Exploring EMCO’s Unique Training & Support Programs


New graduates – what if you had the opportunity to learn about a successful company, receive extensive training and mentorship, and lead one of their locations as your own business?

If that sounds like a great fit for you, then you’re in luck! EMCO’s Management Development Program is specifically designed to help young professionals develop their leadership skills and explore a nationwide business. This innovative and unique structure is a fantastic opportunity for new graduates who are looking to challenge themselves and secure an amazing managerial position.

Sound too good to be true? TalentEgg connected with the EMCO team to get an inside look at this egg-citing opportunity. Read on to learn more!

EMCO’s Management Development Program: An Overview

Each Management Trainee goes through 4-5 phases in their program:
  • Warehouse – Management Trainees learn about the business from the ground level, getting to know the product, how to ship and receive, and more.
  • Counter – Management Trainees learn about the importance of customer service through working with customers over the counter, order management, inventory and pricing controls, credit management and financial statements.
  • Inside Sales – Management Trainees work make sales and manage small projects.
  • Outside Sales – Management Trainees go out and develop their own sales territory, establishing sales and customer accounts.
  • Supervisor – Management Trainees work as a manager of the business alongside a mentor who oversees their work and offers guidance.

EMCO runs on a decentralized business model, which essentially means that they have a “flat” management structure. Each location, or Profit Centre (PC), is run independently by a Profit Centre Manager, and they have complete autonomy over the centre’s operations. This means that capable, professional, and experienced managers are in-demand – and the company is committed to their development.

Kate Lockhart
Manager of Training Programs and Resources

Kate Lockhart is the Manager of Training Programs and Resources at EMCO. She oversees the Canada-wide Management Development Program, and ensures that all their trainees have the resources and support they need to succeed.

“We offer brand-new grads a clear path towards the management position,” says Kate. “It’s a structured program with lots of flexibility – there’s a network of support and training while they learn how to run our business.”

The Management Development Program is designed to help trainees understand the business up close. Over the course of 3 to 4 years, they travel to different locations in Canada and experience everything from the EMCO warehouses to sales, and eventually the management position.

Alexandra Webb and Ansuman Patnaik are both Management Trainees who have spent a number of years learning about EMCO and its operations. Their training has taken them to a number of different provinces, including Ontario, Alberta, and Newfoundland. While it’s challenging work, Ansuman says it’s perfectly suited to his entrepreneurial personality, and even goes so far to calls his work with EMCO “a hidden gem.”

Ansuman Patnaik
Management Trainee

“What initially attracted me [to the program] was the stability,” says Ansuman. “You’re choosing a career rather than just a job… the compensation and autonomy is also very rewarding. It’s definitely a great industry to work for.”

For Alexandra, she says she was pleasantly surprised as to how much she’s learned in such a short span of time. Over the past 3 years, she’s been involved with everything from freight shipping, to working with external vendors, billing customers, and more. While she’s always up for new experiences, she says she’s grateful for the opportunity to demonstrate her capabilities.

“There’s a lot of emphasis on self-awareness and self-development, so you’re always striving to be better,” says Alexandra. “It’s a big confidence booster!”

Why the Management Development Program is so effective

3 to 4 years may seem like a long time for a training program. However, Kate says that the comprehensive learning process is what makes the experience so effective.

“We don’t try to speed through things,” says Kate. “We focus a whole lot on leadership and culture, which allows people to embrace our model and develop that right mix of leadership and business skills.”

Sean Park
Profit Centre Manager

Because EMCO runs on a decentralized business model, each location has their own “mini-culture” that is created by the location manager. These cultures, however, are still deeply rooted in EMCO’s mission and values that Management Trainees learn throughout their program. Sean Park, an EMCO Profit Centre Manager, describes the business as both progressive and caring.

“If you talk to anyone at EMCO, you’ll find they all care about the business,” says Sean. “Everyone is looking for the opportunity to grow and enter new markets… right from leadership down to the front lines. It’s a very special place to work.”

“Recruiting new grads is a big target for us. There’s so much focus on their development and training… there’s no other company that I’ve seen that offers something like this.” Sean Park, Profit Centre Manager at EMCO

Alexandra Webb
Management Trainee

Mentorship is a huge part of the training process. Management Trainees work closely with the Profit Centre Managers on a daily basis, taking in their insights and developing skills for when they assume the same position. Alexandra recalls her very first placement in Fort McMurray, where she worked in a warehouse setting under the watchful eye of her warehouse manager.

“My manager was phenomenal at her job,” says Alexandra. “She coached me on the day-to-day and helped me take away the best practices for the role. I learned what makes people good at their job, and how to build a team where everyone’s strengths complement everyone’s weaknesses.”

Management Trainees aren’t the only ones who benefit from mentorship!

As a Profit Centre Manager, Sean works with Management Trainees regularly. He says that working with these highly intelligent and motivated individuals challenges him to keep a fresh perspective on the business.

“Sometimes the best way to learn something is to be a great teacher,” says Sean. “They often have great ideas and it creates a huge improvement for the business.”

Management Trainees are also mentored by EMCO’s Regional VPs. Each month, they’ll schedule a meeting with each individual to talk about their development and progress. It’s an exciting opportunity for young professionals to make connections with some of the most successful professionals in the business. Ansuman says it’s one of his favourite parts about the program.

“Most people in this program are in their early 20s, and we have the opportunity to sit in on high-level meetings,” he says. “It’s a good way to learn and develop, and I don’t think a lot of companies do that.”

Advice for new Management Trainees

Think you have what it takes to succeed in the Management Development Program? EMCO’s application and interview process is specifically designed to ensure that each Management Trainee has the right skills and qualities to become part of their team.

“The process can be lengthy, but it’s definitely worth the follow-through,” says Alexandra. “It’s a great program. I’m definitely much more accomplished… my resume is piling up with experience, but you also develop soft skills which are invaluable.”

Management Trainee: Tips for success
  • Be proactive. EMCO is very receptive to new ideas and they’ll go the extra mile to support your professional development.
  • Always be a student. If you go in thinking you already know everything, you’ll lose out on the opportunity to learn from the best.
  • Be hungry. EMCO gives you the opportunity to make a significant impact on the business. Don’t hold back on your ambitions!

While EMCO offers plenty of guidance, each Management Trainee is responsible for taking full advantage of the opportunity. Both Ansuman and Alexandra agree that being proactive is an incredibly important part of their roles. Whether it’s asking for help or setting your own professional goals, the EMCO team is always open to supporting their endeavours.

“It’s not a ‘sink or swim’ situation,” Sean remarks. “The training program is very effective because they invest so much in this program… you spend years learning from the best people in the industry so you’re given an opportunity to thrive.”

Ansuman is nearing the end of his Management Trainee program and he’s very excited for what the future holds. As a new graduate, his hard work and dedication will be paying off, and his goal of obtaining a permanent, stable career will become a reality.

“If you’re successful in the program, you can accomplish so many things,” says Ansuman. “Before I started this program, I didn’t think I’d ever be able to buy a home in Toronto. But now, it’s becoming more and more achievable.”

Kate works each and every day to ensure the Management Development Program is a valuable and beneficial experience for all trainees. She says that every so often, she’ll receive feedback from them on the amazing support they’ve received and how the program has positively impacted them personally and as professionals. Her goal is that each and every Management Trainee emerges from this experience as a well-rounded and capable manager.

“At the end of the day, if I can say ‘I would work for that trainee,’ then that’s awesome – that’s what we want,” says Kate.

Ready to become a Management Trainee? Apply to work with EMCO! Check out their job board!