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Dylan Glowinkowski

SFU Student Undergraduate
Science › Biomedical Physiology + Kinesiology › Active Rehabilitation & Exercise Therapy
Co-operative Education › Local Co-op

Curating each customer's experience in finding the right shoe to match their needs is more than retail sales. My supportive team has provided me with immense knowledge and transferrable skills to move forward professionally.
Experience Details
Application and Interview Tips
  • Do your research about the company. Understanding the company's mission, values, culture, popular brands they carry, and customer population. This will give you an idea of the questions you may be asked during the interview to adequately prepare for them.

  • Along with knowing how to answer common questions you may be asked, you want to also be asking your questions during the interview. This helps to show interest in the position, build a relationship with the interviewer, and make the interview become more of a conversation instead of a one-way question-answer session. You can ask questions about the position, the company, and even the interviewer.

Introduction + Preparation

I familiarized myself with the general products the store sold, including shoes, insoles, socks, shoe care equipment, and running accessories. From the interview, I was specifically told Birkenstock was one of their best-sellers, so I made sure to gain a general understanding of them before my first day.

Previous Experience

I worked three years at Petland as a Pet Counselor before joining The Right Shoe, so I was familiar with many aspects such as using a point of sale (POS) system, general store appearance and cleanliness, and assessing customer's needs so I can recommend products that would work for them.

During my Experience
Orientation and First Weeks

My orientation consisted of learning the POS system that was used, store procedures and policies, and getting familiar with the layout of the store. We would often go through the stock room to get familiar with where each shoe is kept.

The first few weeks consisted of practicing using the POS system any chance I had and shadowing my coworkers when they were helping customers. This was very useful not only to learn about the different shoes and what we could recommend for certain types of customers, but also to learn how to converse with a customer in general to keep a conversation flowing. We would also broadly go over one or two shoe brands a day to gain some foundational knowledge.

Day to Day

When opening I will complete general cleaning duties like sweeping, vacuuming, and wiping down high-touch surfaces. Then, when we are open, most of my day consists of recommending shoes to customers to fit their lifestyle and health goals. When I'm not helping customers, I may brush up on my product knowledge by researching online, or engaging in discussions with my coworkers about our footwear.

Learning and Adaptation

Learning the POS system was fairly simple. Initially, it was very overwhelming with the sheer amount of shoes that I was going to need to learn about. However, everybody was very understanding and encouraging, offering similar stories and experiences. You are never rushed to learn and somebody is always available to aid you. They allow you to continue shadowing until you feel confident enough to help customers on your own. Even then, someone will keep an eye on you in case you need any help. 

It took me about a month to feel comfortable enough to help customers and within a few weeks after, I started to feel very confident in my ability to assist customers and confident in my product knowledge and ability to suggest appropriate shoes.

Wrap Up

Working at The Right Shoe has allowed me to gain a deeper understanding of how the proper shoes and insoles can support a happy, healthy foot. The amazing team helped me make the most of my experience and the amount of knowledge I was able to gain. The interpersonal skills gained will undoubtedly aid me as I advance through my education and for future job opportunities.

Reflection & Tips
Most Valuable Aspects of This Experience

As someone who aspires to be a physiotherapist, this experience has benefitted me in multiple ways. From BPK 241, we learn to ask the question, "What type of shoes are you wearing?" when assessing lower-body injuries. This position provides insight into why this question is asked, as well as how to assess someone's footwear and suggest potential improvements.

This position allows you to practice how a physiotherapist would ask questions and conduct tests aiming to identify ailments and provide appropriate assistance. You perform needs assessments and tests such as a gait analysis with customers in order to determine which shoes and/or insoles will help them. You also get to apply your knowledge about common foot pathologies such as plantar fasciitis, bunions, and neuromas during this process.