HR CAREER PATHS:
Heidi Walker, CHRL
LEARNING AND DEVELOPMENT PROFESSIONAL
By Lisa Kopochinski
Growing up in Oakville, Ont., Heidi Walker says it was always
expected that she would attend university. Thinking
she would probably become a teacher – as she knew it
would be a career that she’d always enjoy – she majored in
English at McMaster University.
“Following university, I moved to Japan to teach English as a
second language,” she said. “It solidified how much I liked teaching
and I especially enjoyed teaching adults.”
However, it was not until after her three children were born that
she discovered the human resources field when she began working
part-time as an HR generalist.
“I decided to go back to school to build on my bachelor’s degree,
so I applied to both Teacher’s College and the HR management
post-degree program at Humber College,” she said. “I decided to
pursue HR because I felt there were more diverse opportunities
in the field.”
She earned her Certified Human Resources Professional
(CHRP) designation several years ago, which has now been
upgraded to Certified Human Resources Leader (CHRL). Her
career trajectory has taken her through several positions.
She joined Maple Leaf Foods in June 2015 as manager,
Operations Learning and Development, working in the company’s
Mississauga location, and says this position is a great fit because it
allows her to build relationships within the organization.
“My previous experience in learning and development has
proved very beneficial as I am part of a small collaborative team,”
HR Professional caught up with Walker to find out more about
what her responsibilities entail on a daily basis and what advice she
has for those who are also interested in the learning and development
area of human resources.
What are your main areas of responsibility in your current job?
Heidi Walker: I’m responsible for all aspects of learning initiatives
for the Operations group at Maple Leaf Foods, leading
learning development across all operations functions. I execute
HRPATODAY.CA ❚ MARCH/APRIL 2016 ❚ 41