The last few months have been a bit of a whirlwind for Kaniz Urmi (pictured right).
She graduated from Wilfrid Laurier University’s Honours Business Administration Co-op program in December 2011, and promptly started her first post-grad job as a Financial Analyst at Loblaw Companies Limited in Brampton, Ont., at the beginning of February.
“Over the past month, I’ve had the opportunity to complete online modules to get trained on internal systems,” Kaniz says, and she’s also received plenty of on-the-job training for weekly and periodic tasks, reports and projects.
“Even within finance itself, you would be surprised with the variety of roles and tasks you can experience.” —Kaniz Urmi, Financial Analyst – IT Finance, Loblaw Companies Limited
“I was able to register for online courses and attend training sessions on all the systems I need to use for my job,” she says. “After learning all the tools I needed for my job, I also did some job shadowing with a co-worker.”
According to Lei, who graduated from the University of Waterloo and Laurier’s Math and Business Double Degree program in August 2011, the work environment at Loblaw is very fast-paced, but everyone is extremely helpful to new grads.
“Whenever I have questions, I’m always able to consult my colleagues and get some really useful advice,” she says. “I can also talk to my manager about any concerns or questions I may have.”
Loblaw’s hands-on culture allowed her to jump right into her work supporting Merchants, collaborating with the planogram team, and communicating changes to Loblaw stores. “I also work with Supply Chain for distribution or replacement of products and to help them maintain a good service level for the stores,” she says.
While Lei’s work directly affects what Loblaw customers see in the retail stores across the country, Kaniz’s current project in the IT Finance department – keeping track of the company’s IT maintenance costs – is a bit more behind-the-scenes, but no less important.
“This project involves working with other departments, such as Strategic Sourcing and IT, to accurately account for contracts,” Kaniz says. With more than 1,000 corporate and franchised stores from coast to coast, Loblaw has a lot of computers, networks and digital information to look after!
“Whenever I have questions, I’m always able to consult my colleagues and get some really useful advice. I can also talk to my manager about any concerns or questions I may have.” —Lei Tao, Associate Merchant – Dry Grocery, Loblaw
“Investment in IT is crucial to the business.”
Kaniz’s business background has allowed her to better understand the complex accounting practices found in the IT department. “Having taken advanced accounting courses in university, I can see a lot of complex accounting principles applied practically to the accounting treatment of IT contracts.”
The opportunity to combine seemingly unrelated fields was exactly what she was looking for when she chose to start her career with Loblaw – Kaniz first had a taste of it when she completed a Financial Reporting Analyst co-op work term in Loblaw’s Internal Financial Reporting department in the summer of 2010. “Even within finance itself, you would be surprised with the variety of roles and tasks you can experience,” she says.
Right now, she’s most looking forward to the upcoming executive meet-and-greet where new hires have the opportunity to meet with the President of the company.
“This goes to show how open the culture here at Loblaw is,” Kaniz says. “There are daily huddles where everyone is informed about the initiatives in their respective departments as well as other internal activities, and there are also quarterly town hall meetings held by the President to keep colleagues informed about the quarterly financial performance of the company.”
Lei, meanwhile, is a foodie through and through – so far, her favourite thing about Loblaw is the cafeteria at the company’s head office where she works: “It offers a variety of fresh and delicious entrées every single day and has made my busy work life a lot better since I can always find the foods I love for lunch.”
For a full list of entry level opportunities for recent grads, visit Loblaw’s company profile on TalentEgg or go to www.loblaw.ca/careers.