Anyone tuning in to town council meetings lately has seen a new face next to recording secretary Joanna Raymond. That’s Sarah Bugeja, who was training to take over from Raymond when she’s on vacation.
Otherwise, Bugeja (pronounced ‘Boojaya’; it’s Maltese), is in the town’s HR department, with the title ‘human resources generalist.’
As such, she looks after the recruitment of employees, employee support and similar stuff. She’s been doing that since she started in January of this year.
“It’s really great,” Bugeja says. “I’m really enjoying the different perspectives.”
It’s quite the adventure generally for the young Torontonian, who drove out to Alberta at the end of last year to take her first job away from home.
“I wanted to get out of my parents’ house,” she says. “I wanted a change.”
Bugeja saw the job posting for the HR position in Slave Lake, a place she had never heard of.
She says she was “kind of perplexed” by the name of the town, but doing some research on it, “I started to fall in love with the town before I got here.”
Wanting to get involved and meet people, one of the first things she did was join the Slave Lake Search & Rescue organization.
“That’s all been a really great experience,” she says.
Born and raised in the Toronto area, Bugeja earned a degree in neuroscience from the University of Guelph.
While there, she got involved in some HR-type stuff for the university and “I found my interest,” she says. She followed that up with a post-grad degree in HR at Seneca College in Toronto. The past few years she worked for an insurance company in the HR field.
Now that she’s here, Bugeja is pleased with her experience of small-town life.
“People are so friendly,” she says. “People from Toronto are very different than here.”