Walmart Canada’s DARE (Developing Accelerated Retail Experience) program brings together the best of both worlds: developing candidate leadership skills and helping candidates discover their interests and abilities. DARE was created to provide new graduates with a deep understanding of the retail business by allowing them to learn on the job from industry experts, and to take responsibility in a critical role. New grads also have the chance to experience working for a Fortune 1 company, and one of the world’s largest and successful retailers.
How does the DARE program work?
The DARE program runs for up to 2.5 years and consists of three unique phases; each of these phases is designed to support new graduates in developing both their business knowledge and leadership skills. You’ll discover different career paths within retail and explore career options at Walmart Canada in areas such as merchandising, eCommerce, supply chain, and store operations.
In Phase One, new graduates work with front-line store leaders, learning about day-to-day operations and problem solving in a fast-paced environment.
In Phase Two, DARE candidates gain exposure to critical business roles working in Walmart’s Store-Support Centre – the corporate headquarters.
In Phase Three, the graduates specialize and choose to continue their career in either the Store-Support Centre or lead in-store operations as an assistant manager or co-manager.
With experience in various roles, the DARE program provides new graduates the opportunity to explore different career paths in retail and make a real difference in the company. Attend Walmart’s Virtual Information Sessions in September to learn more about the program and how to apply.
How can DARE help you make an impact?
Mariam K., a new grad in the DARE program, loves that DARE allowed her to make an impact in the company and her own career.
“Over the course of the program, I have had the opportunity to work with various teams – both in stores and in the office – with leaders who gave me real ownership and enabled me to make a tangible impact on the business,” she says. “DARE allowed me the opportunity to explore my interest in omni-channel, lead the launch of a pilot program, and gain leadership experience in the field – all while receiving plenty of mentorship, support, and exposure from key leaders in the business.”
How are DARE Candidates Supported?
DARE candidates are also paired with a Walmart business leader who provides support to the candidate through a mentorship program. These mentors offer guidance, advice, act as a sounding board for ideas, help candidates learn from their challenges and celebrate successes!
Umer R., Merchandise Planner and former DARE Associate, believes that the support he was provided throughout the program was critical to his future success.
“The relationships you build during the rotations are invaluable. You are later able to not only apply what you have learned from other areas but also have the ability to leverage colleagues that are subject matter experts,” he explains.
Expanding your interests and skills with DARE
Amanda S., Program Manager, eCommerce Supply Chain and a Queen’s University graduate, was attracted to the DARE program from the first time she heard about it.
“I had a chance to attend a presentation and was really intrigued by the rotational concept and the opportunity to explore and learn about so many areas of the business,” she says.
The more Amanda learned about the program, the more impressed and excited she was to apply. From her research, Amanda’s choice became clear; “In evaluating the DARE program, I was struck with the fact that Walmart was willing to invest so much in me as a DARE associate, through cross-functional work experience, mentorship, as well as unique training, workshops and speakers throughout the program.”
Former DARE candidates often say how the experience has allowed them to expand their own interests and discover their unique career journey. DARE provides candidates with a variety of experiences, through which grads can learn their own career strengths and preferences in a supportive and collaborative environment.
“Having the chance to be part of DARE allowed me to develop an understanding of what type of environment I enjoyed working in and excelled in,” adds Amanda.
DARE helped her discover her passion for e-commerce — a subject which she had not been exposed to in university — allowing her to jump into a role where she could contribute from the very beginning.
How can DARE help you jumpstart your career?
The DARE program is not just a great way for new graduates to expose themselves to new roles and build skills, it is a foundational stepping stone for beginning a successful career at Walmart.
When Justin R. completed the DARE program, he returned back to stores to develop into a Store Manager position. After further developing his understanding for Walmart and its customers, he continued into his current Category Space Manager role.
“Through the DARE program, students just a couple years out of school can have the chance to help run a $60-80 million-dollar business,” says Justin, and that’s a rare and valuable opportunity.
Walmart Canada’s DARE program has been successfully creating leaders out of new graduates for years. DARE won Best Grad Program at the TalentEgg National Campus Recruitment Excellence Awards in 2018 and 2019. If you’re ready to jumpstart your career development, attend one of Walmart’s Virtual Information Sessions in September 2020. You will have the chance to meet Umer, Mariam, Justin and Amanda and learn more about the DARE application and hiring process.