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CSULB’s 2nd Annual Target Case Study Competition Names Winners

Published: July 15, 2010

As part of Target’s ongoing partnership with the Career Development Center (CDC) at CSULB and its commitment to supporting education, four CSULB students were selected as winners of the second annual Target Case Study Program competition.

The competition exposes college and university students to real-world business challenges in the retail industry and provides them with hands-on opportunities to incorporate leadership, critical thinking and creativity into their proposed strategies and is aligned with the CDC mission of providing innovative career decision-making and job-search services that enhance student development.

The winning team, Southern California Innovators, consisted of CSULB seniors Monica Rangel, Kristin Davi and Sean Bustos, human resources management majors from Long Beach; and Deitric Hall, finance/human resources management major from Spring Valley. They were awarded $1,000 each for their winning team proposal.

“It is our hope that the case study competition provides a positive learning experience that promotes teamwork, enhances leadership and public speaking skills, encourages creativity and fosters critical thinking,” said Terri Armstrong, program coordinator for employer development in the CSULB Career Development Center.

The competition is open to CSULB students, and this year approximately 70 students attended the kick-off event with 13 teams qualifying for the preliminary round and nine teams then moving forward in the competition. The case study topic this year was “Staffing the Stores,” which Target thought was appropriate given the current job market and economic climate.

Participants were asked to develop innovative strategies that could assist Target in attracting and retaining the best talent, specifically from CSULB, for their Executive Team Leader (ETL) positions while incorporating Target’s goal of “Fast, Fun and Friendly” service. Participants were given four discussion points to choose from — recruiting, retention, branding and marketing. A Target mentor worked with each team and provided behind-the-scenes accessibility to Target and company executive team leaders.

Target Winners
Photo Courtesy of Terri Armstrong
Taking part in the Target competiton were (l-r) Target judges Stephanie Speer and Katie Passwater; team members Sean Bustos, Deitric Hall, Monica Rangel and Kristin Davi; Target judge Amanda Aguilar; and Terri Armstrong, competition program coordinator from the Career Development Center.

As part of the case study analysis, participants were required to provide a SWOT analysis (Internal: Strengths/Weaknesses, External: Opportunities/Threats) of Target’s current standing in the labor market and a second SWOT analysis based upon implementation of their individual proposals. The participants were judged on their written and verbal presentations as well as creativity and originality.

The winning team proposed a recruiting strategy that offered a series of on-campus workshops with a professional development focus, including themes such as embracing individuality and diversity; leadership and public speaking, community service, and networking; each to be followed up with a professional development activity for one academic year or two consecutive semesters.

In addition, the winning team developed a marketing strategy to emphasize recruitment that consisted of conducting presentations in the classroom, at student organization meetings and at CSULB’s new student orientation to promote the ETL opportunity; staffing a table at dorm move-in and at the Student Center for Professional Development Week of Welcome, distributing flyers, running an announcement in the Daily 49er, holding a K-Beach interview and creating a Facebook fan club.

–Shayne Schroeder