Following an internship with Target Corporation this summer, Robert Padilla ’21 was offered a post-graduate job opportunity as an Executive Team Leader in Los Angeles, California.
At one of the largest U.S. retail corporations, the sociology major and entrepreneurial studies minor worked as a Store Executive Intern this summer. During the six-week experience, he shadowed executives in a variety of departments, including human resources, general merchandise and specialty sales. Additionally, he worked in the Specialty Sales Department for a week, monitoring sales, brainstorming merchandising ideas and incorporating strategies to increase the accuracy of backroom units.
“I went in with a general idea about retail management, and I ended up leaving with an abundance of knowledge,” Padilla says. “What interested me the most was that every day is something new. You do not know what can occur. Another big piece was, I love helping people. It is such a great feeling when I am able to help a guest get what they need or answer a question for them. It’s the best feeling in the world.”
In June 2021, Padilla will participate in a brief training period and then begin his post leading a team within a specific core department at Target.
“I want to be a leader in the workplace that pushes my team to be the best they can be, while also being there to support them in any way I possibly can,” Padilla says. “As a Posse Scholar at HWS, I often looked for ways to be a leader in some form. Becoming an RA taught me to take on a responsibility where I knew I can not only look after my fellow residents but have an influence on them. It taught me how to learn from people who come various backgrounds.”
Padilla credits his coursework in preparing him for his experiences at Target. “As I navigated my way through the Entrepreneurial Studies Minor, my adviser [Assistant Professor of Entrepreneurial Studies] Craig Talmage taught me so many valuable skills that I was able to apply to my internship program and for my future job,” he says. “Professor Talmage taught me to put myself in the consumer’s shoes and think about how my business operations were going to affect my consumers.”
Padilla discovered the internship opportunity when he was messaged by a recruiter through Handshake, a job listing website accessible to Hobart and William Smith students through the Salisbury Center for Career Services. “Without Career Services, I do not think I would have ever come across this opportunity,” Padilla says.
On campus, Padilla is also a member of the Chimera Honor Society, and has participated in club baseball and basketball and worked at the Bristol Field House.