THE PERFECT FIT

Supporting emerging talent is a priority for Groupe Dynamite! We’re always on the hunt for new, promising talent, and we get involved in many events in the fashion industry, especially ones that involve students. We are proud to sponsor and partner up with:

  • ÉMERGENCE for graduates from L’École supérieure de mode de Montréal
  • ENTREPRISE event at LaSalle College
  • The Fashion Business Uncovered from McGill University

We also host networking cocktails twice a year in our beautiful Atrium. We feel that it’s important for future graduates to meet with our ambassadors and get a vibe for our work playground!

All of these initiatives led to the hiring of 22 summer interns and 10 graduates for our Graduate Rotational Program this year.

Are you a perfect fit? Click here to learn about all of our opportunities.

Spotlight on Scott Fennell

Meet Scott, a rising young leader who was nominated to be part of the Apparel Magazine Top Under 30 Elite. Having demonstrated exceptional abilities in shaping the apparel field, Scott plays a constant role in the development of Groupe Dynamite’s tools and processes and is a key player to the company’s success.

  • What’s your moto?

Embrace all opportunities. Be open-minded with everything that comes your way and never say never.

  • What is your strongest asset?

Problem solving! I love being able help my colleagues in improving different processes. It’s all about leveraging what already works and building on it to make things better. 

  • What is your biggest challenge in your role?

Well first off, the environment at Groupe Dynamite is challenging and demanding. But because of that, I feel more involved and able to make a difference and, as a result, I have fun and enjoy my work a lot more. If I had to pick one challenge, I would say that it is to constantly prone to innovate especially in our industry.  Because our business changes frequently, we have to adapt to new ways of doing things and set goals on a regular basis. My job encourages me to think outside the box and to seek my own solutions and I love that!

  • What is your proudest career moment?

My proudest moment would be when we launched the ERP project, a huge initiative that was going to propel the business to new heights. Being the youngest person on the team at that time and being able to learn so much from my colleagues and leaders was very rewarding. The fact that I saw that initiative come to life was very cool!

What have you learned the most from working at Groupe Dynamite?

Wow – I have learned so much!

First of all, how big the retail fashion industry is! After university, I wanted to work in Marketing. I had just moved to Montreal from the UK and was seeking a job that would help me pay my rent. I had no idea that my 4-week contract at Groupe Dynamite was going to land me my dream job 7 years later! I am passionate about what I do. I am constantly learning and evolving. It is stimulating and rewarding to be given the freedom to think differently and see new possibilities opening up. It all started with a contractual position that was not even related to Marketing!

Mini Survey

  1. Your mentor/person who inspires you: I’ve always been inspired by Richard Branson, I really enjoy how diverse his business interests have been, and how he proactively finds opportunities in the positions he found himself in. Most importantly, my inspiration comes from his ability to draw a positive lesson from the varied outcomes of his endeavours.
  2. Your favourite clothing item/accessory: A good oxford shirt, you can’t really go wrong with it. 
  3. One place in Montreal where we would run into you: At a restaurant or bar in Monkland Village
  4. Your style icon: I can’t really say I have enough style to have a style icon! The person with the most influence on my wardrobe is whoever decides what is available when Abercrombie or Hollister has a sale.
  5. Your favourite trend right now: Wearable technology
  6. Your dream destination: I really want to go to Japan for the Rugby World Cup in 2019
  7. The word you use most often: Yes. At least I hope it’s one of the words I use most often.
  8. In high school, you dreamt of becoming: A Pilot
  9. To take your mind off of things, you… Play rugby
  10. Your guilty pleasure: Country music, I listen to it a lot! 

Young talent. Big impact.

Remember that article about hiring 50 young talents over the spring? They’re finally here! Our new recruits are being on-boarded into 12 different departments as we speak. From Marketing to Continuous Improvement, they’re pretty much everywhere.

Whereas our Grads have permanent positions, our interns will be spending a total of twelve weeks with us. Members of both programs have quite the summer ahead of them!

On the schedule:

  • A lunch with their leaders
  • Another one with Andrew, our President and CEO
  • A tour of our Distribution Centre
  • Store visits
  • And more!

Throughout their Internship and Grad Program, these young professionals will be guided and provided with meaningful work experience through different tasks and projects specially designed for them. We’re thrilled to have them here to grow with us and shape their careers, like many of our employees who started out as summer interns!

Good luck to all Interns and Grads!

 

Climbing the ladder with Catherine

Meet Catherine Brisebois. After only three years with Groupe Dynamite, she recently took on the role of Vice President, Strategy and Business Transformation. Catherine’s mandate is to create a plan that will enable the company to reach its objectives while transforming the way the business operates in support of its vision. She might be our youngest executive, but after sitting down with Catherine, we found out that her senior title is matched with a wealth of wisdom.

Your career won’t necessarily follow a straight line

Catherine’s first piece of advice is to keep an open mind when it comes to your career path: “Many people—especially recent graduates—are focused on reaching their ultimate destination (a.k.a. getting their dream job), but you shouldn’t forget to enjoy the journey of building the experience needed to get there.”

Even though Catherine knew an engineering career wasn’t for her, she completed her degree in Industrial Engineering because she realized the program’s analytical and problem-solving disciplines would be an asset.

Find your element

After having worked in management consulting, Catherine went to the Harvard Business School to complete her MBA where she had the chance to explore industries that would best suit her career aspirations. This is where Catherine’s ideal choice of industry became clear; fast-paced retail was for her.

