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Join our inaugural HBCU Technology Challenge and start your journey with Target.

what is the HBCU technology challenge?

The HBCU Technology Challenge is a competition to create technical solutions that will provide students with exposure to projects and problems that Target Software Engineers are working to resolve while further developing their own technical and professional acumen. 

what are the benefits of participating?

broaden your technology skill set

Get a behind-the-scenes look at Target's development process and exposure to the powerhouse behind Target’s technology. You'll have an opportunity to demonstrate your creativity and technical acumen to develop a competitive and innovative technical solution. 

engage with Target's technology leaders and software engineers

After you submit your entry, senior Target leaders will host a webinar to hear more about your solutions and to provide useful insights about the technology at Target, their roles and how we bring product to life at Target. Ask them questions, and engage in an exclusive opportunity to learn more about Target, opportunities and the development process.  

what you need to know: 

  • You may participate in the HBCU Tech Challenge, the HBCU Leadership Challenge, and the HBCU Design Challenge (launching 3.15) if you choose, but you can only be selected as a finalist in one Challenge.
  • You may tackle this challenge individually or in teams of two (2). 
  • You must register – confirming your intent to participate – no later than 11:59 P.M. CST on March 22, 2021. 
  • You must submit your final entry by no later than 11:59 P.M. on April 2, 2021.  

challenge preview:

Option 1:

Your task is to create a tool that our properties business analyst team can use to help determine where we should build our next small format stores. 

How could Target better serve our guests and communities by building additional flexible format stores?   

Option 2:

How can Target create meaningful value for its guests through their shopping experience that is consistent across channels? In other words, in what ways can Target win in the marketplace and continue to do so in the future? Think about how Target shows up in local communities – what do we do well, and what could we do differently? Your task is to first define a problem experienced by Target guests. Then, by leveraging your design and engineering skills - bring your solution to life! 

Full challenge details will be sent via email after your register to participate.

preparing your entry:

      1. Review the challenge description, associated resources, challenge rules and program FAQs for additional context to inform your proposed solution.   
      2. Develop a solution to address the proposed challenge.   
      3. Submit your entry via the online submission form – this should be a PowerPoint or PDF – voiceover/video within to help narrate your proposal is permitted.  (Note: By submitting your entry, you are confirming your acknowledgement of all terms & conditions as listed on the contest rules & restrictions page. Please review prior to submitting.)
      4. You may also submit a maximum 1-page note giving additional context for presentation if you elect not to do voiceover/video. This is optional.   
      5. Entries will be reviewed and evaluated by a cross-functional team based on the judging criteria below.   

      After submission of your entry you can add the HBCU Technology Challenge to your resume using the following language: "Competed in Target's inaugural HBCU Technology Challenge to propose innovative tech solutions to improve guest experience or optimize strategic tasks" 

      judging criteria:

      Entries submitted will be judged by Target Software Engineers & Leaders as well as Technology Recruiters. The decisions of the judges are final. We will be looking for solutions that meet the following four (4) criteria:  

      • Design: Individual/Team demonstrates unique or original use of tools, technology, process, and/or architecture to solve a given problem. Team considers a novel solution to a problem (i.e. they researched what Target is already doing)  
      • Pitch: Individual/Team shows energy, clarity, and creativity when delivering their solution.  Can you explain what you did and why?    
      • Code/Technical Challenge: Individual/Team developed solid code and thought through a strong design. Could it work? Does it address the issue?  
      • Impact: Individual/Team demonstrates great consideration of users (Target guest/team member) to improve or create a new shopping experience. Clearly articulates the problem and how the technical solution will solve and create impact.  

      Questions? Please reach out to HBCUTechChallenge@target.com.

      what you win:

      First Place Prize Winner(s) - one individual or a team of up to 2 - Total Value up to $3,700:

      Note: If you choose to work in a team of two (2), the cash prize will be split evenly between the two team members.  All other listed prizes will be awarded individually.

      • $2,000 Cash prize 
      • MacBook ($1,500 value)   
      • One-Year AlgoExpert Membership ($100 value)   
      • Shipt Membership ($99 value)   
      • And more! 

      Second Place Prize Winner(s) - one individual or a team of up to 2 - Total Value up to $1,800:

      Note: If you choose to work in a team of two (2), the cash prize will be split evenly between the two team members.  All other listed prizes will be awarded individually.

      • $1,000  Cash prize 
      • Apple iPad ($600 value)   
      • One-Year AlgoExpert Membership ($100 value)   
      • Shipt Membership ($99 value)   
      • And more! 

      Runners-Up - one individual or a team of up to 2 - Total Value up to $700: 

      Note: If you choose to work in a team of two (2), the cash prize will be split evenly between the two team members.  All other listed prizes will be awarded individually. 

      • $500 Target Gift Card 
      • One-Year AlgoExpert Membership ($100 value) 
      • Shipt Membership ($99 value) 
      • And more! 

      All Participants Receive:

      • An invitation to join an exclusive leadership development workshop led by Target Tech leaders
      • The opportunity to add the HBCU Technology Challenge as a line item on their resume

      Winner Selection & Notification: 

      • Contest Finalists will be notified by email by approximately April 9, 2021. 
      • Finalist presentations will take place on April 16, 2021. 
      • First Place and Runner-up prize winners will be notified by email on approximately April 23, 2021. 
      • Prizes will be awarded by approximately May 7, 2021. 

      more about tech at target

      Target as a tech company? Absolutely. We’re the behind-the-scenes powerhouse that fuels Target’s passion and commitment to cutting-edge innovation. We anchor every facet of one of the world’s best-loved retailers with a strong technology framework that relies on the latest tools and technologies—and the brightest people—to deliver incredible value to guests online and in stores. Target Technology Services (TTS) is on a mission to offer the systems, tools and support that guests and team members need and deserve. Our high-performing teams balance independence with collaboration, and we pride ourselves on being versatile, agile and creative. We drive industry-leading technologies in support of every angle of the business, and help ensure that Target operates smoothly, securely and reliably from the inside out. 

      For more on what it's like to work at Target, hear from a few of our past interns and current recruiters & engineers!

      Legal Disclaimer

      By submitting your entry you are confirming that you have read and agree to the contest RULES. 

      Participation in the HBCU Technology Challenge is entirely voluntary and does not create an employment relationship with Target. Individuals who do choose to participate will not be compensated for the time spent on their submission or for their submitted artwork. 

      By participating in this Contest, Participants are confirming that you understand that submitted concepts may or may not be part of Target’s previous, current or future business endeavors. By uploading a submission you agree to give Target a royalty free, irrevocable, perpetual, non-exclusive, license for incidental use of your submission in any form, media or technology now known or later developed, only for historical, promotional or marketing purposes.