Editor’s note: More than 2.2 million associates bring our stores and clubs to life every day. Sparking Conversation is a series where we get to know these individuals. Juanita Granger is zone merchandise supervisor at Walmart store #1985 in Laurel, Maryland, where she oversees jewelry, shoes and apparel.
Q: Why did you choose Walmart?
A: When I was a kid in Louisiana, I used to shop with my mom at Walmart. It had everything we needed, and everyone was so friendly. So when I moved here to Laurel and saw there was a Walmart, it was the first place I applied for a job. If it was a good place to shop, I figured it would be a good place to work. I was right. After just six months in the shoe department, I became department manager.
Q: Tell us about any highlights of your career or favorite positions you’ve held.
A: Teaching and training others – that’s my highlight. I love helping other associates and sharing everything I know. That way they can move up and feel empowered to do things on their own.
Q: What do you like best about your job?
A: Coming to work and my fellow associates always being here ready to go. They’re always smiling and happy to see each other – it’s like our second family here. You may come in one day sad, and by the end of the day, you’re happy. We do everything together as a team. Also, I love fashion, and so my department is great for that.
Q: How have you approached reaching your career goals with Walmart?
A: I’ve had so many mentors and people I’ve seen move up the ladder. When I first started as a part-time associate, another associate in the shoe department where I was working suggested that I consider taking [the department] over, because she said I was learning everything she was teaching so rapidly. I was promoted in six months, and a few years later I moved up again to zone merchandise supervisor. My work ethic also comes from my parents. They were my role models growing up and always taught us that to get what you want, you have to work for it. So now I give that back anywhere I can.
Q: Has your career impacted your personal life and family – if so, how?
A: Sure – it’s allowed me to get a new car, and buy a house!
Q: Do you have any words for other associates?
A: Keep striving for the top because whatever you see as your goal, you can succeed. Walmart is a place you can go wherever and however far you want to go.