Engineer-Driven Tech Experience Works to Break Barriers for Diverse Students
A team of Target engineers at our Brooklyn Park, Minnesota, campus recently welcomed 45 students of color from two Minneapolis high schools to get a firsthand look at the technology Target is developing and meet with a diverse team of engineers.
The students participated in an Arduino 101 coding class, completed a UI/UX exercise and explored new retail innovations. The day wrapped up with a panel discussion and then an introduction to the Genesys Works program with information for how the students can apply for paid high school internships. The panel highlighted the diverse backgrounds of many leaders and technologists at Target and helped the students see the connections between their own skills and interests and various parts of Target’s business — a key outcome of the day.
This was all made possible because Target’s technology leaders have set aside specific funding and support to allow Target engineers to plan and execute events such as these. This is vital to the health of the engineering culture at Target as well as an investment in the pipeline for a more vibrant future and diverse workforce.
“Days like these help me see how Target can both give back to its community, and at the same time prepare its workforce for the future. In just four years, these students could be graduating college and applying for positions in technology — but only if they can imagine themselves here and know that we’d welcome them as team members with the same grace and openness as we welcome all families into our stores,” said Donnie Tolbert, director of creative UI engineering and one of the event organizers.
Ana Bahr is a senior operations analyst at Target.