At Groupe Dynamite, Catherine found she was in her element. Her ability to influence the organization and think at high and detailed levels allowed her to complete multiple cross-functional projects while gaining a deeper understanding of business operations. “If you have the opportunity to work on a cross-functional project, take it! Having a 360° perspective on the business is incredibly valuable for an employee’s growth and development. It’ll also fill your career toolbox with very useful skills,” Catherine urges.

Lead by inspiration

According to Catherine, the most important quality in a leader is the ability to inspire and rally people towards a common vision. As you grow in your career, success won’t come from your individual contribution, but rather from the combined efforts of the entire team: “When you lead by inspiration, it increases your ability ten-fold to “get s**t done”—Dynamite’s motto in 2017! Because it’s not just about you, it’s about the army getting s**t done, getting the right s**t done.”

 

QUICKFIRE QUESTIONS

  • What is your strongest asset as a leader?

“The ability to influence. My professional experience—before and during my time at Dynamite—has taught me how to work with and influence people from different backgrounds and at different levels of seniority. There is no one-size-fits-all approach—adaptability is key!”

  • What is your biggest challenge in your role?

“Prioritizing and aligning. As a growing business in a changing competitive landscape, we have so many ideas and aspirations; it can be challenging at times to decide where to focus our efforts and resources.”

  • What is your proudest career moment?

“Seeing people who have worked under my guidance get promoted. I get very invested in the success of my teams and am energized by their success. I also strongly believe that our future success as a business will depend on our ability to grow and develop our talent.”

  • What have you learned from working with millennials?

“When you become more experienced, you tend to think too much or let previous patterns drive the way you think, which can hinder your ability to innovate. Millennials aren’t biased by their past experiences; they have a fresh perspective that can be very inspiring and helpful to crack difficult business problems. They also refuse to accept status quo and believe in making the world a better place, one step at a time.”

  • As the youngest Vice President, what do you think you bring to the Executive Team?

“Because I’ve worked on so many corporate projects in the company, I have a cross-functional perspective on current and future strategies, so I have the ability to map out the steps to reaching our big goals.”

Catherine is very ambitious about Groupe Dynamite’s future and believes we can successfully compete with the biggest global players. Understanding our customer inside and out—before she knows her own needs!—will be the key to our success. We can’t wait to see what Catherine has in store for us—no pun intended. 😉

CLIMBING THE LADDER WITH MELISSA

Strong-willed and passionate, Melissa Hughes likes new challenges. This attitude has allowed her to work her way up through the company since she first started working at Groupe Dynamite 12 years ago.

When Melissa was first introduced to the retail industry at age 14, she was more interested in sports than shoes, but has since discovered a strong fondness for fashion. After setting foot in a Garage store for the first time, she was deeply impressed with the level of enthusiasm and energy shown by the team, and she knew instantly that this was the work environment she was looking for.

Since 2004, she has quickly moved from the ground up by fulfilling multiple roles at the location where she was initially hired. She later took on more responsibilities when she became a Manager. Melissa demonstrated versatile skills as she managed to support and assist stores in need before ensuring the training of new Store Managers and District Sales Supervisors in her territory. After being with the company for 7 years, she was ready for new challenges in her young professional career and became a District Sales Supervisor. Melissa has received many awards for the quality of her work throughout the years. She currently occupies a very strategic position within the company as a Sales Director.

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 “When you’re through changing, you’re through.”

5 KEY ELEMENTS TO CLIMBING THE LADDER

  • Try new things. Don’t be scared to make mistakes!
  • Be ambitious and set your goal.
  • Embrace the change and learn from it.
  • Empower others around you.
  • Always push the bar (don’t stop at “good”, reach for “great”).

TO PURSUE A CAREER IN FASHION

Find a company that shares your personal values, because if you don’t connect with the company, you’re not going to be able to create a lasting relationship. It’s key!

MY YEARS OF EXPERIENCE HAVE TAUGHT ME…

To believe in others’ potential! Years ago, someone (Melanie Jay, not to name names…) put her faith in me and I owe her for taking that chance on me. She has pushed me and motivated me to always take that next step. I hope to one day be that same person for somebody else.

FUTURE GOALS

Continue to grow people forward and grow the business through our core competencies. Provide guidance and share my knowledge with employees to help them understand where the company is coming from and where it’s going.

IN NUMBERS…

Melissa is overlooking:

  • 50 stores
  • 4 districts
  • 4 Supervisors
  • 3 Head Merchandisers

 

 

 

 

 

RISING TO THE CHALLENGE

This summer, we put our grads to the test! The mission: revamp our product distribution processes. We grouped them into multidisciplinary teams to brainstorm over different solutions and we gave them carte blanche.

This case study was a unique opportunity for them to use the skills that they had learnt over the last few weeks and to test their strategic thinking. After five weeks of reflection, our grads got to submit their recommendations by presenting them to a jury made up of members from our senior management team.

There is no question that these grads are talented, passionate and full of ideas. By exposing them to our strategic issues early on, we hope to show our recruits that contributions from all levels are essential to our success and we value everyone’s involvement.   

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Investing in our Talent

Our employees are at the core of our success! GD Leadership is a program that invests in their development to continuously elevate the level of our talent. All managers from our Head Office and our Stores go through a curriculum that will allow them to be effective, and to easily adapt to the needs of an ever-changing industry. They all walk away equipped with impactful leadership strategies, eager to put them into action.

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