Sodexo Under Thirty

Sodexo is proud to be recognized as one of Canada’s Top Employers for Young People! We invite you to meet some of our young talent to find out what they look for in an employer and why they enjoy working at Sodexo.

Sandeep Chhoker

Sandeep Chhoker

Sandeep has been with Sodexo for one year. She joined the company after her sister-in-law encouraged her to join the team. Sandeep moved to Canada from India eight years ago and now works at the Burnaby Centre for Mental Health and Addiction.

Sandeep works in multi-services. That means that she not only working in the kitchen takes care of the food but also does housekeeping at the Burnaby Centre for Mental Health and Addiction (BCMHA). She admits that it’s not an easy job but she enjoys the challenge. “I like it because we’re helping people here. We’re supporting them by helping them physically and by making them feel like they belong in society”, says Sandeep “it’s important to make them feel good, to feel better.”

On top of supporting the patients, she also works with Sodexo to support her local community. “We do a lot of fundraising and community work. If you’re helping those in need, maybe in the future when you need help, someone will be there for you.” BCMHA is very active in the Sodexo Foundation’s Feeding Our Future Program providing free lunches to at-risk children during the summer months.” It’s a great way for me to give back to my community.”

How does she manage to work hard and stay positive? “I am really supported by management. They really take the time to show their appreciation and they give me knowledge and information about anything I need.” Sandeep also encourages her colleagues to join Sodexo’s Lifeworks Program. In partnership with Ceridian, Lifeworks offers free consultation for the health & wellbeing of all Sodexo employees. “They have online programs where you can get help for anything: your children, your parents, or even legal advice. My co-workers find Lifeworks very helpful.”

Sandeep has plans to grow within Sodexo. “I want to be in management and see how things work. I want to gain more knowledge, step by step. There are so many opportunities but you have to ask someone who’s doing the job you want for guidance. Instead of dreaming about it, go for it!”

Sandeep is passionate about giving back to her local community. Find out more about Sodexo’s commitment to local community development.

Marylou Gaudreault-Imbeault

Marylou Gaudreault-Imbeault

Marylou has been with Sodexo since 2010. She received her dietician’s diploma in Chicoutimi. She joined the company on a three month contract in remote sites as a food inspector. After her contract ended, she stayed with the company and now works as a General Manager at the la Sarcelle camp in James Bay.

Marylou saw an opportunity to work in remote sites and has been there ever since. She went from being a food inspector to a retail manager to a general manager in just three years. “That’s what I love about working at Sodexo. I’m given the opportunity to grow.” As general manager, she oversees the foodservices, housekeeping and the front desk concierge. “I’ve learned a lot about finance and human resources thanks to the director here. She gave me a lot of training and a lot of confidence with things like management, collective agreements and financial reports.” For Marylou, it’s important to keep moving. She wants to grow and gain more opportunities. She also needs to feel supported and trusted wherever she works. Find out what other factors make an employer attractive to young workers (infographic).

Remote sites are a great place to learn how to do it all. “Working in remote sites forces you to be versatile. I’ve been able to demonstrate leadership with clients and employees because we all live together in a camp and I love being close to people. I’ve also learned a lot about our Aboriginal partnerships. It’s important to build and maintain good relationships with everyone. The way I see it, the only way to get good results is to work together.” Learn more about Sodexo’s commitment to local communities and our Aboriginal partnerships.

In five years she still sees herself in a remote site. “Young people who work in remote sites love it. They’re people who love to travel because they have the schedule to be free to go wherever they want once they’re done with their shift.” Many remote sites workers are scheduled to work for four weeks and are off for 2 weeks or work for two weeks and are off for one week. Schedules vary but they enjoy long stretches of time off and free room and board while they work. “There’s fishing and wildlife and we get to meet people from all over. We create bonds here and when we all have time off we go travelling together.”

Find out more about Sodexo’s remote sites services.

Noori Lee

Noori Lee

Noori has been with Sodexo for three years. She is from Montreal, where she received her Bachelor of Arts in Communication Studies. Noori began her career at Sodexo as an intern and now has a national role as Communications Manager for Sodexo in Canada.

In just three years, Noori has made great strides in the Communications department. “I’ve had a great mentor at Sodexo who helped me build a strong foundation.” Together with her mentor, Noori was able to collaborate on many communications initiatives. “I showed her what I wanted to do, she gave me her feedback, and together we created a brand new way of engaging with our audiences.” Sodexo believes in the power of mentorship. Their formal and informal mentoring programs are extremely popular and are also one of the main reasons why employees choose to stay with Sodexo. Find out more about Sodexo’s mentoring programs around the world.

Noori’s independence allowed her to improve her skills. “I feel as though I’ve been given the creative freedom to carry out ideas that I come up with from creation to implementation and follow through. Doing it independently is great. I feel trusted.  A lot of the ideas I had were things that were never done before. If I didn’t have a boss that was willing to try new things it wouldn’t have taken off. Having creative freedom is about doing new things and that’s how a company grows.”

Noori’s advice to young employees who are choosing their next employer is to look for growth potential and benefits. “Look at the resources that they put into their employees. Things like grant reimbursement. See if they invest in their employees or not. Benefits that you don’t have to pay much into, that’s attractive. The most important thing is career progression because I want to do what it takes.” See the other top factors young employees look for in an employer (infographic).

Noori wants to continue to hone her craft. “I want to continue to update myself on the latest technology and strategies so that I can move into a North American or maybe even a global Communications role at Sodexo.”

Noori is looking for career growth. Find out more about Sodexo’s career development plans and international opportunities.

James Dennis

James Dennis

James joined Sodexo this year after taking part in Sodexo’s Pre-Employment Training Program in Dease Lake, BC. James now works as a breakfast cook at Red Chris Mine.

The Pre-Employment Training Program is designed with Sodexo’s Aboriginal partners to give community members job skills training. Trainees can then shadow various jobs in remote sites for hands on experience before deciding whether or not a career in remote sites is right for them. “After my two week training I contacted Ed and told him that I wanted to keep working with Sodexo. He decided to send me to Red Chris Mine where I started as a dishwasher.” Ed Van Mierlo is the Vice-President of the Talhtan Nation Development Corporation (TNDC). James demonstrated positive energy and a strong work ethic from the get-go and quickly moved up the ranks. “I went from dishwasher, to general help in the kitchen, to food preparation, to breakfast cook trainee in five months.”  
“I’ve moved up so quickly”, says James, “I’ve been working hard and I’ve been bringing a lot of positive energy to the team, which I think people have noticed.” James loves to cook and is happy to be working with food. Sodexo’s Executive Chefs are always looking to foster the continuing development of chefs across Canada through training and culinary networking. Sodexo’s Chef’s Association offers opportunities to work at various prestigious events such as the Canadian Screen Awards or the Olympics and also works closely with Chef Michael Smith to develop new and sustainable recipes for events like Toronto Taste and the Canada Summer Games. For James, it’s important to get all the necessary certification to help him grow in foodservice. Sodexo also offers training to attain professional certifications for various programs such as the Red Seal Program and the National Food Safety Training Program. Learn more about Sodexo’s prestigious events worldwide

What does James like most about working at Sodexo? “The people I work with. The night crew is positive and chill and they get the work done.”

Watch our first encounter with James and Ed and find out more about our job training programs.

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With billions of dollars in turnover costs at stake and only 18% of millenials expecting to stay with their current employer for the long term, it's crucial for employers to attract and retain their future workforce. Find out what young employees want and what employers can offer.