Internship helps Liberal Arts student 'Target' career path

Rebecca Marcinko
February 04, 2021

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Kayla King always knew she wanted to go to Penn State. Her parents both attended the University and took her to football games frequently throughout her childhood.

“I would always sit in the stands, look over to the student section, and be kind of jealous of them,” King, a senior in economics, said. “I’d always be like, ‘I can’t wait to be a part of this school spirit one day.’”

King, who also is minoring in business in the liberal arts, said she picked economics because she knew that the major and felt the College of the Liberal Arts would give her “a lot of good tools to utilize in [any] career path.”

Last summer, King put her liberal arts education to good use through a Store Leadership Internship with Target. The internship allowed her to work directly with Target’s specialty sales department team lead at the retailer’s King of Prussia location. King said she learned plenty of skills — including how to drive sales and how to run a large store.

“I had some cool experiences where I got to walk with the merchandising district leader. We would walk through the store and he would give his input on what we need to change, what we need to fix,” King said. “That gave me a lot of input from the corporate level.”

King relished the opportunity to apply what she learned in her economics courses throughout the internship. She also enjoyed learning more about supply chain management, and especially was interested in seeing firsthand how Target tried to be more creative in their approaches to increase sales amidst the pandemic.

“We weren’t getting a lot of clothing in, so we really had to make the store feel full and drive sales,” King explained. “We couldn’t have empty racks, we couldn’t have things all over the place — [I enjoyed] learning how to input that and see what drives sales within the store.”

This past fall, King said she enjoyed being able to apply what she learned during her internship in her supply chain management class.

“I felt like I was so [knowledgeable] on the basic facts after being at that level at Target,” King said. “I learned a lot about unloading the trucks, and learning what comes in, where it comes from, how to sort it.”

King, who is currently applying for full-time positions in the hopes of landing a corporate merchandising role after graduation, encourages other students to fully utilize all the career placement opportunities available to them at Penn State. She found her internship through Nittany Lion Careers and was able to interview for the position on campus; she also met with a Liberal Arts career coach frequently in fall 2019 and attended Liberal Arts Career Week.

“There are so many good career resources available, especially Liberal Arts Career Week,” King said. “My advice would be to attend any career-focused events that you can and get as much help as possible with the career services that are provided.”

Last Updated February 08, 2021