Paul Sudarsan says the most valuable experience he’s had since starting with Loblaw Companies Limited, where he now works as a Senior Financial Analyst, has been working in-store.
“It allowed me to see the core of the company, providing a different perspective when approaching my day-to-day tasks in my current role,” he says.
“No matter where you work, whether it’s IT, HR, supply chain, marketing, merchandising, or finance, working in-store is really a beneficial experience.”
“Meeting hundreds of colleagues, from VPs and directors to part-time store-level colleagues, has exposed me to a huge amount of valuable knowledge and experience that I could never have learned in a classroom.” —Carly Harris, Store Management Stream, grad@Loblaw
Paul graduated from Ryerson University’s Ted Rogers School of Management in April 2009 with a Bachelor of Commerce and, from there, he jumped right into the grad@Loblaw program.
grad@Loblaw is an 18-month, paid rotational program that lets recent college and university grads see the company from different angles.
Grads work in the stores and merchandising department with a final placement in store management, or in marketing, merchandising, product development, quality assurance, supply chain, IT, human resources, corporate strategy, central operations or finance.
“Working in three key areas of Loblaw has really allowed me to gain an extensive perspective of the company and its operations; working in-store, and with merchandising operations and several finance functions all contributed to my remarkable learning experience,” Paul says.
Carly Harris is currently completing the merchandising rotation of the program at the company’s head office in Brampton, Ont., where she’s working alongside the pork and sausage team in the meat and seafood department.
“Two months into this rotation, I have taken on more responsibilities within the pork and sausages team, and I am working more independently on tasks, such as reviewing weekly sales results. This relates very closely to my education because I am constantly analyzing reports like sales forecasts, and costing sheets.”
Carly, who earned a Bachelor of Management and Organizational Studies degree last year from the University of Western Ontario, says the opportunity to learn from colleagues at all different levels across the company has been invaluable.
“Meeting hundreds of colleagues, from VPs and directors to part-time store-level colleagues, has exposed me to a huge amount of valuable knowledge and experience that I could never have learned in a classroom.”
Carly also jumped right into the grad@Loblaw program after graduation. “Throughout my first three months, my category manager met with me frequently to monitor my transition and to discuss my personal goals and career aspirations,” she says.
Click here to learn more about the grad@Loblaw program and other entry level opportunities at
Loblaw Companies Limited.
She spent six months working in-store and is now two months in to the three-month merchandising rotation of the grad@Loblaw program.
Carly was placed in meat and seafood to work with the pork and sausage team where she learns about the business there as well as the various roles, such as category managers and merchants.
“I have taken on more responsibilities within the pork and sausage team, and am working more independently on tasks, such as reviewing weekly front page sales results. This relates very closely to my education because I am constantly analyzing reports like sales forecasts, and costing sheets,” Carly says.
Her advice for future grad@Loblaw participants?
“Be a sponge. Always be ready and willing and open to accept all of the bits and pieces of knowledge that you can pick up from colleagues at every level of the business. The retail industry is fast-paced and people-oriented so be smart, positive and engaged always.”
But the grad@Loblaw program isn’t the only way to start a career with Loblaw. There are many direct entry level opportunities.
Queen’s University commerce graduate Suhaila Agnew started with Loblaw as an Associate Merchant. She says, although she was quite nervous on her first day at Loblaw, the orientation program and help from more experienced colleagues quickly put her at ease.
She describes the first weeks as similar to being back at school because she had to take some mandatory online courses, participate in hands-on classroom sessions and complete evaluations pertaining to her role.
“I even had a dedicated ‘Super Coach’ team that was just a phone call away if I had questions on a certain process or wanted to request additional training. I also had a buddy, who showed me the ropes as well as helped me through my day-to-day responsibilities.”
Now, she’s become a buddy who helps new Associate Merchants transition into their new roles.
How to apply to Loblaw Companies Limited
Loblaw’s five-year commitment to hire 1000 recent and new grads by 2014 means there are lots of opportunities available, but the competition is stiff. We asked Loblaw’s recruitment team how students and recent grads like you can become even better candidates for the grad@Loblaw program and other entry level roles at Loblaw.
Here are some of their tips:
- Loblaw values part-time retail and customer service experience, so include this in your resumé
- Find ways to demonstrate your passion for Loblaw, food and the particular business area you want to apply for
- Continue to work on enhancing your technical, communication and interviewing skills to ensure you make a great first impression
- Understand and get familiar with the details of the position and/or grad@Loblaw program (rotations, different business areas available, etc.)
For a list of entry level opportunities for recent grads, visit Loblaw’s company profile on TalentEgg or www.loblaw.ca and click on ‘careers.’
Recruitment for the next intake for the grad@Loblaw program will begin in Fall 2011. To learn more, visit www.loblawgrad.ca and the grad@Loblaw Facebook page.