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Canadian Tire is committed to developing the next generation of leaders. New graduate programs at Canadian Tire are a fantastic opportunity—they are focused on identifying top graduating and alumni talent and setting participants up for success throughout their careers.

Daniella De Tina is an emerging marketing specialist. Here’s her take on what it means to pursue a new graduate opportunity at Canadian Tire.

1. How did you get the job?

I applied online! It was in the September and October timeframe and I knew I had to start thinking about what I would do once I finished up my coursework. I did a co-op MBA at McMaster. Canadian Tire had always been an interest of mine, specifically because it’s a born and bred Canadian company. A lot of the co-ops I had done in the past were with companies headquartered in the US. I didn’t want to work with a company that used a cookie-cutter solution for Canada.

About three weeks after I applied I got a call and did a 30-minute phone interview right on the spot. Then, after the phone call, they told me I was advancing. I did a case study—it was so unique to all my other job interview experience. I was successful in the case process, so I got to present it to some senior executives here at Canadian Tire—very exciting! Going through the interview process actually made me want it more.

2. What does a typical day look like for you?

First thing in the morning, I spend some time getting oriented for my day. Then, I typically have two to three meetings per day with different cross-functional teams.

The role I’m in right now is a marketing planning role so we work with everyone from digital to flyer to strategic marketing to brand to plan marketing by year, through season. We work in seven seasons. Once a week, I have a one-on-one with my manager but I’d have to say that a typical day is half spent at my desk and half in meetings.

3. What do you enjoy most about your role?

I enjoy that each day I come to work I’m challenged with a new problem, situation, or a new way of thinking. It gets me out of my comfort zone and helps me think outside the box. And, I love seeing the results of my work on the consumer. When you’re working on a marketing campaign and you get to see it go live online or on TV, you see how your friends and family ingest that content and react to it.

4. Talk about one of your greatest achievements in your role here

My greatest achievement so far has been leading the season one kick-off cross-functional session. For each season we plan from a marketing point of view, we do a kick-off meeting with all cross-functional teams from PR to Canadian Tire Financial Services (CTFS) to Canadian Tire Petroleum. Everyone comes to the table and they see what we’re planning for season one—so, January and February of 2016. Being able to work with the teams to get content, bring it together, and lead the meeting was really rewarding and it was great to have ownership over that. It’s also awesome to see it all executed over the next four months.

5. Talk about your greatest challenge

For me, personally, understanding how each functional area works with the rest of the business is huge. Canadian Tire is a very large organization and it’s been important for me to get to know all areas of the business and how they play a part, even if I’m not working with them on a regular basis.

6. How do you feel you’ve contributed to the business during your time in this program?

Because of the nature of this marketing program, I’ve been able to contribute and bring something new as a student. I’ve been a different voice at the table.

The fact that I’ll be working in three different areas over the course of my time here means I’ll be able to bring key learning from my first role into the second and the third. For instance, understanding how all the different teams work together will help me in my next role when I do a deep dive on a project, I’ll be able to understand the lead times other cross-functional teams have.

7. What are you working on right now?

Our team has taken over some components of promotional marketing. We’re doing a lot of change management when it comes to keeping people accountable to their timelines and using new tools internally. It’s a huge project I’m getting exposure to.

8. What surprised you about working at Canadian Tire?

It’s a very young and exciting company. When I thought of Canadian Tire before I came here, I saw it as a 93-year old company and expected the atmosphere to be more traditional and a little more corporate. Specifically in marketing, there are a lot of young people; it’s very fun … we go out after work. I’ve become friends with my colleagues.

9. What lessons from your time at Canadian Tire will you carry through your career?

It’s really important to build your network and get out of your comfort zone to socialize, whether it’s volunteering or just having coffee with someone in a different business area. Being able to build your knowledge about what other functions in the company do and having touch points across the business will really help you excel in your role.

10. What advice do you have for a new graduate applying for a program at Canadian Tire?

Be yourself. They’re looking for someone who’s comfortable in their own skin. Don’t try to be something you’re not and make sure to play to your strengths.