who guests seek out with any questions they are having about their experience at our store, I write action plans constantly and I am always “on stage” so being well spoken is a must. That is PR in a nutshell!
Many of my daily routines revolve around being professional and only one thing could have prepared me this well for my role: PRSSA. Without PRSSA, I know I would have made many more mistakes and would have struggled with corporate communication and professionalism a lot more. I am so thankful for the opportunities that PRSSA presented me with and will always stand by the prominence of that organization for every student, PR or not.
I could not be happier in my current role and would give any frazzled and stressed graduating seniors this piece of advice: It will all be ok, it really will. You will get a job, you will make money, and you may even like it! But make sure to join PRSSA, it WILL help you, whether you know it right away or not.
Please reach out with any questions or comments by emailing me at Katy.Schulte@target.com, I would love to chat with you about Target and my role specifically.