Mais Ganab was a student when she started working as a Retail Sales Associate at Bell.
She didn’t know that her part-time job would turn out to be the first step in a career.
Today, Mais is the Store Manager at Bell’s corporate store in the Toronto Eaton Centre. She leads a team of more than 20 people, including Assistant Managers, Service Consultants and Sales Consultants.
“My role is to lead by example and have fun,” she says. “I ensure that every team member of mine wants to come to work every day and is happy being here.”
Mais says that working in retail at Bell is a great opportunity for students and recent grads who want to put their education to work and start building a career.
“My degree in business is a good foundation for a retail career, but I believe that my ten years of experience at Bell is the most important factor that led me to become the manager I am today.”
If you love to learn, a retail role at Bell is the perfect opportunity for you.
“In retail, each day is different from the next, and there are so many things to fill your schedule,” Mais says. “You could be meeting clients, checking out the latest phones, filling out reports, participating in team-building exercises and so much more.”
This variety of learning experiences builds a diverse set of skills, she explains, including transferable skills that are key to success in many different roles.
“Interaction with clients will not only help develop your communication skills, but will also help you build self-confidence,” Mais says. “You will become more responsible because team members are held accountable for their actions.”
Bell retail team members have lots of opportunity to develop problem-solving skills as well. “You are continuously thinking outside the box to satisfy your peers, clients, and your leaders,” says Mais.
According to Mais, there are two common misconceptions students and recent grads often have about working in retail.
Misconception # 1: “There’s no room for advancement in retail.”
Mais’s own experience at Bell puts this thinking to rest with a decade-long history of career growth, having moved from part-time Sales Associate to Store Manager at one of Bell’s highest-profile locations.
“Bell has been around for 133 years and has over 75 thousand employees,” she says. “It’s a big organization with plenty of room for advancement. If you want to move up, and you put in the effort, you will be rewarded.”
That growth potential also accommodates different long-term plans, as Mais notes that starting your career at a Bell retail store is great preparation for transitioning into a corporate role.
Misconception #2: “Because it’s a part-time job, I won’t get benefits.”
It’s important to recognize that Bell’s opportunities for professional growth also come with the personal support you need. Whether you start your career with Bell in a part- time or full-time role, you’ll be supported by the same benefits.
“Bell cares about you,” Mais explains. “All Bell employees are eligible for discounted Bell services, medical and dental coverage, and involvement in the Bell RRSP.”
Bell’s Employee Assistance Program (EAP) also assists employees with their mental health and wellness needs.
Career development at Bell
There are a number of retail roles at Bell that offer different opportunities to students and recent grads.
Since retail staff are responsible for interacting with the public and introducing them to Bell products, every retail role at Bell requires strong verbal and written communication skills, as well as sales aptitude.
If you’ve got those abilities, you’d make a great Sales Consultant, says Mais.
More interested in the merchandise? A position as a Service Consultant will put your troubleshooting skills to work while getting your hands on the latest gadgets.
If your interests lie in management and leadership, Bell has a number of roles to accommodate different levels of experience, Mais adds.
Like guiding a team? The Second in Command is responsible for mentoring and coaching retail team members, as well as supervising inventory and overseeing store opening and closing.
Those with excellent problem-solving and conflict resolution skills will be drawn to the Assistant Store Manager position, where you’ll have the added responsibility of managing client requests in a timely manner.
If you’re seeking a progressive career, Mais encourages you to apply for a retail position at Bell. “A retail career can lead to so many career paths, including jobs at head office in Merchandising, Finance, Project Management, IT, HR and the list goes on,” she says.
“Getting a background in retail in a Bell store is fundamental. It touches base with all aspects of the business and will help you grow and decide what kind of career you want to pursue.”