Jamessa Johnson: Human resources officer, Canada Post

Online courses at Sheridan give a well-rounded educational background some career edge

“Officer” is another term for team leader. My job entails staffing, so I’m responsible for the recruitment process. 

After high school, I went to Wilfrid Laurier University in Waterloo and completed a bachelor’s degree in communications studies and women’s studies. After I graduated I took my human resources certificate at Sheridan College via online courses because I’d heard great things about the program. I strongly believe in getting an educational background in the career you want to pursue. When I decided to go into HR, I looked up the Sheridan courses. 

Having the option to study online was great, because I’m the type of person who likes to stay busy. Coming out of university, I had a really active lifestyle and wanted to keep learning. I had a full-time job in HR as a recruiter and a part-time job evenings and weekends in retail.

At university I was a student ambassador, which is what led me into recruiting. I was part of a team that led tours of the school for high school students, and I went to university fairs as well. When I graduated I travelled around Ontario to promote the university – a different type of recruiting but still recruiting.

A course that stood out at Sheridan was the one on recruiting and selection. It was great to learn the terminology and dos and don’ts of the profession. I was able to put it all together with what I was doing in my job at the time. I also took training and development and labour relations, which ties perfectly into Canada Post’s unionized environment. 

Studying online took some getting used to, but I found that I was more committed because I was teaching myself. I was probably a little more organized than when I was in university. I had a professor I could call if I needed to, but I had to plan and prioritize. I would get assignments done in advance because I only had a few days of the week to do them.

Of the nine courses, I did eight online and one in class. That was managerial accounting, which was completely new to me. I had not done any work in the field or studied anything like it in university. We were dealing with numbers, so I decided to do it in class.

In recruitment, you have to be patient and comfortable talking to anybody who comes to you with questions. In university, they’d be high school students who were excited about university but had no idea where they wanted to go. I really took the time to relate to them, hear them out, pick their brains on their interests, and then I also had to sell the university to them. Some were mature students, others fresh out of high school, people from all backgrounds, and I had to find a way to relate to them and understand what they wanted.

Every day I learn something new on the job. Canada Post is a huge organization, and it’s forward-thinking and trying to change some things to keep up with the times. Every day I learn something new, see somebody new to talk to and learn from. There’s a lot of opportunity to grow within the organization. 

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