Charlotte Toumaala

My hometown when I was a student was

Hillsdale, MI

I graduated in


I studied

Major: International Business Administration

Minor: French

I currently live in

Big Lake, MN

I am now

a presentation manager for Target.

Since graduating from Alma

I spent my first few years after Alma working for shipping companies in Ann Arbor and Detroit. In 2005, my personal support system (i.e. boyfriend AND family) found jobs concurrently in Minnesota… so I decided to search for a job in the frozen north. I found a position working at Target’s corporate headquarters in Minneapolis. International business served as a great connection point, as I would be working with importing merchandise from other countries, to be sold at stores throughout the country.

What’s surprised me most since joining Target is the limitless possibilities of growing your career within a larger company. Since start in the sourcing division in 2006, I’ve moved left, right and sideways—supporting initiatives ranging from internal organization audits to creating processes for a new, urban format stores. I’ve found a great home in merchandise presentation, managing the visual merchandising team for baby & kids apparel. Target is going through a lot of changes right now, and I’m excited to help the company evolve towards make the shopping experience more experiential and seamless with online/mobile.

My Alma education

gave me huge benefits in terms of how I view my life and day to day. People drawn to Alma tend to be passionate and pour themselves into what matters most to them, whether it’s in or out of the classroom. That personal passion—from professors and friends alike—lit a similar attitude in me, and I’ve carried it through to my life today. While my major was in business, I’ve also continued my “extracurricular life,” performing in amateur and semi-professional orchestras around the twin cities.

My favorite place(s) on campus included

Alma’s library, where I spent a good deal of time and always felt very at home there. Working behind the circulation desk gave me a unique understanding of the building—where the sunlight would come in during various parts of the day, the best places to study and different nooks and crannies that had each had a different a different type of quiet.

My favorite professors(s) included

Dr. John Arnold (German), who made learning the language fun by refusing to speak to the class “auf Englisch”! The effort he made to act out certain words was hilarious—and incredibly effective! I have never been more motivated or frustrated, in a good way, by any other professor.

Dr. Bob Cunningham (Microeconomics) was a super engaging and fun professor. He made the subject entertaining and comprehensible—and if you were really alert during class, you could catch his extremely dry sense of humor!

My most vivid/best memory of my time at Alma is

marching on the football field and the pride I felt in wearing the Kiltie uniform and performing a show to the very limits of my abilities.

What I've been doing with music since I graduated:

Though I started at Alma on clarinet, thanks to a very dedicated music professor, I switched my instrument to bassoon during my senior year. When I moved to Minnesota, I found a nonprofit that connected me with several community orchestras—since then I’ve joined two as a permanent member and I also sub in several other area groups. I’ve had the fun of performing in musicals, 9/11 memorial services and choral masses. My personal favorite? The annual Nutcracker Ballet in St. Paul—another fun Alma memory as well.

My off-campus study experience(s) included

attending the Philadelphia Center for a semester. It made an indelible impression on me. Taking on an internship, independent classes, even just renting an apartment were all great “warm-ups” for life after Alma. It really made me believe in my own independence and ability to drive my own career. And Philadelphia is the most amazing city—to me, the perfect blend of urban city life and historic beauty.