By Rita Kovtun, Class of 2014
For someone whose interests draw from various fields, the key to choosing a satisfying career involves finding a through-line that connects them all. For Beth McGuire ’07 M.B.C. the recurring theme of communication paved the way to her enrollment in the Opus College of Business’ MBC program and an evolving career at Target.
McGuire’s career in communication began with an internship at Campbell Mithun – a position McGuire landed with no prior experience in the advertising and marketing field. Her undergraduate experience at Mount Holyoke College had merged a diverse set of disciplines, including a major in politics, a minor in music, a position as editor for the school newspaper and an internship with the Minnesota Journal of Law and Politics. McGuire soon came to realize that communication was the common thread running through her many passions. The advertising internship marked the beginning of a more strategic approach to her career goals. “Very quickly, it identified a need for me just to get to parity with my peers in terms of that marketing (and) communications background,” McGuire said.
This need prompted McGuire to enroll in the UST MBA program, later switching to the UST MBC program. Two years into her studies, McGuire landed her first role at Target in 2005 in corporate community relations. “It was a great way for me to learn the industry while I was working in it,” McGuire said, though her degree was preparing her for a different field. Fast forward to 2013: From community relations, McGuire moved to Target.com strategy, then to Target Canada, and is currently the director of communications. Her responsibilities include internal communications and global enterprise communications, as well as planning and operations for the communications department and for the communications team. McGuire says her position combines the digital experience from the Target.com team, her professional history in marketing and her degree.
“I took corporate communication in my degree program with St. Thomas and that’s my job right now,” McGuire said. “Even though it wasn’t immediately applicable…I think that broad-base understanding that I got through the program has helped me move to these enterprise roles.” McGuire explains that while her degree didn’t have immediate pay-off, it did give her the backbone of industry knowledge.
Currently, McGuire splits her time between her job and her self-described “community fix.” McGuire volunteers on the boards of several local organizations, including United Way Emerging Leaders, Ordway Circle of Stars, Friends of the Hennepin County Library and Zenon Dance Company. She also loves being outdoors, particularly biking and cross-country skiing.
McGuire manages her busy schedule by prioritizing, both in and out of work. “It’s really identifying what your personal priorities are and carrying that through to work as well, but being true to what your priorities are,” McGuire said. In addition to setting priorities and sticking with them, her team members at Target are a great asset. “I have an amazing network of people that I’ve met at Target that help support you from a business standpoint (and) from a personal development standpoint,” McGuire said.
For McGuire, some of these relationships include strong, female leaders in her past. Though unique in the lessons they’ve shared with her, McGuire says they have always supported her personal development above and beyond the business, as well as growing as a leader. “It just kind of taught me early on what it means to be a manager of people–it’s not just about getting the work done, it’s about ensuring that your team is fulfilled both at work and in their personal lives,” McGuire says.
McGuire’s dedication has earned her several awards, the most recent of which is a place on the 2012 list of the 25 Women to Watch in Twin Cities Business from the Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal. McGuire believes the combination of her team’s unique work to support the Target Canada entrance into Quebec and her community involvement played a role in her inclusion on the list.
McGuire feels gracious that Target has given her the opportunity to experience a multitude of different areas within the company. She is excited to continue working in the field that brings her back to her UST MBC education and marketing background. “Target is a very dynamic environment and I do envision…that I’ll continue to evolve,” McGuire said.