6 Grads, 6 Questions, 6 Lessons

Six new graduates proudly completed our Graduate Rotational Program. For the past 8 weeks, they worked in different areas of the business, learning from a variety of mentors while enjoying an unforgettable experience. We could write all about their experiences, but we believe it’s best that you hear it directly from them.

Marie-Soleil Chevalier 

Your style icon: Blake Lively

A song you have in your head these days: “Toutes les femmes savent danser” by Loud

Before you began your experience with us, what did you hope to gain from the Graduate Rotational Program? What were your expectations?

I have to say that I was quite pleased that a program like this exists. Because I had never worked full time in the past, I was scared that I’d be a little lost at first. I mostly expected to feel supported and to gain a better understanding of the company, my role and its impact. It’s inspiring to know what people do on a daily basis and how they achieve success.  

Lesson learned?

The impact that each department has on another. Everyone works together to ensure Groupe Dynamite’s success.  


sarah duchaine

The word you use most often: Miam!

A place in Montreal where we’d run into you: At the Jean-Talon market

How was your integration at Groupe Dynamite?

I was pleasantly surprised by the welcome I received. During the first week, we’re introduced to the company. We have a meeting with our mentor, who trains and supports us throughout the program. The integration was easy for me because I had several resource people that I could turn to if I had any questions or for assistance in my new role. 

Lesson learned?

My mentor taught me that it was normal to make mistakes and to ask for help. It’s important that you are not left with unanswered questions; you have to inform yourself.   


Katrina Dessureault

One place in Montreal where we would run into you: Boxing at 30 Minute Hit

Dream destination: South Africa

 
During the rotation, which position surprised you the most?

I would have to say Sourcing. Going into the Grad Program, I knew what most departments’ roles were; however, Sourcing surprised me with how many relationships they have to create and nurture with suppliers. Even seeing the amount of work that the Sourcing Specialist in my BU does, it is easy to tell how important that position is for the business.

Lesson learned?

Ask questions! Something so simple, and yet most people are too shy or feel like they are overstepping. People love to talk about their experiences, so take advantage of that willingness to learn something new and ask the questions that you want/need to ask.


Mélia buonocore

Book that’s currently on your night stand:Central Park” by Guillaume Musso

Your guilty pleasure: Sleeping in

What accomplishments are you most proud of?

I’m proud of the final project that we presented to the Executive team. We were able to produce a high-quality project in one month, I believe. At first, we took off in a bunch of different directions and we weren’t sure where to align ourselves. We used each of our strengths and inspired ourselves from what we were learning in the different departments in order to complete the assignment that was given to us.

Lesson learned?

Always be prepared for last-minute schedule changes and manage your time properly as new tasks are always being added. What’s more, the company is under constant change and, as such, you need to know how to adapt quickly and have an open mind.


lisa galfré

Person who inspires you: Michelle Obama

Your guilty pleasure: Mille-feuille pastry

 How would you describe the mentors’ role? How have they influenced your experience at Groupe Dynamite?

The mentors are there to assist and support us throughout the program and especially during really busy times. They play a key role in our integration and training.

 Lesson learned?

Everything is a matter of organization, motivation, and passion! If we love what we do, we’ll be motivated and better organized!


ashley galloway

Favourite clothing item: A beige knit cardigan I bought from Garage in 2008 – it’s still my favourite 10 years later

Favourite trend right now: Wide-leg pants

What would you say to someone who is interested in the Graduate Rotational Program but won’t dare apply for it?

DO IT! There are certain things in life that a textbook can’t teach you—you get such valuable first-hand experience and get to meet so many great people.

Lesson learned?

Speak your mind—even if nobody agrees with you, it’s important that you give your opinion and share ideas.

Click here to learn more about our Graduate Rotational Program.

 

Once Upon A Grad

ABOUT LÉA

How did you end up at Groupe Dynamite?

After I graduated, I worked in a recruitment firm for a few months. From that experience, I learned that I loved working in recruitment, but that I wanted to do it in a corporate environment. I have also always wanted to work in the fashion industry. Plus, when I found out that Groupe Dynamite had a grad program, I knew I needed to be a part of it.

Can you briefly describe your academic background?

I completed a Bachelor’s of Commerce with a concentration in Human Resources at UQAM.

What was the highlight of your grad experience?

