Soaring Skills
It's pretty simple: give back to others

How One Tech Associate Uses Her Skills to Give Back

 

June 1, 2020

By TJ Stallbaumer, Corporate Affairs

 

Walmart Global Tech associate Stephanie Huy has learned a lot in her 23-year career with Walmart, but she’s able to boil it down easily.

 

“I love working with diverse teams in tech to solve a common goal,” she said. The principal technical program manager has been a part of several teams, coordinating around 50 of them in advance of Black Friday and taking In-stock Assistant to new heights. But when Stephanie isn’t working, she’s using some of the skills she learns at work to give back to her community.

Learn at Work, Give Back at Large

Stephanie’s work in her community doesn’t always get far from her role as an associate. Her time at Walmart has taught her the importance of interaction with teammates, and led her into a mentoring role with Path Forward, a nonprofit that helps people restart their careers after time focused on caregiving.

 

“The mentoring program was a really great opportunity for me,” Stephanie said. “It combines intense, on-the-job training that ultimately allows Walmart to decide if they want to hire the person being mentored.”

 

After working with a mentee for four months, things came full circle for Stephanie.

 

Her mentee, who is still with Walmart, was hired into a role Stephanie once held. Now, she too spends at least half of the year preparing Walmart for Black Friday. For Stephanie, it was a rare merger of the things that allow her to be a great associate, and a great member of the Northwest Arkansas community.

 

“My time mentoring for Path Forward was really the intersection of my role as an associate and the opportunity to give back,” Stephanie said.

 

Stephanie is also deeply involved with Open Avenues, a nonprofit that focuses on providing essential services for adults with disabilities. She says her time there is meaningful personally, and for all those it serves.

 

After the organization’s annual fundraiser got stuck in a rut, she was able to help change take flight.

 

“For 20 years, we did the same fundraiser,” Stephanie said. “But last year, we decided to change it up, launching an event called SOAR at Drake Field in Fayetteville. I led the coordination of vendors and sponsors, and we saw a sold-out crowd – bringing around 10,000 people.”

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Investing in Technology is Investing in Associates

While Stephanie’s focus outside of work is on giving back to the NWA community, her focus inside work is on using technology to make the lives of associates easier.

 

Her work on In-stock Assistant covers in-store technology that helps associates work smarter and faster, so customers find things on the shelves when they need them.

 

“The entire goal of In-stock Assistant is to make sure that product is on the shelf, so that when our customers want a product, it’s there for them,” Stephanie said. “We’re putting associates in a place that allows them to help customers even more, and do work that doesn’t seem like a random task, but is backed by technology. When they go to stock, they can see that an item was in need, and ensure it’s available for the customer.”

 

As the In-stock Assistant program is continually enhanced, products like the autonomous Auto-S (which stands for ‘scan’) robot are taking automation to the next level.

 

“As we continue to invest in technology, our teams here in tech also see it as investing in associates,” Stephanie said.

Time Well Spent

For Stephanie, the theme underlying her work – both professionally and personally – is pretty simple: to give back to others, on some level.

 

She believes working at Walmart makes it easy to get involved in the community, and she urges others who can to do the same.

 

“I can promise, once you get involved in one organization, you’ll feel get such a benefit out of knowing you helped it to reach its goals, and you helped make a difference in the lives of people it serves,” Stephanie said. “The value of it all is that if you like to help people, and you like to feel part of something greater, it only takes a little time to make a meaningful difference.”

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