One year later with Jennifer: 2017 DARE Alumni

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At TalentEgg we know how much a career path means to young professionals hatching their careers, so we love checking in to see how the best and brightest stretch their wings and soar to the next level. TalentEgg interviewed Jennifer Van Der Wee one year ago when she graduated from Walmart’s DARE program and began working at Walmart as a Manager of Strategic Vendor Management. Since then, Walmart Canada has been the springboard she needed to continue to develop professionally. We caught up with Jen who was happy to share her journey with us.

Originally from Montreal, Jen went to school in Kingston, Ontario at Queen’s University. She’s always been active and loves travelling, hiking, and dancing. Her energy translates into her work, and Walmart presents a great atmosphere to take advantage of that.

First Introduction to DARE

Jen first found out about Walmart’s DARE program through school recruiting in the fall of her 4th year of university.

Even though Jen wasn’t ready to make a final career choice just yet, she had a clear vision of the culture she was looking for. Having worked at The Walt Disney Company for one summer, she knew she valued customer focus, and Walmart’s “Help Canadians save money so they can live better” motto resonated with her.

The Beginning

Walmart’s DARE program is an extremely unique opportunity for recent grads to continue learning directly within the retail industry from a global leader. Jen viewed this as an extension to her education that provides hands-on learning in operations (stores), merchandising (product), and logistics (supply chain). Since Jen graduated, the program has been upgraded and now includes an option for successful candidates to pursue the path of their choice; whether it’s finance, a leadership role in the store, or another division of the business. The rotations give the associates an opportunity to explore different aspects of the company and uncover their own talents.

Specifically, Jen values the opportunity to build connections across the business with the help of supporting mentors and exciting projects that allowed her to challenge the status quo.

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Evolved Role

Jen started off by supporting the general merchandise side of the business in home, hardlines, and electronics and recently moved to support health & wellness and consumables as a Manager of Strategic Vendor Management. She currently oversees the buyers as they go through supplier negotiations, joint business planning, and cost analytics.

Jen’s favourite part of the job is interacting with so many different areas of the business, influencing the overall strategy, and always learning and growing.

Takeaways

Overall, the list of things Jen has learned on the job and with the help of DARE is extensive and grows daily. She emphasizes her newly acquired analytical skills that help her make decisions based on data as well as the ability to build a network of connections in the workplace. That and so much more has made her stay at Walmart. She remains excited and confident in her tomorrow.

Jen has great advice for students who are looking for a company to launch a meaningful career:

  1. Choose a company that is willing to invest in your development
  2. Find an organization that aligns with your personal values
  3. Pick a place where you will be excited everyday

For Jen, Walmart offers all the above and so much more!  If you are interested in a fantastic opportunity with a company that is committed to developing you to the fullest, check out Walmart’s DARE program. Don’t wait to applyvisit Walmart’s Career Page.

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