Friday, June 14, 2024

Determination leads to a top position at Wal-Mart

Carole Smith oversees store managers for all 11 Las Vegas Wal-Mart stores.

by Kimberly Bailey-Tureaud

A Northern California native, Carole Smith has lived in Las Vegas for only one year — but she has already found success here as a top executive for Wal-Mart Neighborhood Markets.

“I oversee store managers for our 11 stores in Las Vegas,” Smith said. “I support them in day-to-day operations, and assist them in removing obstacles and barriers from a merchandising, people management, leadership, and support guidance standpoint. Serving in (this) position, which makes me responsible for Wal-Mart’s $230 million annual revenue stream (in Las Vegas), encourages my continued steps toward excellence.”

Now married, the onetime single mother of three took a sabbatical from her job with a nonprofit organization before landing a position with Wal-Mart.
“While I was not working, I went back to school to finish my master’s program,” she said. “I knew I needed something to propel me to the next level in my career — which was my education. So, I decided to get a master’s degree in human resources. While I was in school, I was living off my savings, and it was really getting down to the wire, because my funds were slowly depleting. I was getting nervous about my next move, and where God would lead me. I knew that I had to start getting back into the workforce, because I didn’t know how my next month’s mortgage might get paid.”

After putting her résumé on the popular website, Smith received a call from a recruiter, who asked, “Have you ever thought about working for a Fortune 500 company?” The call came just in time.

“Going from a nonprofit to a profit-making company, what better transition than to work for the largest employer in the world?” she said. “Also, I was literally hired within a two-week time frame — and was able to pay my mortgage.”

Getting into the Wal-Mart company, and relocating to the corporate offices in Arkansas, put Smith in line for fast-track career advancement. She eventually applied within the company for her current position — marketing manager for Wal-Mart Neighborhood Markets — and moved to Las Vegas.

“One of the things people don’t know about Wal-Mart is that it is a multi-million dollar business with phenomenal career opportunities,” Smith said. “Seventy percent of managers within the Wal-Mart organization started out as hourly associates. Some might think the Wal-Mart stores are just a place to shop or hang out to kill time. But what they need to realize is that the smallest Wal-Mart store is maybe a $15 million business, while the largest superstore can be a $130 million business. As long as someone has the passion, determination and a good work ethic, it can be a tremendous career opportunity for them. After completing a six-week management training program, you could end up running a multimillion dollar business in just a few short years.”

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