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At your current job, you probably understand your role and responsibility quite well, but how far does that understanding reach to the roles and responsibilities around you? Sure, you probably have a grasp of what your coworkers do, but how well do you fully understand the company’s internal operations?

Think about having the opportunity to not only learn about every position at a company but to work in every position. At EMCO’s Management Development Program (MDP), you do exactly that. Veronique De Lisi and Rhett Hardowa are two teammates in the MDP who agreed to share what it’s like to be involved. From the five program phases to relocating, to the EMCO team and the application process, Veronique and Rhett explain what it’s like to be a part of the EMCO experience.

Rhett, a MacEwan University graduate, said he believed that “the best way to understand any business was to be a part of every position, not just learn about them, but actually to do it.” He says that’s what initially attracted him to EMCO’s program. “They understand where I am coming from; they had the same ideas that I did," Rhett said. It was that alignment that initially caught his interest.

For Veronique, it was the program model that caught her attention. She was fresh out of school and looking for her next step when she became familiar with EMCO. She said, the MDP was a “big difference than what you see on the market.” While the program seemed interesting, at the time neither Rhett nor Veronique fully understood just how valuable the MDP would be.

Five phases

The MDP is a five-phase process that teaches you the EMCO business from the ground up. Trainees start in the warehouse, learning about EMCO’s products and strong foundation. By the time the trainee has finished all five phases in the three and a half year program, they should be familiar with proper customer service, inside and outside sales, and how to become a leader of their profit centre. As Veronique says, “You learn the business from scratch, from entry to sales.” In addition to learning each in-depth phase, MDP participants get to relocate and work under different leaders and mentors to gain perspective, support and develop their leadership style. As a management trainee (MT) with EMCO not only will you perform the functions of the roles you work through in the various phases, but you will be exposed to all aspects of the business: from learning to deal with people situations that arise, to vendor negotiations, to the business financials, to buying and pricing, and the list could go on and on.


During the program, participants usually transfer twice. As Rhett says, “It’s just another way to see different business sizes and also have different mentorship. A way to get different ideas and different perspectives on the way the business runs.” EMCO believes exposing trainees to different circumstances and situations (markets, clients, vendors, mentors, etc.) will only build stronger leaders for the future.

Gaining perspective is a major benefit of the MDP. Participants in the program can move from coast to coast, learning every aspect of the job. It’s just another thing that sets the MDP apart from the rest.  “A lot of the management programs that I have seen don’t require that you relocate, and that’s too bad because I think that it is extremely important for building perspective,” said Rhett, “understanding people's positions in different locations and the different ways they can contribute both to the team and the business helps you when you become a manager.”

Team atmosphere

While the traveling and multiple phases may be the main drawing point for new applicants, it’s the environment and people involved that are the real bonus. Both Rhett and Veronique agree that the openness and positive reinforcement from the team creates an experience unlike any other.

As Veronique explained, “We don’t talk about employees; we talk about teammates. We are very open; there is less hierarchy than most organizations.”

It's this support that makes EMCO unique, says Rhett. "Everyone wants to be the best, and everyone is willing to help you get there.” Unlike most companies, the competition at EMCO helps motivate and push each other forward, rather than holding each other back.


Interested applicants should not worry about their background or previous degrees, but more so their enthusiasm and personality. “The interview process is a lengthy one,” says Rhett, “but it’s suitable.” Rhett and Veronique both agreed that EMCO is hiring the person, not the skills. “Skills can be taught,” Rhett said, “it’s the person that EMCO is looking to hire, not their background.”

Veronique said it’s all about curiosity, “We look for individuals who are interested in what we do.” With the right attitude, anyone can have the pleasure of being a part of the EMCO team.

Overall, if you’re entrepreneurial-spirited, have a strong work ethic and desire to grow within a business, EMCO’s Management Development Program is the place for you. Regardless of your background, with the right approach, anyone can be the perfect fit for the MDP. You will have the opportunity to relocate to different parts of Canada, gain perspective, and learn the full scope of EMCO’s business from the ground up.