Taking what students learn in the classroom and applying it to real-world scenarios is one of the major goals of Minnesota School of Business (MSB). Recently, MSB-Lakeville’s Customer Service Strategies class traveled to the Goodwill/Easter Seals retail outlet in Apple Valley to observe the operations and help out with customer service and operations.
The class met with Jeff North, assistant store manager and Target Corporate alum, for a lengthy tour and discussion on Goodwill and their objectives to help people enter or expand their career abilities via training and on-the-job experiences.
He was very articulate and knowledgeable, having worked at Target Corporation for 20 years prior to his current position at Goodwill. Jeff shared that a major reason he moved from Target to Goodwill was the importance of personally helping people, making sure both his employees and customers live a better life.
Students Alicia Bonin, Darren McCabe, Melissa Shelton and Abby Wilde put their training to work when they helped merchandise showroom inventory while employees helped shoppers with their purchases.
They observed the collection, sorting, and merchandising processes which helped them better understand the retail process they execute. They also assisted employees for 60 minutes in the merchandising process by sorting and recycling inventory in the showroom.
Mark Hanson, who teaches the Customer Service Strategies class, said, “Goodwill appreciated the extra hands with the merchandising tasks; the store was quite busy and all employees were involved in checking out customers with their purchases or collecting and sorting merchandise to prepare them to be merchandised. Jeff was very pleased with our support. He was the only supervisor at the time, so between managing, fielding phone calls, and training us, he had his hands full.”
Students were impressed by Jeff’s professionalism, positive attitude and expertise. They also were surprised at the quality of the store’s presentation. The showroom was clean, organized and merchandised as well as any traditional retail store. Most of us had not been in a Goodwill outlet before, and several students remarked that they’d come back and shop there now that they saw the condition of the facility and the level of expertise and high quality of service the employees demonstrated.