Getting involved and giving back at Cenovus: New Grad Sheliza Kassam
October 2022 – New graduate and engineer-in-training Sheliza Kassam is currently in her final year of the Cenovus Energy New Grad Program and has dedicated her work term to learning as much as she can, looking for opportunities to make an impact.
Sheliza decided to apply for the program after learning about the rotational-style format, which offers participants three, 12-month work assignments with a variety of teams and at different locations. But the focus Cenovus places on social investment and encouraging employees to support causes they care about through donating, fundraising and volunteering was an added bonus.
“Since 2013, I have been running a charitable organization called Children’s Birthday Miracles or CBM, which is dedicated to hosting birthdays for children diagnosed with cancer, or children who are less fortunate in Calgary, Vancouver, Cusco, Kenya and Tanzania,” explains Sheliza. “After graduating from the University of Calgary with a Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering, it was important to me to join a company that had a focus on charitable giving and social investment – and that search led me to Cenovus.
Sheliza spent her first rotation in the program at our conventional asset in Rainbow Lake, Alberta and found an opportunity to contribute to the local community by hosting weekly Zumba dance classes for children.
“During my time in Rainbow Lake, I was able to contribute to local initiatives outside of my technical work by hosting dance classes, which was a great way to connect with my coworkers and support the community,” explains Sheliza. “I am also proud to have been able to meet my target of volunteering over 100 hours with CBM each year – even while working remotely - resulting in an annual donation of $1,000 through our Employee Giving and Volunteering Program, Cenovus Cares.”
Sheliza is a strong advocate for women in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) and is currently serving as an event director with our employee-led resource group, Stronger Together with Women@CVE. Her ongoing commitment in this space has resulted in being recognized as a National Rona Hatt Chemical Engineering Award recipient with the Canadian Engineering Memorial Foundation.
As Sheliza wraps up her final year as a New Grad she has joined the Capital Projects team doing process design, creating simulations to look at ways of expanding existing steam-assisted gravity drainage well pads while applying innovative ideas to help reduce emissions. She recently presented the findings of her work at our staff Innovation Summit.