Old Navy

November 15, 2021

Bethany Carpenter, on Old Navy’s Allocation team, began her career with the brand through the IMR program. Hear from Bethany about what a day in the life looks like in the IMR rotation!

What does a typical day look like for you in the IMR program?
A typical day usually starts off with classroom instruction or time with your coach. Getting to have these frequent check-ins with your coach is a beneficial time to ask questions, learn something new, or job shadow. You’ll also have plenty of time for hands-on learning – through the classroom sessions where you get to participate both individually and in small groups, and through activities your coach has set up for you. Something I really enjoyed was the “Meet a Leader” series, a Q&A session on Fridays joined by various leaders across the business who gave us the opportunity to learn more about their role and the journey they took to get there.

What has been your favorite part of the program thus far?
My favorite part of the program is the amount of support you get from all directions and various levels. At the beginning, you’re paired up with a coach, buddy, and mentor who all are dedicated to your learning and success in the program. The coach plays an integral role as they meet with you multiple times a week (sometimes multiple times a day!) to make sure you’re on pace with your learning. Additionally, there’s an IMR committee that hosts office hours and homeroom sessions for general help and questions, as well as classroom instructors who make themselves available if support is needed. Having access to all these resources with various skillsets allows for quick learning!

What has been the most challenging? How were you able to overcome it?
The most challenging part has been learning the lingo – there’s a lot of different terminology that can be intimidating when you don’t know what much of it means. I found that taking really good notes, and always jotting something down that I didn’t know so I could ask about it later, eventually got me more fluent in speaking with these various terms every day. The best part is everyone is always willing to answer your question! Learning is a journey, and the entire team is helpful in providing answers you need. 

What has been your experience of going through the program remotely?
The remote learning experience has been a breeze. My coach, buddy, and mentor all make sure to spend quality time with me via Zoom and check in to see how I’m doing. Utilizing chat functions, such as Teams, is an easy way to get a message and response out quickly which is just as helpful as picking up the phone or walking over a couple desks! Even when it comes to IT help, the team is very responsive and takes care of any issue with speed.

What has been your biggest learning since joining the IMR program?
My biggest learning has been to trust the process. I’ve been so impressed and encouraged by the cooperative and positive attitude from all the IM leaders. At first, I felt intimidated stepping into a role I had never done before, feeling like I should know more or have more experience, but this is what the IMR program provides you! There’s an understanding that you’ll start out knowing very little, with the confidence that you’ll graduate knowing so much more! Even upon graduating, you get the assurance from your team and the support committee that you will continue to learn and gain proficiency as you step into your role and take on new challenges.

How was your experience transitioning from field to HQ?
The experience was great. The tech teams within HQ did a fantastic job getting everything set up to support a smooth transition systematically and technically. Previous Field-to-HQ IMR graduates are also helpful in making you feel more at ease by speaking to their experience and giving you tips and tricks for what helped them along the way.

Any advice for incoming IMRs?
Don’t be afraid to ask lots of questions! If you can’t work a question in when you think of it, write it down to ask later. Also, your peers in your IMR group can be a huge support system! Take advantage of being able to work with multiple teams and people as it will just widen your circle of support. My IMR group set up different coffee chat hours where we could talk about our learning, encourage each other, and have a few laughs to stay connected.

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