Paul Sudarsan 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.
“I see my career progressing very strongly, thanks to the support of the grad@Loblaw program and the executives, business leaders and colleagues I interact with everyday.” —Paul Sudarsan, Senior Financial Analyst, Loblaw
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.
Paul now works as a Senior Financial Analyst at Loblaw Companies Limited’s head office in Brampton, Ont., in the national capital and strategy analysis team.
Keep reading for our full interview with Paul about his experience in the grad@Loblaw program and his future career with Loblaw.
Q. What do you currently do on a day-to-day basis in your role at Loblaw?
A. I currently work in the national capital and strategy analysis team, which is responsible for the allocation and appropriation of capital for Loblaw. This includes determining the most financially sound and strategic approach to building new stores, renovating existing stores and testing new store concepts across the country. I work with a team of 10 individuals whose work, despite our size, affects many parts of the company and colleagues. My business degree, along with the invaluable experience I gained through the grad@Loblaw program, has provided a solid foundation to have a longstanding career with Loblaw.
Q. Why did you choose to start your career with Loblaw?
A. I chose to start my career with Loblaw because I felt the grad@Loblaw program was a great opportunity to learn about the key facets of Loblaw, create great relationships with colleagues and executives alike, the numerous opportunities for development both personally and professionally, and lastly the friendly corporate culture.
Q. What was your experience in the grad@Loblaw program like?
A. My experience with the grad@Loblaw program has been a strong jump start to my career with Loblaw. 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.
In addition, having formal training with key business leaders and industry professionals allowed me to see the macro level perspective of the retail industry and Loblaw. Lastly, having meetings with Loblaw executives, leaders and colleagues allowed me to develop ample mentoring opportunities that I still keep in contact with to this day.
Q. What has surprised you the most about the retail industry and Loblaw?
A. There are two things that surprised me most about the retail industry and Loblaw. The first being that the retail industry is very fast-paced; with inventory purchased daily, billions of dollars of sales annually and several organizations competing to be number one, there are many moving parts that contribute to an exciting environment.
Click here to learn more about the grad@Loblaw program and other entry level opportunities at
Loblaw Companies Limited.
The second thing that surprised me about Loblaw is the number of ventures we are part of; we are the largest Canadian grocery retailer, leader in private label products (President’s Choice ® and no name®), player in the financial sector with President’s Choice Financial services, and an emerging leader in clothing with Joe Fresh brand apparel. It’s hard to keep tracking of everything we do!
Q. What has been your most valuable experience at Loblaw so far?
A. My most valuable experience with Loblaw has been working in-store. It allowed me to see the core of the company, providing a different perspective when approaching my day-day tasks in my current role. I am able to see both sides of the equation. No matter where you work, whether it’s IT, HR, supply chain, marketing, merchandising, or finance, working in-store is really a beneficial experience.
Q. How do you see your career progressing in the near future with Loblaw?
A. I see my career progressing very strongly, thanks to the support of the grad@Loblaw program and the executives, business leaders and colleagues I interact with everyday. Working with my manager and human resources allowed me to obtain a role that aligned with my goals both professionally and personally. I ultimately feel excited to go into work knowing that I am contributing to a great Canadian company.
Q. What is one piece advice you have for students and new grads who are interested in starting their careers in the retail industry with Loblaw?
A. The retail industry and Loblaw is a fast-paced environment with changes happening daily. Make sure to have a learning attitude and the ability to adapt to changing environments and factors.
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.