Walmart Maintains a Strong Focus on Growing Talent Through Its Virtual Internship Program

Intern Headshot
Pictured: former Walmart intern, Husnaan Ali

May 28, 2021
By Amy Goldfinger, SVP, Global Talent

Walmart has more than 2.2 million associates across the globe. Think about that for a moment. The size of our associate population, which helps our customers save money and live better, means we need millions of best-in-class associates – marketers, technologists, supply chain experts and even interns – to power the Walmart engine.

We are preparing to welcome our biggest intern class ever on June 1, and they will join us virtually as we continue to transform our business with innovation and a competitive spirit to meet customers’ needs. Our internship program is a critical avenue for new talent, an essential investment in our talent pipeline for full-time roles after graduating from college, and future leaders at Walmart.

When faced with the global pandemic last year, we focused on meeting our commitment to hiring this critical talent into our summer internship program. In a matter of weeks, we pivoted quickly to create a virtual internship program and centered on few core principles.

Commit to Growing Careers

At Walmart, we are continuously investing in our associates’ long-term success through learning and growth opportunities, and our internships are no different – virtual, or not. Our internships help people develop future-focused, relevant skills and experiences by matching them with needs in the business.

Growing careers means exposing interns to the breadth of opportunity at Walmart. Nana Buada is now a rising early-career associate at Walmart who interned virtually from Houston, Texas, last year. Nana discovered a passion for hardware and software imaging while supporting the tech team during her internship. She gained analytical and communication skills by working with stores and implementing new technologies. Her experience as an intern led to an opportunity with us as a technical program manager.

Our commitment is to have Nana and all our interns grow their careers through learning and development opportunities and go as far as their hard work and talent will take them.

Create a Meaningful Experience

Creating meaningful experiences is part of our purpose of helping people live better. We made sweeping operational changes to enable an entirely virtual program but kept our interns’ needs at the forefront.

The program focused on connections – to the business, each other and the future. We gave interns impactful projects so they could learn and apply their skills. The interns were placed into cohort groups of seven to 10 people to navigate their career goals and were aligned with peer mentors who guided them throughout the internship. And, we paired each intern with a dedicated manager and provided access to Walmart and Sam’s Club executives.

The internship included a “Welcome Week” and a robust calendar of events. Interns heard from a range of leaders, attended regular lunch-and-learns, and even played “Family Feud” with our CEO, Doug McMillon. Weekly AirBnB Experiences and virtual masterclasses related to cooking, gardening and more, kept them engaged and building friendships from onboarding to their very last day.

Concentrate on Building Talent for the Future

Our internship program aims to position Walmart to grow its talent from within the business.

Lindsey Williams, from Columbia, Maryland, interned in the membership department at Sam’s Club. Her role was to strategize and implement ways to enhance the membership experience through promotions and product demonstrations, which connected well with her passion for making things easier for people. Throughout the internship, she engaged members for feedback, met bi-weekly with two mentors, and regularly presented ideas to her manager on creating more value for members. The skills and knowledge she gained are being applied every day as a new marketing manager at Sam’s Club, focusing on increasing millennial membership.

Journeys like Lindsey’s are the types of experiences we aim to create for our interns. We want our internships to provide opportunities to build long-lasting futures at Walmart. By aligning skills and interests to business needs, we're developing the talent to continue bringing value to customers and communities around the globe.

We are excited to give our new internship class a look into Walmart. And I know they’re excited to help people save money and live better. Welcome, Intern Class of 2021!