Byron Young wanted to maximize his Purdue experience. And did he ever.
He served as president of the Society of Minority Managers and was a Management Ambassador, giving countless tours to prospective students. He was active in intramural sports and volunteered at the Lafayette Urban Ministry.
He was one of 200 students nationwide chosen by Management Leadership for Tomorrow, a career-development institution targeting high-potential minority students, as a Career Preparation Fellow. The experience exposed him to monthly leadership programs in areas such as resume development and networking.
He also found time to land a great job. After graduating in May, the Fort Wayne, Indiana, native will take a position as a merchandise planning business analyst with Target in Minneapolis. In his role, he’ll analyze sales trends, forecast inventory levels and negotiate purchases with suppliers.
“Essentially, I’ll be in charge of putting the right product at the right place at the right time for our guests,” he says. “It’s like running your own multi-million dollar business.”
Byron landed the position at Target after an internship following his junior year. He says he thrived in the high energy atmosphere—he won the Intern of the Year Award—and also benefitted from constructive feedback he received.
“They wanted me to be a different type of leader. I needed to transition from leading my peers at Purdue to giving direction to those who are older or have more experience than me. It really gave me a better handle on what corporate leadership was all about,” he says.
“I think the recruiters were impressed with my energy level, my positive attitude and my work ethic. They know that I’ll take whatever role I need to help get the job done.”
Byron’s internship, combined with his broad-based business education and extracurricular activities, have prepared him for his first full-time assignment. So did his participation in the Certificate in Entrepreneurship and Innovation program, where students take a series of five courses and experiential programs to learn the fundamentals of marketing analysis, funding sources, financial statements and other areas essential to budding entrepreneurs.
“The certificate program helped me to understand new enterprises, how to think innovatively and how to write business plans,” Byron says. “That experience, combined with my concentration in marketing, has taught me to be both an entrepreneur and an intrapreneur. I’m going to be excited to go to work every day.”