A Mentorship Bonded into Family
04/29/2022 · Newsroom Highlight
Not knowing what he wanted to do after graduating high school, Antonio Cummings was introduced to Wegmans through our work scholarship program in Prince George’s County, Maryland. Shortly after being hired, Antonio was intrigued by the many different career paths he could pursue within the company.
“From the day I was hired, everyone at the Woodmore Wegmans wanted to see me succeed – at work, in my education, and in my personal life,” says Antonio. “Once I started college, my manager encouraged me to apply for the management intern program at Wegmans.”
Our management internship allows college students the opportunity to explore different areas of the company. Interns work 40 hours a week each summer, rotating through different store departments and learning helpful skills for future management roles. Through the program, interns are also introduced to a mentor. Antonio was assigned to Clarence, a Deli Manager at our Hunt Valley, Maryland store.
“During mine and Clarence’s first meeting, our time was spent getting to know each other,” says Antonio. “He asked me what my goals were and assured me that he would work hard to provide me with the tools and resources I needed to be successful. Over the next few months, our mentorship turned into something much more. I consider him like family now. Clarence has taught me that leading by example shows integrity, and this is something I’ve applied to both my work and my personal life.”
Similar to Antonio, Clarence had also applied for a job at Wegmans without knowing exactly what he wanted his long-term career path to be, and once hired, took advantage of development opportunities presented to him. Starting as a part-time overnight grocery stocker, Clarence expressed interest in learning more about the business. He was recommended for our management trainee (MT) program, a similar, but more robust program than our MI program. MTs enter an accelerated training program aimed at enriching participants’ knowledge of the overall business while grooming them for a leadership role. During his time as an MT, Clarence trained as the overnight grocery manager, learning all the ins and outs of the department and how to manage a large team. Since then, he’s spent time in the deli and produce departments. His goal is to become a perishable area manager where he would oversee the store’s produce, floral, bakery, seafood, meat, cheese, and deli departments.
“Over the past 11 years at Wegmans, every experience I’ve had has been a steppingstone to the next opportunity,” says Clarence. “Mentoring Antonio has been very rewarding. He is a remarkable employee who sets high standards for himself and his team. Not only have I seen him grow over the past few years, but I’ve also learned a lot about myself through this mentorship. I’ve realized how important it is to know your people, both on a professional and personal level. As a manager, knowing what motivates your team members and what their passions are can allow me to personalize my management style to each individual.”
“I’m grateful that Wegmans has this mentorship program, allowing its employees to take time away from their day job to support and guide one another,” continues Clarence. “Antonio and I have built a lifelong relationship from this experience, and I hope others in the company will benefit from this experience as much as we have.”