Thomas Lalonde, E-commerce coordinator, has been a part of our Marketing team since winter 2016. It was only after completing his master’s thesis at HEC Montréal on omni-channel approaches that he developed a real passion for the world of retail. He is part of the third cohort of our Graduate Rotational Program from February 2016. A few months later, he reflects on his experience.
Q1: In order to get to know you better, can you briefly describe your academic/professional background?
A: To make a long story short, I really hesitated between pursuing an acting career and beginning my university studies in business. I know, they’re two completely different fields! When I was younger, I had the opportunity to work on some film projects, but I decided to go into marketing to combine my creative side with my entrepreneurial side. I finally pursued a master’s degree, and once that was completed, I jumped on the chance to join Groupe Dynamite’s Graduate Rotational Program.
Q2: What was the selection process like for the February 2016 cohort?
A: What I loved about Groupe Dynamite and the Graduate Rotational Program was the way the company evaluated the different candidates. During my first meeting, the goal was to see what my interests were and what the needs were for GDI. Unfortunately, there weren’t any positions in E-comm planned for my cohort. However, upon seeing my many skills and interests in this field, a position in E-comm was created after re-evaluating the company’s needs.
Q3: What surprised you during your first weeks at GDI?
A: My biggest surprise was experiencing how easy it was to begin a conversation with a director or an executive. During the first few weeks, each Vice President presented their department to us, and we were able to ask any questions that we thought were important. We also had the chance to sit at the same table as Anna Martini and Andrew Lutfy, the President and the CEO, and introduce ourselves. The company culture is young and very dynamic.
Q4: What is the most important thing you’ve learnt from this program?
A: Having the chance to sit in every department was the greatest learning experience for me. Upon leaving university, it can be difficult sometimes to get a clear and precise idea of the inner workings of a company. The Graduate Rotational Program was the best transition I could’ve ever asked for upon finishing my studies. I’m better prepared for the position I’m in today, having spent eight weeks with different teams. On top of gaining a better understanding of the relations between each department, I’ve also acquired contacts in different areas, which allows me to better direct my questions as they arise.
Q5: In five words, how would you describe your overall experience with the Graduate Rotational Program?
A: Attentiveness, openness, flexibility, generosity and opportunity.
Q6: What are you currently working on?
A: Aside from helping the digital Marketing team in their various daily tasks, I have the chance to work on several projects regarding Groupe Dynamite’s omni-channel strategy. In short, the omni-channel approach is supposed to optimize the customer experience using current and upcoming technology. You’ll see, the next few months will be very interesting for Garage and Dynamite!
- Your mentor/person who inspires you: Angela Ahrendts, the Senior Vice President of Retail and Online Stores of Apple Inc. She’s an omni-channel expert in the retail industry.
- Your favourite clothing item/accessory: The famous white t-shirt. It goes with everything!
- One place in Montreal where we would run into you: The SAQ, there’s nothing better than a good bottle of wine 😉
- Your style icon: I don’t know… I would’ve liked to be original, but I’ll say James Dean.
- Your favourite trend right now: Skinny jeans and running shoes
- Your dream destination: Latin America
- The word you use most often: “Awesome!”
- In high school, you dreamt of becoming: A university professor or veterinarian (haha)
- To take your mind off of things, you… take a bath while watching Netflix… try it, it’s awesome!
- Your guilty pleasure: …eating some St-Hubert while watching 30 Rock. Please don’t judge!