From No English to No Limit: Sabina’s Story

February 26, 2020
By Heather Shelton

 

Sabina Zugor’s infectious laugh is the first thing you notice about her. She’s an associate at Store 80 in Columbia, Missouri, and the love and pride she has for Walmart was all she could talk about when we sat down with her recently at a long-term associate celebration.

 

Starting here wasn’t easy. Newly pregnant, Sabina came to America from Bosnia with her husband and didn’t speak any English. She needed to work, so she applied at Walmart.

 

“When I came in for the interview, I told them ‘no English,’” Sabina said. “They still hired me. I said ‘work’ because I didn’t speak any English.” 

 

The language barrier turned out to be a huge hurdle. 

Sabina said...
“A few associates that worked with me wrote down for me, ‘This is my first day at Walmart. Let me find somebody to help you.’ So, I was reading that for a whole month, because I felt bad I couldn’t help customers.”

Co-workers would bring her different items every day to help teach her English. Her store manager would zone alongside her, showing her step-by-step what she needed to do and using every opportunity to teach her new words.

 

“20 years ago, it was hard. Now you have phones, friends that work with you. I had nobody at that store. Everybody spoke English. But you know what, everyone helped me,” she said.

 

“I learned to read, write and speak English at Walmart. And, now I’ve been promoted to Assistant Manager,” said Sabina.

 

Sabina’s desire is to spend the rest of her career at Walmart. We sure hope she does.