At age 32, Kaitlin clearly demonstrated her learning passion, plus her abilities by achieving Honors in Business Administration, while also serving as elected Student Council Treasurer and Newsletter Editor. On the eve of graduation, Kaitlin discovered the teaching staff had selected her to receive the Chi Eta Scholarship for her Outstanding Student Cooperation.
Though one of her other passions, writing, was also curtailed in her early years by the admonishment writing was not a real job, writing resurfaced as her confidence grew from her job experiences, promotions, academic achievements, plus peer and teacher recognition.
After her graduation, her husband’s transfer from their small town to the city of Toronto resulted in Kaitlin securing a Junior Accountant’s position at Howard Johnson’s corporate head office. New to the city, Kaitlin had not been aware of the frustrating challenge of commuting from one end of the city to the other, but in the sweltering heat of summer in the city, the congested expressway drive in an old non-air conditioned Camaro, loaned to her by her executive sister-in-law, she knew the commuting and the boring job to her, recording and balancing ledgers only, had to end so she resigned.
Seeking employment closer to home, plus a more challenging, engaging, and diverse role, Kaitlin sought the advice of a recruiting agency. “You’re just what they look for,” the young woman told Kaitlin before sending her to the Canadian corporate head office of the international Levi Strauss & Co. corporation.
Another seven years flew by.
Indoctrinated into the Business Planning department, Kaitlin came on board as part of the annual and five-year business planning team. Developing spreadsheets from mainframe database downloads for more effective business plan reports, she also logged and prepared monthly management capital expenditures reports.
Within a year, excellent work performance resulted in her being recommended to the Operations Planning department to serve as the Operations’ Contractor Planner.
Kaitlin avidly took on the role of liaising daily with contractors in Ontario, Quebec, and British Columbia to ensure production requirements were being met or troubleshooting when they were not, as well as, liaising with several internal departments. She also visited the national contractor facilities as an inventory auditor and as a trainer for system reporting.
Her proposal, development, co-implementation, and co-training of the automated monthly planning tool reduced the monthly planning cycle by one week every month garnering her global recognition in the company’s international newsletter for her Above and Beyond the Call of Duty performance submitted by her supervisor.
Concurrently, Kaitlin served as a Fit Test Model and for five years, she volunteered as Treasurer for the company’s Community Involvement Team, as a member of the community grant application review team, as company events’ volunteer, and she worked with the company’s Public Relations and Communications Officer on special projects.
Growing restless because of having maximized opportunities in Operations, an opportunity to learn more about Human Resources shifted her focus. However, it was the company’s policy on professional development, combined with her yearly performance rating, raises, and salary, and the mentoring of an outside professional that motivated Kaitlin to apply to York University with the goal of eventually securing a Ph.D. in psychology
Evening university classes began exposing Kaitlin to a whole new world and quickly began shifting her life course once again as she rediscovered and reclaimed her passion for writing as a way to help and inspire people.
She was a far cry from the sixteen year old high school drop-out who didn’t believe the guidance counsellor when she was told she should go to university. By then, with her self-esteem perilously low, she had developed what is called “Learned Helplessness,” but fortunately, at least professionally that was beginning to change.
Hungry for more, Kaitlin took the safe step and applied for the new job at Levi’s in the Human Resources. The role was to support head office and facility Humans Resources Assistants and the Salary Manager, plus liaise with the HRIS system provider, process executive expense reports, manage the employee awards program, and upload/verify the annual salary budget. Her role also required Kaitlin to serve as secretary to the company’s Job Grading team.
Within a month after her transfer, Kaitlin proposed a team-building workshop to the HR Director. Working with an outside consultant, HR teams from five facilities engaged in a successful two-day team-building workshop, but it was the company’s Aspirations program that pushed her out the company door to follow a different path, maybe even create her own.
Go to “About Kaitlin Ann Trepanier” to also read ACT 1 and stay tuned for the ACTS to follow!
KAITLIN ANN TREPANIER
Advocate Innovator Entrepreneur Founder Author Artist Speaker
Connecting The Dots With The Respect Principle
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March 16, 2018