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Canadian Tire is committed to developing the next generation of leaders. New graduate programs at Canadian Tire are a fantastic opportunity – they are focused on identifying top graduating and alumni talent and setting participants up for success throughout their careers.

Marissa Goldsmith is a replenishment analyst. Here’s her take on what it means to pursue a new graduate opportunity at Canadian Tire.

1. How did you get the job?

I went to an information session at the University of Toronto—that’s where I went to school. I was in an industrial engineering program. One of my friends used to work at Canadian Tire. She asked me if I was going to the info-session and told me where I could find it. I figured, why not?

I saw the whole supply chain presentation. It really seemed like something I’d be interested in doing. So, I fixed up my resumé and sent it in. I didn’t know what to expect, but sometimes the best opportunities come up suddenly like that!

2. What does a typical day look like for you?

I’m in an operations-based role. That means every day is different and if I don’t get the things on my plate done, it can slow down the product that comes in or vendors getting the information they need.

In the morning, I’ll typically get automated reports sent to my inbox. I’ll analyze those reports and look at problem products we have—for example, if product isn’t coming in properly or if we have too much product in a certain area. I’ll perform an analysis and decide on action items. Throughout the day, I’m replying to vendors, dealing with purchase orders and doing really hands-on stuff. There’s not a minute in the day where I’m not doing something.

In my role, I work with everyone. So far, I’m working a lot with the transportation team, communicating with the distribution centres. We actually got to go visit them and do a tour. That was so cool! We met the people we work with on a daily basis. They deal with product flow and receiving the product. I also work with marketing and merchandising.

3. What do you enjoy most about your role?

What I enjoy most is the fast-paced environment and being busy every day. I’ve been in other roles where you kind of have to dig for work to keep you moving. But here, I come in and there are twenty emails in my inbox. And they just keep coming! I love how fast-paced it is.

There’s also a lot of ownership on my part for everything that happens. I know I have partners and leaders who would support me if I needed it but, for the most part, it’s me owning the things I do and taking care of my products and lines rather than having people looking over my shoulder. I love that kind of environment.

4. Talk about one of your greatest achievements in your role here.

I think everything I did in my first week: learning about our area of the business, all the reports we’d have to leverage. Also, convincing myself that I could do this and I had all the support I needed to be successful. That was a really good moment.

5. Talk about your greatest challenge.

Understanding the different systems you need to use and the new technologies, commands, and actions. We use a specific system to do inventory management. Within that system, there are screens you need to navigate to in order to get the different types of information you need. It’s about understanding when you use those screens and when not to. Once you get the hang of it, though—and find your short cuts—it’s smooth sailing.

6. How do you feel you’ve contributed to the business during your time in this program?

In my role, if I don’t do my job, product doesn’t come in. I really feel that direct impact on the business. If I don’t fix the problems that arise, there’s going to be a backlog.

7. What are you working on right now?

Today I was working with some vendors to finalize purchase orders and working to meet their minimum order quantities.

8. What surprised you about working at Canadian Tire?

I really enjoyed the community and the work environment. At one of my old workplaces, my leader wasn’t necessarily the most approachable. But, right from the get-go, my manager here was checking in on me every day to make sure I felt supported—even if it was just a minute or five minutes to making sure we’re all doing okay.

9. What lessons from your time at Canadian Tire will you carry through your career?

Never stop learning. We had two weeks of training and since then, every single day I’ve learned something new. We have buddies that support us and I leverage them to learn new tricks of the trade and little things to help our efficiency. Understanding who my partners are and what they do has been huge, as well.

10. What advice do you have for a new graduate applying for a program at Canadian Tire?

I would say, be confident and open. Show you’re willing to learn and you’re not afraid to ask questions. Really just own it!