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. Edwin Otieno is a store manager at Walmart supercenter #5320 in Greensboro, North Carolina.
Q: What was your first Walmart job?
A: In 2002, I was hired as a temporary associate to assist in a remodel at a store. Shortly after, I was hired in a permanent position inside the store.
Q: Tell us about any highlights of your career or favorite positions you’ve had.
A: Getting promoted to a shift manager. At the time, it seemed out of reach. I’m not from the U.S.; I didn’t think it would happen!
Q: How have you approached reaching your career goals with Walmart?
A: I’ve had a lot of great mentors. My old store manager encouraged me to go to the assistant manager training. I had support from other levels of upper management. My drive also comes from how I was raised in Kenya.
Q: Has your career impacted your personal life and family – if so, how?
A: Walmart has allowed me to have a decent life. I now own my second house. I wouldn’t be in this position without them. They have a great 401k package that I’m able to participate in. I’m also a shareholder. I love the health coverage.
Q: Do you have any words for other associates?
A: You have to work hard. Nothing comes easy. You have to have the work ethic and give 100%. You also have to speak out if you’re interested in moving up with the company. I always asked questions about how I could get better and get promoted. I was always hungry for success.