July 13, 2024

Advancing Corporate Yields

Pioneering Business Success

All hands on deck for employee growth at CSL

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At CSL, young employees have opportunities to work through challenges on the ground.Supplied

In 2020, Camille Dufort-Plante was finishing her degree in logistics operations engineering and knew she wanted to work in transportation. But when she was accepted to an internship with the iconic Montréal-based marine shipping company, the CSL Group (CSL), she admits she didn’t know anything about the maritime transportation industry.

“I was thrown in the middle of the ocean – literally,” she laughs. “I really didn’t know anything about it, but it’s been a fun ride and learning experience for me.”

It was also a chance for the young Montréaler to gain a better understanding of the colossal ships she grew up watching in the city’s Old Port. With a rich history that goes back to 1845, CSL has evolved into a global company with ships operating around the world.

Nearly four years later, Dufort-Plante is working as a scheduler and senior ship operator where she handles the logistics for voyages, co-ordinates between the ships and head office and tackles big-picture scheduling.

“You’re on the ground and making sure everything comes together for the fleet to run smoothly,” she says.

It’s exactly the kind of challenge Dufort-Plante was looking for in a transportation career, along with professional development and continual learning, which she’s also been able to find at CSL.

“I regularly have to find solutions to challenges I’ve never encountered before. It’s like solving a puzzle,” she says. “It’s very, very challenging and rewarding to do.”

Getting your sea legs in a new industry would be challenging for any intern, but Dufort-Plante also happened to be onboarded at the beginning of the pandemic. Thankfully, the openness of her co-workers meant she didn’t miss a beat.

“It’s such a big company but it feels small. It’s always easy to reach out to people and they’re always there to answer my questions,” she says.

She was also given challenging work with a lot of responsibility, something not always typical for an internship. “It was a fun and enriching experience, and honestly, one of my best internships.”

Challenging interns while making them feel like they’re part of the team is ingrained in the culture at CSL, says chief human resources officer Stephanie Aubourg.

“Whether you’re an office intern, a cadet on one of our ships or a seasoned seafarer or employee, we value your contribution and will support you along the way,” Aubourg says.

The result is multi-generational learning and mentorship from highly experienced professionals in the field.

More formal support is also extended to office workers and crew members alike through the ‘Talent Voyage leadership’ the four-year ‘Cadet Training Program,’ the ‘CSL Academy’ learning program and more.

“We’re creating our future leaders and see big value in doing it this way,” Aubourg says.

Dufort-Plante has found that support, mentorship and growth have continued throughout her nearly four-year career at CSL.

“CSL makes it easy to navigate through all aspects of the company,” Dufort-Plante says. “They take care of their employees and you can move upwards or sideways to learn about the entire business.”

Dufort-Plante experienced this herself when she sought to move from the technical to the commercial side of the business. CSL gave her the support and tools she needed to make that change.

“You’re encouraged to grow here – it’s very motivating,” she says. “That’s such a great thing in a company.”

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Advertising feature produced by Canada’s Top 100 Employers, a division of Mediacorp Canada Inc. The Globe and Mail’s editorial department was not involved.