Afton took part in our Talent Acceleration Program (TAP) here at PetSmart. This program helps associates partner with leaders and take part in developmental learnings in order to help advance their career. Learn more about her #LifeAtPetSmart and experience as a TAP associate below!
Tell us a bit about your PetSmart journey and career path – where did you start, where are you now, and how did you get there?
Afton: I started at PetSmart as part of the Merch Fulfillment Inventory Analyst (MFIA) Trainee program in June 2016. The trainee program was a great way to not only learn the MFIA job itself, but also to learn about different functional areas within Merchandising and how they interact with one another. After graduating from the trainee program, I was an MFIA for a year before moving into Merchandise Financial Planning, and then transitioning to my current role as a senior analyst on the Corporate Planning team. All of my roles at PetSmart have been in Merchandise Planning & Allocation (MP&A), but I've been able to work with various teams across Store Operations, Services, Marketing, IT and Finance, which I've really enjoyed.
What resources have helped you along the way as you’ve grown your career with PetSmart?
Afton: I engaged with the women's associate resource group, WISE, shortly after starting at PetSmart and the relationships I've made through that organization have been so important both professionally and personally. I truly believe that the people and culture make all the difference in a workplace and the associate resource groups at PetSmart are a key component of fostering those connections and culture.
Can you tell us about your experience as a TAP associate?
Afton: The TAP was a great program that incorporated formal courses, a 360 assessment, mentorship, and, of course, a stretch project. I really enjoyed meeting new people through the program and gained a lot of insights from the 360 assessment and mentorship. I think the additional components of the program beyond the main project made it well-rounded and impactful.
What did you enjoy most about the TAP Associate program?
Brittni: What I enjoyed most about the TAP program was many things. One that stood out the most was the 360 feedback from my peers and managers. This was such an eye-opening experience. It is one thing to think you are on the right track, but it is another to be validated by those you admire and work closely with daily.
Why do you love your life at PetSmart or what are some of your favorite parts?
Afton: One of the reasons I initially considered PetSmart is because of the work PetSmart does in the community. After working here, I can say that our values are not just talk, everyone really does have a passion for pets and people! You also can't beat bringing pets to work; puppy snuggles are never far!
Any advice for those interested in pursuing a TAP Associate program experience? What would you tell them?
Afton: Get to know the other TAP participants and mentors and build relationships! These relationships can be very helpful both professionally and personally and I think a great additional benefit to programs like TAP that some people may forget about.