A Specialized Curriculum to Educate a New Generation of Leaders
Rick Maguire BS'74
Senior Vice President for Merchandise Planning, Target
“We have become so big that we have had to develop expertise in many areas. When we recruit now, we are looking for people with incredible leadership skills."
Over the last decade, Rick Maguire, BS'74 and Target senior vice president for merchandise planning has seen the skill set his company is looking for in retail management change dramatically.
"When we hired and recruited on campus (in the past) looking for people to start at the entry level and rise to senior buyer or regional merchandise manager, we were looking for people who were going to be incredibly strong merchants. But that was before we had our own sourcing organization and offices in 35 countries. It was before we had our internal design and development team of about 400 people," Maguire explains.
"We have become so big that we have had to develop expertise in many areas. When we recruit now, we are looking for people with incredible leadership skills. How do you get our product development team, our outsourcing team, our transportation team to become advocates for what is important to your department? It's more about communication and leadership and not who can pick the next hot item," he adds.
To ensure a steady supply of new employees with those skills, Target partnered with the Kelley School to begin the Target Excellence in Business Leadership program. It includes a leadership planning process and behavioral leadership assessment identifying student strengths and weaknesses. Leadership coaches advise students on their development plans, and Target Corp. mentors will also help students improve their leadership skills. In addition, students will connect with inspiring leaders through a speaker series including top leaders from Target and elsewhere.