Eight years ago, Brandon put his college education on hold. Today, thanks to Live Better U, he’s on his way to graduating.
Brandon Galvez, a front-end coach at Store 5753 in Alexandria, Virginia, knew he was going to be in a Walmart commercial about the Live Better U program. After all, he’d completed the application process. He’d sat for hours getting his hair and make-up done (while wondering why he was being told he couldn’t leave the trailer for any reason).
What Brandon didn’t realize is that his mom would be a part of the commercial also!
When Brandon was finally allowed “on set” (the training room at his store), he started saying his lines. But suddenly he was surprised to see his mom on the screen behind him.
“They have a video clip of my mother talking while I was trying to present,” he recalls. “I was caught off guard. I was like, ‘Okay, this is weird. What's going on? Why is she on the screen?!’”
In the video, Brandon’s mom, Karen Galvez, congratulates him for going back to school.
“You’re showing your commitment to your success,” she says. “Keep on shining, son.”
Commitment to Success
It was eight years ago that Brandon’s journey with Walmart began. He had just left college for financial reasons and joined Walmart as a wireless associate in electronics.
“I started working at Walmart, and it was my first job ever. Thankfully, I had people who supported me inside the store and outside the store also, and that really helped me grow.”
Brandon was soon promoted to department manager of electronics. Over the years, he’s been promoted several times. Today, he’s a front-end coach.
When the pandemic cut back on activities, Brandon decided it was time to return to school through Live Better U, which pays all college costs for qualifying associates. The program covers education in more than 30 degree programs for hourly part-time and full-time associates who meet eligibility requirements.
Brandon is studying health sciences through Purdue Global University, an online school. His ultimate goal is to pursue a master’s degree and study to become a physician’s assistant.
In the meantime, he’s invested in the success of his associates as a coach. He encourages others at Walmart to make the most of the Live Better U program. “I get so excited when they're getting to the point where they're graduating… I even came up here on my day off in June to celebrate a graduation.”
He credits his career path and leadership style to the mentors who guided him at Walmart. “I had people who really invested the time in me,” he says. “They helped me learn how to lead people—they gave me the people and the management skills that I needed.”
“Most people in my age range, they didn’t get that opportunity,” Brandon explains. “They went straight to school and didn’t get the opportunity to learn how to manage inside a business—that real-world aspect.”
Behind the Scenes
After Brandon applied to be in the commercial, he took part in an interview process that covered everything from his Live Better U experience to his mentors at Walmart. Friends, family and associates were even interviewed about Brandon.
Once he was officially accepted, the Walmart team secretly began work with his mom to record her heartfelt video.
“I’m very close to my mom. She is one of my biggest supporters ever. When I told her I was going back to school, she said ‘this is a big opportunity for you, and you’re doing it for free.’ This whole experience was one of the best things we could have had together!”
Are you ready to shine like Brandon? Associates can apply for each program online through the Guild website, accessed from OneWalmart > Me > My Career > Education Programs or LiveBetterU.com. Guild is our third-party partner providing all education benefits under the Live Better U brand.