Sophie Coté, PCP
Agropur Dairy Cooperative – Chambly, QC
Sophie Côté is a payroll professional who learned her profession in the school of life. Growing up as a country girl in the Granby area, Sophie always had a knack for math. She started out working in retail for a number of years. At some point, a friend suggested that she come to Montreal to apply for a position at CGI, a payroll provider. Her determination in her 2002 interview helped her to pick up her first job as a paymaster. She told the interviewers, “Hire me and I’ll show you what I’m capable of.” Later that year, she left the countryside and moved to Montreal to take the job.
While there, she was sent to Vancouver for five months for a temporary assignment. A career counsellor then advised her at the start of her career, she should keep changing industries long enough to acquire an understanding of different business sectors and expand her range of skills. She followed his wise advice and sought out jobs in payroll, human resources and tax law. “I like being the go-to resource for my team. I like being able to give people answers. I like being able to explain payroll issues in layman’s terms for my colleagues, and just being able to help people out,” she says.
Sophie now works as a payroll operations analyst for Agropur Cooperative. She’s also close to finishing her Certified Payroll Manager certification. “I like challenges in payroll, and there are always challenges. I love working under pressure,” she smiles. Her role involves drawing on payroll data to optimize the company’s operations, ensuring business continuity while also carrying out payment transactions with service providers including the governments of every Canadian province.
She acknowledges that her career in payroll has been a big help in satisfying her need for learning and experiencing new things. “I’ve found a secure job that lets me study and travel. When you’re changing jobs frequently, you don’t take the time to establish connections and build your skills,” she adds.
The pandemic has brought its share of challenges for Sophie. She left Montreal and moved to Chambly. She also experienced a sense of isolation while working from home during the lockdown period. To help with that loneliness, she adopted a golden retriever that she named “Wicket”. Her dog goes with her wherever she goes.
Bright and curious, Sophie likes learning about people. She also has a passion for the human side of her work, and enjoys reading books on psychology and personal development. “Every time I finish a course, I tell myself this is the last one. But I always sign up for another one before long,” she says. Sophie’s curiosity has also led her to try out a number of unusual experiences. She has travelled to Colombia and Jamaica several times on her own, where she’s experienced the customs and cultures of both countries. And in her free time, she likes to go on road trips. “I love the freedom of the road – being able to stop and visit people, and just to see the world and discover it at my own pace. I’ve got this curiosity that I can never seem to satisfy.”