The highlight of my experience was making friends in the program, getting to meet a lot of people from the business in different departments, networking and being able to use these connections in my career at Groupe Dynamite.

What is your current role at Groupe Dynamite and what does it entail?

I am a Campus Recruiter. I take care of the recruitment for the Graduate Rotational Program and some of the Summer Internship Program. I also do campus events and host networking and recruiting events. On top of that, I also take care of integrating the new grads and managing the new cohorts.

What do you enjoy most about working on the graduate program?

The part I enjoy most is meeting new, young talent and helping them launch their career and develop throughout the year.

So far, what are you most proud of?

Seeing grads I have hired being happy in their roles and succeeding in their careers.

ADVICE FOR FUTURE GRADS

What advice would you give a young grad who would like to work at GD?

I would advise students to try and get some retail experience while they are still in school. Having this experience helps future grads understand the retail business from the ground up and we value that. More importantly, however, we like people that are passionate, self-starters and willing to always grow and evolve in the fashion industry.

As a young grad, how did you feel supported at Groupe Dynamite?
What opportunities does the company have to offer upcoming graduates?

I felt supported by my Managers and Directors and was happy to have been given that trust and guidance. When I started in my role, I was quickly given projects where my opinion mattered and where I felt like my voice was being heard!

In your opinion, what sets Groupe Dynamite apart from other companies?

What sets us apart is the power we give to the younger generation. Your ideas will be heard and valued and you have the power to make a difference and put your stamp on things.

 

Helena Dalamagas, Product Manager

Q&A with a Mentor from our Graduate Rotational Program.

Q1: What qualities make a grad stand out?

It is really about having that passion for learning, as well as being able to adapt quickly! No two days are the same! You really need to be able to take daily challenges and run with them. 

Q2: As a mentor, how do you contribute to their journey?

My main goal as a mentor is to be transparent and open. I’m also there to answer any questions/concerns they might have along the way.

Q3: What values do you want to instill in them?

The key value that I hope to foster in the grads during this experience is humility. These new graduates are the best of the best and have been selected to work here for a reason. My hope is that they continue to want to learn and grow, and that they truly appreciate this amazing program we offer as a company!

Q4: What key lessons do you want to leave them with?

My entire career, I have thrived on being a hard worker and a team player, and embraced all challenges that were thrown at me! I believe this is so important for the growth of any employee and I truly hope the grads can take that away from the time we spend together.

Q5: What tips would you give to students to ensure that they make the best of the Graduate Rotational Program?

Ask questions!!!

Q6: In your opinion, which elements create a successful relationship between a mentor and a mentee?

It’s all about being open and honest. Trust the mentors’ experience; passing on our knowledge is key to their success.  

Mini Survey

  1. Your mentor/person who inspires you: My mom is my biggest inspiration! 
  2. Your favourite clothing item/accessory: My Top Shop wrap-around sandals! 
  3. One place in Montreal where we would run into you: At my husband’s restaurant, Restaurant New Milano!!! 
  4. Your style icon: I love Kendall Jenner’s style! 
  5. Your favourite trend right now: Midi dresses
  6. Your dream destination: Saint-Tropez, France
  7. The word you use most often: “A smidge”
  8. In high school, you dreamt of becoming… A teacher! 
  9. To take your mind off of things, you… Take a bath! 
  10. Your guilty pleasure: I love watching Keeping up with the Kardashians! 

Click here to learn more about our Graduate Rotational Program.

Click here to read our Q&A with Nathalia Liendo, a Graduate from our Spring 2016 Graduate Rotational Program.

Nathalia Liendo, Finance

Q&A with a Graduate from our Spring 2016 Graduate Rotational Program.

Q1: Before beginning your experience with us, what did you hope to gain from the Graduate Rotational Program? What were your expectations?

I knew that it was going to be a very busy 8 weeks, but full of projects and valuable lessons.

Q2: What were some key lessons that you learnt during the program’s 8 weeks?

The fashion industry changes constantly and it’s surprising to see at which level the departments maintain their stability and continue to collaborate, despite these changes. Everything is interrelated.

Q3: Which job surprised you the most?

Working in the Distribution Centre. It’s incredible to see the amount of orders we receive and how they’re handled! Having studied logistics and operations management, the experience was truly exciting and inspiring. 

Q4: Which project or accomplishment are you most proud of?

