Alumni Spotlight: Chad Schella
What was your program at Bishop’s?
I graduated in 1994 with a Hons. BA in Political Studies.
What would you recommend for students?
I highly recommend that students take courses outside of their concentration and make the most of the Liberal Arts opportunity that Bishop’s affords to them. I wish that I had taken more science, math and business courses but always enjoyed Philosophy, Sociology and Geography courses, to name only a few, that I studied outside of Political Studies.
Why did you choose your major?
I was always interested in politics and had been active in high school student leadership and government so wanted to learn more about Canadian and International politics which led me towards a degree in Political Studies.
What were you involved with at Bishop’s?
My “Bishop’s Experience” included living in Munster my first year, being a Residence Assistant (Norton Hall), involvement with the SRC (Student-at-large and then President for 2 years), Political Studies Association, Student Patrol, DJ at CJMQ (student radio station on Campus), worked at the Old Lennoxville Golf Club and through friends, got to experience many clubs, athletic activities and events. I was proud to be named Valedictorian and to receive a Golden Mitre Award, the Ray Lawson Award and SRC Special Merit Award.
What are the best ways to succeed at Bishop’s?
The best way to succeed at Bishop’s is to experience as many different opportunities as possible. Meeting people from around the world, learning about different perspectives and appreciating the Bishop’s Community are very important. I would also strongly recommend tapping into the Alumni Association to network and make as many connections as possible. Most of my life-long and closest friends to this day are from Bishop’s and I value each of their unique personal and professional journeys, but the shared Bishop’s Experience is a common bond.
What are you doing currently (work)? What are your responsibilities, and what does a typical day look like?
I am currently the General Manager, Government and Community Affairs for Canada Post and lead a exceptional professionals who are responsible for engaging with elected officials at all levels of government (Federal, Provincial/Territorial, Municipal) as well as Indigenous and Northern Affairs. Our team is also responsible for Presidential and Corporate Affairs and Ministerial Correspondence for the Minister Responsible for Canada Post. We also manage important relationships with influencers and community leaders like Chambers of Commerce, Boards of Trade and Associations such as the Federation of Canadian Municipalities. Every day is different and very few are “typical” which is what makes it exciting. Being a Crown Corporation with a dual mandate (commercial and public service) is also a unique dynamic given Canada’s large geography and the rural/urban/remote communities that Canada Post serves.
Why did you choose this career path?
I have had a very interesting and diverse career path which has seen me work in Federal politics, with a large, national trade association, Professional and Amateur golf, the Pharmaceutical industry, Philanthropy and the National Hockey League and now, at one of Canada’s largest Crown Corporations with over 60,000 employees. Each of those experiences have been very different but the common thread is transferrable skills and the ability to foster strong interpersonal relationships. I feel very fortunate to have had the many experiences that I have had so far and feel that my Bishop’s Experience influenced my career in every way.
Did you complete further education, if so why?
I did not complete any formal education after Bishop’s. My career path just took me in various directions and it was not a deliberate choice to not pursue additional education, circumstances just did not afford me the opportunity to do so.
Best ways to succeed when you’re finished your undergrad
The best way to succeed following undergrad is to network, build relationships and create a personal and professional reputation that you can be proud of. It is not easy deciding what you want to do, but sometimes finding out what you do not want to do, helps to determine what you enjoy doing. If you can combine your passions with your profession, then you will always enjoy what you do. Also surrounding yourself with good people who you trust and respect, and always asking for advice, are keys to success. I was fortunate to work with great people early in my career who helped shape my professional journey and experience. I also leveraged the Bishop’s Alumni Association and have remained engaged and an active supporter since graduating.
What are you most proud of up to now?
Professionally, I am most proud of the uniqueness of my career and the many incredible people that I have met along the way. I feel very fortunate that I have had the opportunity to travel extensively throughout Canada which has given me an appreciation for the diversity of our country. The differences and challenges between urban, rural and remote communities are real but there is also great opportunity in each area. Personally, I am very proud of my family and how close I have remained with many Bishop’s friends for over 30 years now; I value those friendships a great deal. I also believe that my involvement with the creation of Roger Neilson House (a pediatric palliative care facility in Ottawa) is something that was not only very personal to me, but also a facility that I will forever be proud of contributing to.
If you had one piece of advice for a Bishop’s student looking to pursue a career in your field, what would that be?
My best advice is to network, leverage the Alumni Association and connect with people who can give you advice and assistance on your professional journey. I find that Bishop’s Alumni are always eager to assist current students or recent graduates. Make the most of that advantage and leverage vehicles like BU JUMP or informal mentoring opportunities with Bishop’s graduates in all fields and literally around the world.
What are you passionate about?
Professionally, I am passionate about the role that Canada Post can play to facilitate Reconciliation with Indigenous Communities. We are working hard with a new Indigenous and Northern Reconciliation Strategy at Canada Post and are implementing it based on 4 pillars; Improving Postal Service to Indigenous and Northern Communities, the establishment of a new Indigenous Procurement Policy, Improving Indigenous employment and retention and supporting Indigenous and Northern community wellness and security.
What are your hobbies outside of the academic and professional realm?
My hobbies include being engaged in our family’s activities and trying to get playing more golf if I can!
If students are interested in reaching out to Chad Schella to learn more about his career and various experiences, you can contact him through LinkedIn: