When Christina Stathakos finished her BA with a certificate in Human Resources at York University, she took her passion for learning into the workforce.
“For me, learning and growing was at the top of my list,” she says. “I wanted to start off with an organization that offered growth opportunities and took pride in developing their people.”
She found that opportunity at TJX Canada, where she now works as a Talent Acquisition Specialist, helping other new grads find the career opportunities that match their skills and experience.
There are a number of different areas at TJX where students and recent grads can find co-op opportunities or entry-level jobs, including planning and allocation, merchandising, property development, marketing, finance, systems and more.
Christina is responsible for recruiting for two specific roles: the Merchandise Assistant role and the Allocation Analyst position.
A good fit
Do you have the right skills for a career at TJX?
“We look for people who are also flexible and adaptable, who have really strong communication and relationship-building skills and who could become future leaders in our organization,” says Christina.
“Taking initiative is really important. We are an innovative company and we expect everyone at every level to bring forward opportunities to grow our business.”
It’s important to research your prospective role. “Other than doing your online research, if you know we’re going to be on campus, go and network with a TJX representative,” Christina says. “Reach out to people in the roles that you’re interested in to learn if that role is really what you’re looking for.”
Learning more about TJX as an organization is crucial as well.
“Everyone wants someone who is passionate about working for their organization and position. I can’t stress how important it is to do your research on the company,” Christina says. “We have a lot of information posted online about our business and corporate culture so it’s really easy to see what we value as an organization.”
“Anything you can do in your application or cover letter to show how you align with our values will show that you’re a fit for the position, the organization and the culture.”
A winning application
According to Christina, a great application for a position at TJX starts with a polished cover letter.
“A cover letter is the perfect opportunity to convey your passion and how your skillsets relate to the role,” she says.
Not sure how your work history matches up?
Your cover letter is a great opportunity to address a lack of experience.
“When I’m recruiting for a role and a student doesn’t have relevant experience for the position, I look through the cover letter to see if they’ve taken the time to talk about our organization and why they want to work for us and what transferable skills they have,” says Christina.
“Even if you don’t have the experience, highlight the skills that you have to offer that you’ve acquired through school, part-time jobs, volunteering and extra-curricular activities.”
Don’t be afraid to share your future plans, she adds. “I also look to see if candidates have a long-term career goal. If you’ve done your research on TJX, you’ll know what career paths we have to offer.”
An interview at TJX
Succeeding in an interview with TJX comes down to knowing yourself.
“We’ll ask about different situations that you’ve dealt with in the past. Come prepared to talk about things that you’ve dealt with and also to talk about challenges that you’ve faced both professionally and academically,” says Christina.
Preparation is the key to having a good sense of the experiences you can call on.
“Before an interview, start a list of the things that you’ve done over time, things that you’ve accomplished, different situations that you’ve overcome, things that you’re proud of and things that you’ve learned,” says Christina.
“You’ll realize that you have a lot more to talk about than you might realize. When you get to an interview, you’ll see how easy it is to talk about those experiences.”
Don’t be afraid to share what you’ve learned, she adds.
“Be humble enough to talk about experiences that have taught you something. We look for people who are able to grow, to self-assess, to self-manage and really learn who they are from their experiences.”
Growing your career at TJX
“I think for students, growth potential is probably the most important thing in a first full-time role,” says Christina.
After four years, she’s enthusiastic proof of the company’s hands-on support for new hires.
“TJX is really great at helping you get to where you want to go,” Christina explains. “They provide you with so many training opportunities and there will always be someone in the organization who will help you get to the next step, develop yourself and achieve your goals.”
TJX’s emphasis on team dynamics goes hand-in-hand with their professional support. “My favourite thing is the culture at TJX. Our culture is hard to put into words, but it’s one of a kind,” says Christina.
“People are really open to any ideas or suggestions you might have that would better the business. Here at TJX, no matter what position you’re in you can always have an impact.”