I loved working on a project with the Regional Product Intelligence (RPI) team. It was a very realistic experience that made me feel like I was in the shoes of an RPI specialist! I attended conference calls with different stores to further analyze the performance of certain styles. It was very gratifying. 

Q5: How was your integration at Groupe Dynamite?

Before starting the rotations, we benefited from two weeks of integration with all 21 graduates. This allowed us to create strong bonds with each other, and I immediately felt reassured. We became like a small family!

Q6: What would you say to someone who is interested in the Graduate Rotational Program but won’t dare apply for it?

No one should hesitate to apply for this! It’s really an amazing experience. I think it’s the best way to expose yourself to the company’s vision. The more we get to know the company, the better we can perform in this industry.

Q7: How would you describe the mentors’ role? How have they influenced your experience at Groupe Dynamite?

The mentors are very involved. They are so passionate about their work, making the experience that much more rewarding. They know how to pique our curiosity and this makes us want to learn even more. 

Q8: What important lesson did you learn from a mentor? Do you think it will be useful in your career?

Think before you act and do one thing at a time. Because we are in the process of learning, there is a strong desire to want to understand things quickly and to participate in every single project. I learnt the importance of having an overall perspective of projects in which I am involved, but making sure to concentrate on one thing at time.

Mini Survey

  1. Your mentor/person who inspires you: My parents! 
  2. Your favourite clothing item/accessory: My rings because they each represent a special stage in my life. 
  3. One place in Montreal where we would run into you: Either at an ice cream shop or a Chinese restaurant
  4. Your style icon: Classic one: Coco Chanel!
  5. Your favourite trend right now: Ripped jeans and cold shoulder t-shirt 
  6. Your dream destination: Hawaii
  7. The word you use most often: OMG!
  8. In high school, you dreamt of becoming… a doctor 🙂 
  9. To take your mind off of things, you… listen to some good Latin music and relax. 
  10. Your guilty pleasure: Dairy Queen ice cream, especially the cheesecake Blizzard, yummy!

Click here to learn more about our Graduate Rotational Program.

Click here to read our Q&A with Helena Dalamagas, a Mentor from our Graduate Rotational Program.

Meeting Cassandra Syms

My adventure with Groupe Dynamite began in June, 2015, while in the Graduate Rotational Program’s second cohort. Since then, I’ve taken on the role of Business Process Coordinator.

I’ve always wanted to work in the fashion industry. After my studies, I didn’t hesitate to apply to Groupe Dynamite, being the only fashion retailer in Quebec to offer this kind of program.

The Graduate Rotational Program offers a complete and very educational learning experience. During the program, I had the chance to rotate between several departments, such as Finance, Merchandising, Allocation, Planning, International, Sourcing, etc. In addition to being exposed to different departments, I was able to understand how they interact with each other, and how they work together from the beginning of a product’s design to its arrival in stores.

At the end of the program, we were asked to use the new skills we had learnt during our rotation and put them to the test. In teams, we were given an hour to resolve a case, and then we had ten minutes to present it to an audience. The head of the program told us that many people were invited, but few confirmed their presence. When we entered the room where we’d be presenting, everyone was there: the President, all Vice Presidents and Directors, as well as all the program mentors. It was a very impressive and memorable moment.

Upon my integration into the team, I had the opportunity to work on large-scale projects that had an impact on many areas of the business. I also had the chance to work with employees at all levels of the company, whether it was to improve a process with the Director of Continuous Improvement or to prepare analyses for the Vice President of Sourcing. What I love the most: it’s the team that I work with that is truly helping me evolve in my role and acquire new skills.

All in all, Groupe Dynamite’s Graduate Rotational Program is a unique opportunity to get an overview of the company. It’s also a chance to meet inspirational leaders who have participated in the worldwide growth of the company and all of its success.

Finally, it’s an exceptional opportunity to create friendships with other motivated and passionate graduates.

Mini Survey

  1. Your mentor/person who inspires you: My big brother!
  2. Your favourite clothing item/accessory: My Rosefield watch
  3. One place in Montreal where we would run into you: Piknic Electronik
  4. Your style icon: Rumi Neely
  5. Your favourite trend right now: The bomber jacket, especially with a flowered print!
  6. Your dream destination: India
  7. The word you use most often: God!
  8. In high school, you dreamt of becoming… a designer
  9. To take your mind off of things, you… eat sushi while drinking wine
  10. Your guilty pleasure: Justin Bieber