Hear Her Story: Q&A With Melissa Charlery, Technician IT Support at Gildan

From intern to employee
Mar 22, 2019 9:00 AM ET
Campaign: Hear Her Story

Melissa Charlery shares her journey from her beginnings at Gildan three years ago as an intern, to securing a full-time position in the company’s IT department. Here is the story of this young’s woman’s personal and professional growth after university:

Q: How did you start here at Gildan?

I applied for an internship job after meeting an HR rep at a University of West Indies career fair. They didn’t call me back right away, so I was a little stressed as the pressure to get an internship was very high but I followed up a few days later and they asked me to come in the very next day!

The internship program was an incredible experience and very challenging. What was most difficult is that you learn things ‘in theory’ at school, but when you go out into the workforce, you find out that it is completely different. Needless to say, the transition from university to work was quite hard for me.  I needed to get used to the transition going from theory to application. When the internship ended, I was asked to stay onboard in a temporary position and then I was offered a full time role!

Q: What helped make the transition from university to work easier?

My supervisor was a huge help. When I didn’t know what to do, I could always count on him for support. What I appreciate most about him is that he doesn’t just give me the right answers; instead he pointed me in the right direction to make sure I could get to my own solutions. Today, I know I can still count on him when I need help.

Q: What do you love about your job?

I love the environment I work in because people are warm and open here. But my favorite part of life at Gildan is that I feel like I’m encouraged to explore new areas of interest. The Company encourages us to always think outside of our specific work. It’s great to actually have the freedom to experiment with new topics, technologies and talk to different people in the company. I also love being able to collaborate with my colleagues in the different hubs.

Q: What valuable lessons have you learned from working on the IT support team?

Patience is definitely the most important one!

As an IT support technician, I am constantly troubleshooting issues and dealing with different people throughout the day. While some issues may seem small and obvious to me, I have to remember to be patient and educate the employee on the issue because the answer may not be as apparent to them.

Q: What is your proudest moment at Gildan?

I guess there is no one moment specifically, I just feel like things naturally clicked into place at Gildan. When I look back at my intern days, I realize how much I’ve grown here. When I started, I was terrified to make a mistake, so I was just very careful. Now I’m much more comfortable in my role and I understand that every mistake is an opportunity to learn something new. I use to be shy, and in some ways I still am, but working here has allowed me to open up and come out of my shell.

Q: If you could go back in time and give yourself any piece of advice on the day you started your internship, what would you tell yourself?

I would say, don’t be so nervous all the time and don’t be afraid to make mistakes!

Click here to read the other stories of the women featured in this series.