´╗┐Name: Fenella Chiu
Company: Loblaw Companies Ltd.
Position: Analyst, Central Data Management (CDM)
Length of employment: Two years
Degree: Bachelor of Science in Computer Engineering
Where did you go to School? What program did you attend?
I went to Queen's University and graduated from the Applied Science Computer Engineering program in 2007.
What drew you to your current position?
I was really interested in how this role allows me to interact and work with various teams at Loblaw. This position definitely has its challenges but I also get to learn a lot from it. I have also been given opportunities to receive additional training to further improve my skills.
Tell us a bit about your responsibilities.
I work with data analysis tools to generate reports that are used by teams throughout Loblaw. I also build new automated reporting tools to help teams complete their work more efficiently and accurately.
What is the most rewarding part of your job?
I love to hear from colleagues who tell me how much time they have saved after using reports I created for them. Knowing that the data they receive is accurate and will help them improve their work and processes is really rewarding.
What accommodations do you use to help you succeed on the job?
Loblaw Companies places a strong emphasis on creating an inclusive workplace, as reflected by their Corporate Social Responsibility principles. At the Loblaw office where I work, there are a number of reserved parking spots very close to the building entrances and elevators that make travel to and within the building easier. My desk has also been set-up to meet my needs. For example, I do not need to bend down to plug in power cables for my laptop. I was also given a laptop bag with wheels so I can easily carry items home from the office.
Can you tell us about the history of your disability and how it has affected your career?
A few months after I graduated from university, I was in an accident. The accident left me with a permanent physical disability. After the accident, I had to put my career aside for some time so that I could focus on getting better, delaying the start of my career.
What advice do you have for students looking to land their first job?
Know what your strengths, weaknesses, and interests are, and then look for a job or employer that will help you build on your strengths and improve your weaknesses.
Is there anything else you would like to add?
There are a lot of programs and organizations out there who help recent graduates with disabilities find work. They have helped me a lot in getting to where I am now. For example, in partnership with Career Edge's Ability Edge program, Loblaw offers a paid internship program for persons with disabilities to gain experience. This is also how I came to work at Loblaw. For more information on jobs available at Loblaw Companies please visit www.loblaw.ca/careers.