For many people across the country, working at Walmart means working to restock shelves, assist customers in finding products, and providing friendly customer service. However, BYU Marriott student Katelynne Hinckley, a junior who is double majoring in global supply chain management and Spanish, recently experienced a different side of working with the company.
Hinckley’s experience began when a roommate recommended helping on a project called Dignity of Women in Supply Chain Walmart. The project, organized by BYU Marriott’s Ballard Center for Social Impact, was designed to better the lives of women working in factories in Bangladesh and appealed to Hinckley because it aligned with her career aspirations and personal values.
The project was offered through the Corporate Social Impact Project Class (MSB 491R)—an on-campus internship opportunity that supports companies as those companies work to improve their corporate social responsibility. Hinckley signed up for the class not long after hearing about the project and was soon welcomed onto the project’s team.
As the class progressed throughout the semester, Hinckley was granted an inside look into Walmart’s company culture, where she discovered a business with strong values and a deep commitment to corporate social responsibility. She worked on a team of students and learned the value and importance of effective collaboration to complete a project. One of the most impactful lessons she learned was about principles of true sustainability. “Sustainability is only possible when you take profit, people, and planet into account. If a company is missing one of these elements, it will never be truly sustainable,” says Hinckley.
Hinckley was grateful for the experiences she and her team had during the semester-long project. Upon completion of the course, she had no expectation of continued involvement with Walmart, but when Walmart recruiters returned to BYU Marriott during the Fall 2019 semester, Hinckley saw an opportunity.
The Walmart recruiters were looking for students to fill an internship position at the company’s headquarters in Bentonville, Arkansas. When Hinckley began talking with recruiters, they realized that, in addition to the fact that she already had connections with current employees, she understood the company’s values. Shortly after her recruiter interviews, Hinckley accepted an offer to intern with Walmart after the Winter 2020 semester.
Hinckley looks forward to the opportunity she’s been given, saying that she’s been told by Walmart executives and past interns that her internship will be “an experience that will challenge and stretch her.” She hopes to improve her career network and Microsoft Excel skills while in Arkansas.
For students who want to follow a similar path, Hinckley recommends taking the MSB 491R class. “The experience I gained from my CSIP experience was absolutely invaluable,” she says. Hinckley appreciates the opportunities that the class provided for networking, polishing professional skills, and gaining real-world experience.
To learn more about the corporate social impact project class, click here.
Writer: Zelle Harris