Interview with Carly

We know that everybody is out there doing their Christmas shopping and we wanted to showcase a fantastic inclusive employer where you can pick up many items on your list. We chose to highlight this employer from the job seeker’s perspective.


Carly has worked for Winners since 2014 in the shoe department. Her passion is fashion and Carly has been able to utilize this in the work she does every week for Winners.


This interview has been edited for clarity and length.


What was your employment experience like before you came to Gateway for support? 

It was good! I was working at a bridal shop before I came to Gateway.


What led you to come to Gateway for employment supports? 

I was working another job at a bridal shop and I wanted some support in getting a second job to try something new. I still work at both jobs!


Take me through the process you went through with the employment team at Gateway.

It was really good, and fun! They helped me go through the employment process and find success. It was convenient for me.


Where do you currently work? 

I’m working at Winners in St. Albert and I love it! I organize shoes in the shoe department to make it nice and clean, and nice and neat.


How long have you worked here? 

For 5 years now. I started when I was in grade 12, so a long time ago!


What was the application and interview process like to get this job? 

It was kind of challenging because I can’t read. But I had support from people to help me go through the application, and the interview went really well!


What does your typical day look like at work? 

On a typical day I organize the shoes and make it nice and clean for the customers. So, I do the size 5’s, 5.5’s, 6s, 6.5’s, 7.5’s, I could go on and on. I love making it nice and neat for the customers and I love interacting with the customers – it’s really nice. I’ll get a cart or basket for them or say things like “That’s a nice pair of shoes – they would look really nice with skinny jeans!” or “you could dress them up or dress them down!” I like helping them with styling a bit.


What is your favorite part of your job? 

Being with people and being with the team. It’s very nice to have the huddle and talk about the day and the goals. It’s very neat and very nice. I love the huddles because we talk about different things. Sometimes people don’t understand me a little bit – like new faces might not understand me, but when I see old faces they understand me just like that. I really love it there, it keeps me nice and grounded.


What has been one of your biggest work accomplishments? 

I really like keeping the shoes organized every day.


What would you like to see change in the typical employment process? 

Nothing – it was great, and I found success.


Where do you see yourself in the next few years?

I really love my job and working so I hope to do that as long as I can.


What are some of your passions outside of work? 

Well I actually have some really great news – I am going to be in the Paralympics for Sloan Skiing in February in Calgary! I am a little nervous because it will be 3 days, but I’m also really excited. I know it’s months and months away, but I am really looking forward to it! I also really like working out, hanging out with family, being positive, and doing some weight lifting.


What has been one of your biggest accomplishments outside of work? 

I practiced walking the route from work to my gym, and home. My parents helped me practice safety and all that, and now I feel confident doing it on my own. It really helped me with my independence.


Do you feel a sense of belonging in your community? 

Yes, I really feel like I have a voice in the community. I volunteer in the community too – at a hospital gift shop, which is really nice. I need a bit of help from my community support to help with cash payments, but I’m really good with the debit machines.


What is your favourite part about Edmonton? 

I love Edmonton because it’s very busy! I really like going to West Edmonton Mall to shop around and I also really like going to the science centre! I was born here, but we moved to Ottawa for a while for my dad’s work. We moved back here a while ago now and I’m so happy to be back!


Are there any causes you feel strongly about? 

I’ve been helping a lady in St. Albert since 2016. She had her 4 kids abducted by her ex-husband. I heard her story and I tried figuring out “what can I do?” Then I had a good idea – to tie yellow ribbons all around St. Albert to raise awareness about child abduction. I love being involved in St. Albert.


What are your aspirations outside of work? 

Make it to the “Olympics Olympics”, you know – trying to make it. And maybe hold the torch one day. I’m hoping to have disabilities represented and for people to be proud of who they are and to be understanding.