Sam’s Club is the giant, membership-based, Walmart-owned, bulk superstore. Thoughts of a warehouse with floor-to-ceiling offerings come to mind more often than being a personable, community-focused store, but it’s that too.
Sam’s Club has been a partner of Bridges from School to Work for some time, and notably have had two Chicago participants win accolades for their flying success: Monica Murillo won Associate of the Month in August 2017, and Gabriel Carrasco won Associate of the Month in November before winning Associate of the Year.
Gabriel has always been a hard worker. When he entered Infinity Math, Science and Technology High School as a freshman, he enrolled in special education classes with full support from special education teachers. Over the years, Gabriel worked hard and gradually became less reliant on his special education teachers, and was taking AP classes by senior year. He graduated from high school with honors.
His case manager at Infinity, Kerrie Treacy, recommended Gabriel to Bridges. He was very polite and respectful, was a self-starter with a strong work ethic, and was always willing to help others. Kerrie could see that Gabriel’s maturity and positive attitude towards his academics would lend to success in the workplace, and he would truly benefit from Bridges’ job placement services.
When Gabriel first entered the program, he was extremely shy and reserved. Although he attended every meeting and was focused and attentive, he was extremely hesitant to accept any of the job leads being presented by Bridges. After turning down multiple opportunities, Kerrie and I spoke with Gabriel to understand why he was turning down so many employment openings. Gabriel confided in us that he was nervous and did not know if he would be successful on the job.
The truth is, no one knows if they will or will not be successful if they don’t try. We encouraged him to apply, and go to an interview. If he got the job, he still had the option to turn it down if he felt too nervous.
That turned out to be just the encouragement he needed. Gabriel took the very next opportunity to apply for, prepare for, and accept a cashier position at Sam’s Club.
Gabriel is held in high regard by many of his managers, and sees every opportunity as a chance for victory. He regularly leads all cashiers in the store’s monthly cashier competitions for obtaining most renewed memberships and upgrades!
So much of success lies in trust, and taking chances. We are fortunate to have the relationship with Infinity that recommended Gabriel to us, and the mutual trust that has been built up over the past 3+ years.
I’d like to end with the note from Gabriel, that expresses his excitement in his own words:
“I just wanted to take a second and say thank you because today they put up my picture for Associate of the year at Sams 🙂
When we first started looking at jobs I remember how I wasn’t even sure about working and now I’m 19 years old with the title of ‘Associate of the year’ on my resume and that’s insane to me.
You found the best place for me to work at! I’m a great salesman, I bring in insane numbers for the front end, for Scan & Go, and I truly enjoy working there. I just wanted to take a moment and say thank you so much!”
Written by Jason Smola, Employer Representative in the Chicago Bridges office