DARE program: University graduates transition to the working world
Given the speed of change in the Canadian retail market, we recognize the need to supplement our existing talent pool with fresh new perspectives. As a result, Walmart Canada launched the DARE (Developing Accelerated Retail Experience) program in July 2011 to enable top university graduates to fast-track their learning in a real world business setting.
Through DARE, we select a handful of university graduates from hundreds of applications to participate in a one-year program where they complete work rotations through core areas of our business. The goal of the program is to provide an understanding of how each area contributes to the overall success of the business. Participants build a strong network during their time in the program, which helps them develop the collaborative behaviours that define our Walmart culture.
While similar programs in the industry require participants to apply to specific positions at the start of the program, DARE takes a different approach. Participants in DARE use their experience to learn about the company and to help identify the career path best suited to them.
Earning high marks at retail
The first year of the program comes to an end in July 2012 and the results have exceeded expectations. Participants have learned to perform key functions and understand how their work impacts the larger organization. And the learning goes both ways: in one case, a DARE participant built a tool that significantly improved process efficiencies.
Participants have already begun to receive offers for positions here at Walmart following the program. We look forward to continuing to support their development and to watch the next generation of Walmart leaders grow with us. The next session of DARE starts in July 2012 and we return to university campuses this fall to search for candidates for our class of 2014.
Hussain Bandali: DARE from the student perspective
“One thing that has been very evident is the strong culture of openness, inclusiveness, and working towards a common goal. Through the DARE program, I have had the opportunity to meet and network with senior leaders in the company, and was assigned a mentor from the leadership team who has played an active role in my development. Having been part of similar programs with previous employers, I can say with confidence that Walmart’s DARE program is exactly what a graduate leadership rotational program should be like.”