Pilon School of Business
Degree: Business Administration - Human Resources
Year of graduation: 2008
Learning How to Learn Again
Born and raised in Oakville, I didn’t know what I wanted to do and struggled in university. (I attended Carleton in Ottawa). So I entered the workforce, spending 15 years in the hospitality industry, including a stint as a business owner. Seeking a new path, I decided to go back to school at 33 years old, enrolling in Sheridan’s HR program. After talking with a mentor, I discovered many of the aspects I enjoyed about the hospitality business were HR-related.
It was awkward and scary at first – I had to learn how to learn again. The hands-on approach of Sheridan’s program and the real life experience of the instructors kept me motivated and gave me the courage to push on.
While at Sheridan, I was offered a co-op position with Sobeys as the Health & Safety Coordinator - my first ‘office’ job. I gained valuable experience that prepared me for the move to Loblaw Companies Limited. I met some fantastic people during this time, most importantly my husband! After holding several management positions, I became the Director, Human Resources for no frills at Loblaw in 2010. Three years later I moved to Vancouver and am now the District Human Resources Manager for Home Depot Canada.
My advice to new graduates: Don’t be complacent. Push yourself outside of your comfort zone as this is where true development comes from. Take opportunities that expose you to other parts of a business and HR function to build your leadership skills. It’s never too late to learn more or improve your existing talents so be a lifelong student.
Lea is currently earning her B.A. in Human Resources-Labour Relations from Athabasca University).She also holds a Masters Certificate - Business Leadership, Human Resources from York University.
Learn more about Sheridan’s Human Resources Management Program.