Day in the Life: An Inside Look at McMaster-Carr’s Management Development Opportunity

Learn about how McMaster-Carr's Management Development opportunity can help you jumpstart a great career.

McMaster-Carr is changing the game when it comes to customers’ buying experiences – embracing technology and leveraging machine-learning to make browsing for products simpler than ever. Customers around the globe select from over half a million products and enjoy lightning fast delivery.

In addition to innovation in the way customers shop, McMaster-Carr invests in recent grads by developing leadership skills and offering accelerated growth paths. For example, in McMaster-Carr’s Management Development track, you will learn how the business works, make a real impact on the company’s operations, form connections with teammates and company leaders, and develop as a professional.  

For an inside look into what you might experience over the course of the Management Development opportunity, we spoke with two McMaster-Carr employees, Matteo, a Management Trainee, and Deanna, a former trainee that progressed into management. 

What You’ll Be Doing in the Management Development Track

During your time in the Management Development track, you’ll explore different business areas, such as Product Development, Publishing, Finance, Marketing, Distribution Operations, and Sales. You will learn foundational management skills — data analysis, coaching, building staffing models and communications — through a personalized promotional path designed to develop versatile business leaders. The duration and complexity of each assignment is determined by demonstrated learning and professional accomplishments.

“I’ve gotten to work on different projects in different parts of the company,” said Matteo. “Everyone’s path is different. It’s really based on our growth opportunities, what we want to do, and also where the business needs us at a certain point in time.”

The First Six Months: Learning the Business

Your experiences are designed to lead down an accelerated and cross-functional path to team management. McMaster-Carr hires talented people from a wide range of majors and offers onboarding and on the job learning to help people succeed.

Matteo said, “It’s great that they put so much trust in us. It’s really true what they say about hiring for capability over skill. They know that most people will not have an industrial supplies background. We learn everything we need on the job.” 

In addition to helping you develop skills like trend analysis and communication, McMaster-Carr also offers guidance on leading teams, planning projects, and measuring results.

“Because of the coaching and mentoring I’ve received from my manager, I feel like I’ll be fully prepared and supported when the time comes for me to be a supervisor,” Matteo said. “We’ll talk about things like emotional intelligence, or how to lead people, how to start a project, or how to find resources.” 

The First Year: Identifying Opportunities & Influencing Changes

The first year expands on the learning and development from the first six months with growth that focuses on one area of the business. You’ll have the opportunity to dig even deeper into topics that matter to customers and brainstorm solutions — in other words, influence operations and experiences. 

“I think there are a lot of ways you can make an impact and make yourself known” Matteo said. “I get to give team updates and share with senior leaders across the company. I think it’s a pretty cool opportunity to get exposure so early in my career to work directly with senior leaders.”

The Second Year: Leading Teams and Managing Projects

Management responsibility comes early in your career at McMaster-Carr in creating value through helping others succeed, designing processes, and implementing change. As a developing leader, you will leverage what you have learned previously about successful operations and projects to make observations, define opportunities, and implement ideas among your team.

New leaders often encounter challenges that are unfamiliar. Deanna took advantage of McMaster-Carr’s mentorship program and received one-on-one support to help her navigate new situations, acquire new skills, and form a vision for her future. Leveraging her mentor’s experiences and those of her manager and peers offer insights that bring clarity to her professional goals and aspirations.

“Having such a great relationship with the management team really prepared me for my supervisor role and future at McMaster-Carr,” Deanna shared.

Throughout the Track: Ongoing Growth Guided by Your Interests

Throughout this opportunity you’ll take on projects based on your interests and benefit from career exploration in different business areas and topics. For example, when Deanna expressed an interest in UX and UI design — despite it being a new topic for her — she joined a sales project aligned with the UX and UI team that helped her develop relevant skills.    

“I appreciate that McMaster-Carr really takes into consideration how I want to grow and what I need to develop.  It’s truly a mentoring process” Deanna said.

Matteo shared a similar experience when he mentioned that he wanted to learn more about Diversity and Inclusion (D&I) initiatives. Career conversations led to his involvement in diversity recruiting, establishing mentorships, improving training to create an inclusive environment, and supporting Employee Resource Groups (ERGs).

“The People organization and my management team consider how my interests align with business goals. For example, racial equity is important to the company and to me. I expressed that interest and, as a result, got the chance to work on the diversity recruiting team for a few months to attract talented students from under-represented minority groups,” Matteo said.

For recent graduates looking for the right opportunity to begin their careers, the McMaster-Carr Management Development track should be top-of-mind. New members of management explore their interests while receiving intentional training designed to help them develop leadership skills and business acumen that will benefit them for the rest of their careers. 

Learn more about the McMaster-Carr Management Development track here.


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