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Supervisor Customer Relationship and Retail Banking Contact Centre (Communications Studies, BA)

Amanda Caiazzo, Canadian Tire Financial Services

Amanda Caiazzo graduated from Laurier with a BA in Communications Studies in 1997. After graduation, Amanda went on to become a certified wedding consultant and worked in many facets of the wedding industry including operating her own business for several years. During this time, Amanda was able to utilize her communication skills to develop strong relationships with her clients and industry vendors.

This passion for providing quality customer service naturally led Amanda to a career working in the telemarketing industry. Her past experience working with clients was a key part of her success in providing superior customer service. Amanda is currently working as a contact centre supervisor at Canadian Tire Financial Services where she has held positions within many of Canadian Tire’s Call Centre divisions. According to Amanda, the most rewarding part of her job is working with people. She enjoys the energy of those working around her and the challenges she faces dealing with day-to-day situations. “Along the way, I have worked with amazing people and have supervised teams of all sizes. I really enjoy working in a call centre because the work is challenging and rewarding. I never really know what my day will look like – you have to be both structured in your methodology, but remain extremely flexible because priorities can change so quickly!”

According to Amanda, the call centre atmosphere is a fast-paced environment where changes happen both internally and externally to affect the day-to-day operations of the business. She consistently relies on her communications background on a daily basis and is currently responsible for reviewing and enhancing communications within her department. Amanda suggests that effective communications becomes vital when dealing with all different levels and departments in order to coordinate and plan projects. She has been able to manage and participate in all areas of the company – including training and recruiting, business continuity planning, operations, marketing and of course communications. Amanda notes that communication enhances the customer service relationship which Canadian Tire values and works hard to protect. She is very honoured to work for such a strong, customer-focused company which has always been supportive of her career growth and recognizes employees’ accomplishments.

Amanda always pictured herself working for a small company, but has been pleasantly surprised that working for a large company has some great benefits. What tops her list is the opportunity to experience different roles and departments within her career plan. Amanda has credited her success to having exceptional managers and mentors who have supported her growth and progress in helping her achieve her goals. Amanda attributes her success to her education from Laurier which has provided her with the important stepping stones to move into a leadership career. “Employers will probably tell you one of the most important skills to have in the business world is strong communication skills. I always knew that I wanted a career that I would never find boring or mundane – and I think I've found it!”

Amanda’s advice for students:

  • Getting your foot in the door of a company is the most important first step. It allows you to experience what a company has to offer and provides you with some great skills to use as you develop in your career.
  • Find a great mentor to help support your career path. You need someone who can provide you constructive feedback to help you develop. A good mentor is someone you trust and admire – and who can provide you with opportunities to help you grow and be recognized.
  • An employer doesn't expect you to be amazing at everything you do – but to build on what you do well so it is amazing. This will get you farther than spending too much time trying to be great at everything. Know what you do well and keep your focus there!
  • Being able to work within a team can sometimes be challenging. Learning to communicate and interact with all personality types is the key to being successful. It goes back to the simple rule of ‘play nice in the sandbox!’
  • Understanding yourself and your strengths are keys to finding happiness in your career or your job. If your strength is people – then make sure you apply for jobs that allow you to interact with others and even lead others. Make sure it's something you will enjoy so that at the end of the day you leave feeling motivated instead of uninspired.