Ognenovski ’17: From Customer Service to Compliance Intern at Wegmans Food Markets
Elizabeth Ognenovski ’17
Elizabeth Ognenovski was originally hired to work in customer service at a Wegmans grocery store when she was 16 years old. Nine years later, her job changed significantly. Ognenovski used her connections at Wegmans to support her interest in business and law, swapping her roles in customer service for a law-based compliance internship at the supermarket chain.
As a compliance intern, Ognenovski analyzes and researches anything that can turn into an issue for the compliance and/or legal department. She deals somewhere in between the legal matters — based on state and local regulations — and how they impact Wegmans’ business operations and policies. Since state employment laws are continuously changing, she must stay on top of any pending employment legislation.
“Knowing the legislation and employment laws helps me stay ahead of the game.”
“The compliance internship is a nice mix between business and law,” Ognenovski said.
While Ognenovski has worked at Wegmans for nearly a decade, it was not until recently, during her 2L year, that she applied for the compliance internship. Part of her job involved familiarizing herself with the employment laws of all seven states that have or will have a Wegmans store.
“Knowing the legislation and employment laws helps me stay ahead of the game,” she said. “For example, if there is an employment law that is state-specific, we may have to evaluate whether the company should incorporate it into its store-wide policies. The laws can be very specific and localized, so it can get complicated.”
Ognenovski is from Rochester, New York, and finds time to work at Wegmans’ corporate office there over the summer and on breaks.
“Wegmans is one of the top employers to work for,” she said. “The company’s culture and values make me proud to work for Wegmans. They are great about assisting their employees further their careers.”
Both Ognenovski and her twin brother, Alexander, went to the University of Buffalo for undergrad. They both studied finance and made an agreement to attend Albany Law School together as well.
“I have my best friend by my side and it is nice to have a built-in study buddy during stressful times. We are very supportive of each other and help each other out whenever we can. I think that our business background has helped formed our interest in corporate law.” she said.
Apart from her Wegmans internship, Ognenovski was also involved in the Health Law Clinic in the spring and fall of 2016. This semester she is busy with Albany Law’s new Community Development Clinic.
“I love the clinic because I get to give back to the community. I am gaining first-hand knowledge and experience. It is a business-centered clinic in Albany, which relates to my interests,” said Ognenovski.
“These past three years of law school have gone by so fast,” she added. “I have learned so much and will be upset when it is over because I will truly miss our amazing faculty and students.”