Cole: A Manager at Walmart in Rochester, MN!

Cole from Walmart

Cole began his journey at Walmart 3 years ago as a Grocery Associate, a position he held for two years. As his time at Walmart went on, he became friends with the Department Manager of the Frozen Food section and began working in that department for about 9 months. As he was nearing his almost 3 year anniversary at Walmart, he wanted to try something new. He saw a job opening for the Department Manager of Candy and decided to apply. Cole received the position 3 months ago and has been hard at work ever since. As the Department Manager, Cole is responsible for making sure the entire area is stocked. Anything that isn’t stocked, he must document digitally as well as alert the stock room to ensure it is prepared to be stocked. He essentially has complete responsibility for ensuring this area of the store is functioning for guests to have a smooth shopping experience.

Before working at Walmart, Cole had never been formally employed. He did lawn work for neighbors, but nothing in a setting quite like Walmart. After high school, he began working with Opportunity Services on job development and resume building, two important pre-employment steps that were missed by his high school teachers who had little faith in his ability to succeed past his secondary education. However, he did not let the lack of faith placed in him deter him from following hopes at a meaningful career. He worked with Opportunity Services to produce a resume and sift through job openings. Cole eventually decided to seek employment at Walmart. Since obtaining his job, he has been able to develop and grow as an employee as well as a person.

He has a deep determination for proving those who doubt him wrong. Growing up, the phrases “you can’t do that,” or “you will never be able to become that,” were all too familiar to him. However, he never let them defeat them–in fact, the only influence they ever had on him was the influence of empowerment. Teachers told Cole he would never have a job. Now, he is a manager. He was told he would never be able to drive. Now he has his permit and will begin ‘Behind the Wheel’ Driving Courses in the coming weeks. This trend will be exciting to follow to see the adversity Cole will continue to overcome.

“Opportunity Services has encouraged me to understand it’s important to not give up and just ‘give it a shot.'” shared Cole explaining how Opportunity Services has helped him along his employment journey.¬†“The core inspiration of Cole’s story is his ability to not accept negative statements as fact, but using them as motivation. It really shows that no one can create an identity for someone else, people can only create identities for themselves,” shared Cole’s job coach Vince Deming, an Employment Specialist in Rochester, MN.

Cole enjoys working at Walmart and sharing information about his roles and responsibilities while informing people about the hard work that gets done. One of his favorite tasks to do is capping bins and working on the displays. He has made good friends at work and shares a lot of laughs with them. Outside of his busy work schedule, Cole enjoys trapshooting, fishing, and spending time with his family and friends. We at Opportunity Services are so inspired by Cole’s determination! We look forward to seeing all that Cole will achieve throughout the rest of his successful career.