Business Students Learn Management Soft Skills at Costco

Posted by on April 27, 2015

By Lisa Folch, Business Program Chair

Students in Introduction to Business had the opportunity to tour Costco Wholesale in Burnsville and sit for a discussion with its management. Both the assistant general manager, John, and the merchandising manager, Suzanne, took time out of their busy schedules to answer questions from the students.

One of the first topics of discussion was Costco’s corporate ethics and values. The class learned about how Costco’s values are reflected in their treatment of employees. With good wages and benefits, the ability to be promoted from within, and an open door policy, it was not shocking to learn that Costco has very low turnover.

According to John, his considers his team “family.” The students were impressed that as they walked through the store, John seemed to know all the employees’ names, even though he manages a very large team. One employee that students spoke with expressed how happy he is with working at Costco.

Other topics of discussion with John and Suzanne included the benefits and challenges of being in a position of management. They shared some stories of past experiences and what a typical day is like as a manager. It gave the students insight into the responsibilities of overseeing a large number of employees. The visit ended with John and Suzanne imparting some advice on how to move up the ladder to a position in management, which included:

  • build experience in multiple areas of a company
  • network
  • work hard
  • be respectful
  • be professional

The students of the Minnesota School of Business (MSB)-Lakeville would like to thank John and Suzanne for taking the time to speak with them! The experience was very informative, and everyone left highly impressed with Costco.

Thank you for your Interest in Minnesota School of Business.