grad@Loblaw Program 2011 Kicks Off

By / Magazine / September 28th, 2011 / Like

One of Canada’s Top Employers for Young People for 2011, Loblaw Companies Limited (Loblaw) is looking for recent post-secondary graduates interested in a career in grocery retail. Launched in 2009, the grad@Loblaw program offers college and university graduates full-time positions and the opportunity to gain a strong foundation in the grocery retail business.

“Working at Loblaw is exciting, challenging and complex,” said Wassel Abdellaoui, a full-time colleague in the grad@Loblaw program. “The grad@Loblaw program gave me an incredible, well-rounded experience. By starting my work experience at store-level, I learned first-hand what it takes to successfully run Canada’s largest grocery retailer. The interaction with colleagues and customers, and the hands-on work, gave me a solid foundation as I made my way through the program.”

Successful candidates are hired as permanent full-time colleagues and enter into a comprehensive 18-month program that offers mentoring and hands-on experience in various parts of Loblaw business. The first five months of the program, graduates work in a Loblaw retail store, learning about store operations and how to meet the needs of customers. The graduates then spend three months in merchandising, learning about the important role of product selection and getting products to store shelves. For the remaining nine months, graduates are placed in the department they were hired to support, such as store management or a business group such as marketing, merchandising, product development, supply chain, IT, human resources, central operations or finance.

“We strive to provide the grad@Loblaw colleagues with learning opportunities and mentorship from our company’s strategic leaders as we prepare them to take for their roles at Loblaw. The blend of their passion and insights and our focus on creating meaningful learning opportunities results in an incredible pipeline of talent,” said Judy McCrie, executive vice-president, Human Resources and Labour Relations, Loblaw Companies Limited.

During the grad@Loblaw program, graduates have the opportunity to examine how changes can be made to in-store programs and procedures to be more efficient and to learn about Loblaw strategies and approach to business. They participate in training sessions at Learning Stores, which are fully-equipped store models used for colleague skill development. As part of professional development exercises, graduates are tasked with idea generation and are given the opportunity to pitch to senior executives the merits of their ideas.

“The retail sector is increasingly drawing on insight from a variety of areas to better connect with consumers,” observed Denise Baker, Assistant Dean, Hari B. Varshney Business Career Centre Sauder School of Business, UBC. “Hiring new talent with diverse education and personal experiences and giving recent graduates a thorough orientation in the Company’s approach to business is smart way for Loblaw to deepen their pool of talent.”

Grads can apply at or visit local campuses across the countrynwhere Loblaw will be hosting a series of information sessions in September and early October. Loblaw is currently accepting applications until October 6, for the next group of graduates that will start the program in January 2012.


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