How Walmart is Supporting Its Associates’ Career Journeys

New College2Career program offers pathway to store management
Emily Crowe
Multimedia Editor
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Walmart has initiatives for employees in all stages of their careers.

Through part-time roles, college internships, post-graduate career programs and beyond, Walmart Inc. is charting a course for its associates to succeed. The retailer is growing its internship program and also sharing details about multiple career pathway initiatives.

“At Walmart, we truly believe there is a path of opportunity for everyone,” wrote Amy Goldfinger, SVP of global talent and workforce strategy and Lorraine Stomski, SVP of learning and leadership, in a company blog post. “Our philosophy on access to employment and advancement is clear: We believe hiring and promotions should be based on a collection of skills, experiences and attributes, whether acquired on the job, through military and volunteer service, or degrees and certificates.”

Starting as early as high school, associates can gain critical skills through jobs at Walmart. According to the company, 75% of its salaried store, club and supply chain management employees in the U.S. started their careers in hourly positions.

The company plans to grow its corporate internship program for undergraduates and master’s degree students by 30% this year. At Walmart’s Bentonville, Ark., headquarters, students can work on projects related to supply chain, finance, tech merchandise, human resources and more.

“Projects are designed to align to specific skill sets and interests, allowing interns to make an impact on the company, our customers, members and associates,” Goldfinger and Stomski wrote. “Interns can also connect with senior leaders and build relationships. The goal is to have the majority of these interns transition to full-time roles at Walmart after they graduate.”

Walmart is also piloting its College2Career this summer, which gives recent college graduates and current college students within 12 months of graduating the opportunity to go through classroom training, hands-on experience and one-on-one mentoring with the goal of becoming a salaried member of management at a local store. Top performers will be offered the newly created management job of emerging coach and will receive a starting wage of at least $65,000 a year.

“That’s just the beginning,” Goldfinger and Stomski continued. “We see the emerging coach role as an additional pipeline to develop high-potential talent into future store managers, the latter role with an average wage of approximately $210,000 in 2021. With College2Career, we are aiming to move emerging coaches to store managers within two years.”

Additionally, Walmart launched its new Home Office Pathway Experience program in March, giving front-line associates currently pursuing a college degree an opportunity to connect with campus office roles in areas such as cybersecurity or merchandising. Participants go through an eight-week course and are eligible for a full-time office role after completing and performing well in the program and following the completion of their four-year degree.

During the week of May 15, Walmart is celebrating its annual “Associate Promotions” week by recognizing and congratulating associates for their hard work, and will also promote some associates to new roles in their career paths. 

Walmart operates approximately 10,500 stores under 46 banners in 24 countries, and e-commerce websites, employing 2.2 million-plus associates worldwide. Walmart U.S. is No. 1 on The PG 100, Progressive Grocer’s 2022 list of the top food and consumables retailers in North America.

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