By Jim Timlick
Kirandeep Gill has a hard time believing it’s been nearly 10 years since she first joined Epic Opportunities.
Gill was hired as Staff Development Facilitator in November 2009 and was promoted to her current position as HR Generalist a few years later. Despite the fact that it’s been nearly a decade since she joined Epic Opportunities, Gill says that in many ways she still feels like a newcomer to the organization.
“It’s amazing when I think about that. I feel like I just started here. The 10 years have just flown by,” she says, laughing.
“At the same time so much great stuff has been accomplished in those 10 years. That’s the great thing with my job – no two days are the same with community support and the world of HR. There’s no fear of stagnation in this field. Things are always changing and you are always learning.”
Gill received a bachelor’s degree from the University of Winnipeg and obtained her Human Resource Management certificate from Red River College. She began her career working for Manitoba Conservation at Birds Hill Provincial Park. She was looking for another opportunity when her term with the province ended and happened to discover a job ad for Epic Opportunities in the newspaper.
Although she had limited HR experience at the time, Gill was intrigued by the opportunity and went in person to apply for the position. Despite being somewhat of a newbie to HR, Gill did have some experience in service delivery. Prior to college she was employed at a daycare centre where she often worked with children with physical and intellectual disabilities.
“Both the organization and the job with Epic Opportunities really interested me. I’d worked with children with special needs before but until then I didn’t really think about what services might be needed after high school and what impact that might have on a person’s adult life,” she recalls.
Gill’s initial role with Epic Opportunities focused mainly on training and development for staff. Her role was later expanded to include employee recruitment and in 2014 she was promoted to HR Generalist.
As part of her current duties, she plays a lead role in all training and development initiatives, oversees the organization’s staff training schedule, coordinates workplace safety and health training, helps managers organize training for new employees, participates in interviews with prospective employees and is the face of Epic Opportunities at numerous job fairs.
Gill says the best part of her job is how it enables her to build relationships with people, both within the organization and in the community at large.
“I get to connect with people. That’s probably the part of my job that I love the most, getting to connect with people and talk about what an amazing organization Epic is,” she says.
“I’ve just always been someone who likes building relationships. That really helps in this job. I think if people can build a relationship with me that shows they can build a relationship with the people we support. When you connect with others you can learn so much.”
One of the most important connections in Gill’s life is the one she shares with her family. Gill says her parents, who emigrated from India in the 1970s, instilled in her and her siblings a strong sense of family and the importance of working hard at whatever you do.
When she isn’t working, Gill loves to travel. She has visited her parents’ home in India’s Punjab state several times and has spent time touring North America with stops in New York, Cleveland, New Mexico, Arizona, California and B.C.
She’s also an avid cooking enthusiast, a skill she comes by naturally.
“Everyone says their mom’s cooking is the best but in my case it’s really true,” she says, laughing. “I think that’s where I get my love of cooking.”