Diplomas and Detours: An Associate’s Unlikely Adventure

Dwight Stewart’s path to becoming an associate at Walmart is a unique route. His resume is quite the roadmap.


“I think some people, they look at [my resume], and the first thing is like: ‘Wow, how’d you do all that?’” said Dwight.


He has two bachelor’s degrees, two master’s degrees, and a doctorate in psychology. He built a submarine while serving in the Navy. He’s also an ordained minister. Dwight, a father of four, credits his own father for instilling values in him that highlight hard work and a willingness to learn.

Dwight Stewart (second from right) with fellow sailors during his time in the U.S. Navy

“He really pushed me in terms of being the
best you can be,” Dwight said.


The opportunity for Dwight to bring his skills to Walmart arose in an unlikely way. This past March, he was living in Florida. While between jobs, he took a trip to Illinois to visit family and friends. During his visit, the COVID-19 pandemic rattled the country and ignited a shut down in the area. His family strongly urged him to stay put. Dwight began looking for a way to help others. Friends suggested he apply for a position at Walmart. He joined the team at Store 4405 in Aurora as a front-end cashier with the understanding of just how essential the job would be.


“People are locked in due to COVID-19, and I and my associates are probably the only human contact they see other than their household members,” Dwight said. “It’s very rewarding. We’re providing a service that people need.”


He’s been at his new job fewer than two months, but he is already loving it. When asked about experiencing a career change during an unprecedented, worldwide pandemic, he offers this advice:


“If you have focus and you take the appropriate actions, you will be successful. It’s very important to keep yourself safe, keep your family safe and if you’re on the front lines – we appreciate you. The customer appreciates you.”




“If we can put a smile on the customer’s face, it’s a good day for us.”

Dwight Stewart
Front-end Cashier, Store 4405

While Dwight is quick to admit his resume is a rather busy one, he insists he is a down-to-earth guy. He loves to play racquetball. He loves to read, and he loves to cook. In fact, his life experiences have cooked up the perfect recipe for a new and unexpected adventure.


“It’s all about understanding how to interact with people,” said Dwight. “If we can put a smile on the customer’s face, it’s a good day for us.”