Anna Namenya is a Supervisor of the Detergent and Personal Hygiene section at Carrefour Supermarket. The third-year law student says her position at the supermarket has not only helped kickstart her career but also helped reshape her personal life. We caught up with her for a brief chat and below are the excerpts.
1: Briefly tell us about yourself.
I am a third-year law student at Makerere University. I am passionate about so many things including myself first, I alsolove leadership and administration.
I come from a family of eight; three girls and five boys. I am the first born and still stay with my parents, my mum and dad.
Working at Carrefour has enabled me to achieve many things,including facilitating my education. This is my second degreeafter the Business Administration one which was paid for by my parents. Since my passion is law, I decided to pursue it as my second degree and my Carrefour salary supports my tuition fees.
2: Share with us your experience working at CarrefourUganda.
I would say it has been an amazing one. I got to know aboutCarrefour from a friend who had seen a job advert from the Ministry of Gender. I was informed that we were supposed to deliver our resumes to the ministry and then wait for the next steps. I was later called in for the first interview where I sawmany applicants just like me. Initially I applied as a stocker, went to the interview, gave it my best shot and then luckily I got the job.
However, later I was called and informed that the panel from the interview felt I could do better in another position. I was thencalled in for a second interview for the position of supervisor. I excelled in that interview as well and was rewarded with the role. It was an amazing moment and I’ve continued to learn and grow since then. Examples like mine point to the reasons why Carrefour is an employer of choice internationally — it’s a brand that invests in careers as much as the growth of the industry.
3: It has been over a year since Carrefour opened its doors to the Ugandan public, what has stood out for you?
Throughout my career, I have always heard employers saying,“employees are the cornerstone of every business” but had never seen it really being practiced. At Carrefour, I have noticed that human capital is the basis of the brand’s progress and we are always put first. To me, that is amazing because if I’m not ok for instance, then I will not perform. I love the fact that this has really stood out prominently at Carrefour; the fact that theyprioritise my wellbeing.
4: The past year has been a very challenging one especially for the retail sector. What experience has the Carrefour response to the pandemic taught you?
When COVID-19 had just been confirmed in Uganda, Carrefour was there to support us. Me and my colleagues saw how a massive brand could mobilise quickly to keep everyone safe and inspire colleagues to play their part in protecting themselves and the community. Carrefour put together a market-wide process for sanitisation and social distancing that each of us had a role in upholding.
Signage was seen everywhere, and many discussions were held to keep us informed during times of such uncertainty. They alsotaught us how to protect ourselves from the pandemic through awareness training that was mandatory for all colleagues. This showed us all that they actually cared about us and that besides business, our lives also mattered. To me that was really outstanding.
5: Where do you see yourself in the next five years?
As a law student, I believe that in the next five years I will have completed my diploma. I also have to remember that it is difficult to know where we will all be, but I am hopeful. I had hoped that 2020 would have seen me get to a certain level but the whole year was disrupted by COVID-19. Having said that, I believe in the next five years, I will have started my own practice or joined one. I also hope that by then, my foundation will be well established and will have seen more people come on board to appreciate its goal.
6: As a supervisor at Carrefour, how much has the brandinfluenced your personal life?
As a supervisor there is more than meets the eye. There are different people that you are leading, and I am glad that I havethis challenge. I am a quick learner and initially wanted everyone to be as quick as me. As a result, I found myself having challenges with colleagues.
However, Carrefour introduced a training programme where we were taught how to accommodate and live with different people. To me this training was so helpful because I have applied the knowledge received to my personal life. I have learnt to live with different people and appreciate that people have different ways in which they handle situations.
I am so grateful that Carrefour has not only helped me pay for my tuition, but it has also helped me live a decent life. For instance, during the lockdown, Carrefour continued to pay my full salary. This helped me and my entire family continue to lead life as if everything was normal.