Public Affairs Officer, Army Reserve Public Affairs & Government Relations, Walmart
“Everything they did before, during and after my deployment convinced to me to stand up with this company and to tell others that you can continue to serve just like me, and continue to work full-time for Walmart – and serve two causes greater than yourself.”
What attracted you to look at Walmart as a potential employer?
What I liked about Walmart was the diversity of the job. It’s not just lobbying – I can deal with the media and the public relations side of things, and also the Walmart Foundation, where I can work with charities around the state. I serve as chairman of our state giving program for the Walmart Foundation, so that has given me an ability to give back through many charities that are doing things like fighting hunger, providing educational opportunities and giving shelter to those in need. It gave me a chance to do more of the things that are really in my heart.
What made you decide to start a career with Walmart?
Who wouldn’t want to work for Fortune’s #1 retailer? Who wouldn’t want to work for a company that has so much opportunity for growth, and that really commits itself to making a difference in communities? Personally, it feels good to work for a company that’s invested in wanting to help people. It drives you to want to do well and succeed for the company – knowing that you’re making a difference in people’s lives, and that it’s your company that’s giving you the ability to do that.
What about working for Walmart makes you feel like you have an impact?
It used to be that we would give money to charities under the radar without communicating how and why we were helping. And I like being one of those people who’s out in front telling our story, whether it’s in the media, directly to the public or with elected members of our general assembly. I think we’re doing a much better job of working with those local charities so the public knows that Walmart is committed to helping. So I’m starting to see a change in the perception people have toward Walmart. I’m helping to educate people that Walmart does business with small businesses and creates jobs for the community.
What about working for Walmart makes you proud?
Recently, the Guard held a Military Family Appreciation day, and through my work at Walmart, I was able to support that effort financially. That’s just one way that Walmart helps support military families that commit so much. With Walmart, like in the military, you have an opportunity to be part of a company that has been a difference-maker in our economy with everyday low prices that give families an opportunity to make it through these tough times. And you can do it with the same sense of pride and community and common sense of purpose that you have in the military.
What do Walmart and the military have in common?
I think the military instilled in me a sense of leadership and pride in what I do that transfers over to my job with Walmart. I went from full-time Walmart to being deployed, putting on my Army uniform and serving my country for a year. And when I came back to Walmart, other than the change of uniform, I felt like I was able to contribute and lead despite the changes. You can switch between the two, and you don’t feel like you’ve missed a beat.
How would you describe a career at Walmart?
Walmart has training and a chain of command structure very similar to the military’s. I think it’s because Sam Walton was in the military when he was younger, and he built a successful company on respect for leadership. At the same time, we’re all part of a team here – we have each other’s backs. We share ideas and best practices and communicate with each other all over the country. Just like in the military, our associates have the opportunity to give back and volunteer with local charities, and based on the amount of hours they contribute, Walmart will donate money. They also have a chance to be a part of the Walmart Foundation work we do, whether it’s Habitat for Humanity or Meals on Wheels. The Walmart cause is the American cause.
What would you tell transitioning military members about a career at Walmart?
Know that you can also serve a cause greater than yourself by serving a company like Walmart. Just like in the military, you’re able to give back at Walmart. Just like in the military, there are opportunities for growth, advancement and leadership. And just like in the military, at Walmart you have opportunity to earn solid benefits that can take care of your family and sustain your future. All the things that are important in the military exist at Walmart.
How is working for Walmart allowing you to accomplish your personal and professional goals?
It was the best decision I’ve ever made. You know, you don’t have to hang up your uniform forever if you want to come work full-time for Walmart. You don’t have to worry about leaving and coming back a year later and not having a job. In fact, I couldn’t have had a better employer in terms of the support that my family and I have received. They were actually willing to continue to help financially while I was deployed so I wouldn’t see a loss. Everything they did before, during and after my deployment convinced to me to stand up with this company and to tell others that you can continue to serve just like me, and continue to work full-time for a supportive culture like Walmart – and serve two causes greater than yourself.