Photo: Gleason Uppahuak in Winnipeg, Manitoba
Gleason Uppahuak started his career at age 13 as a stock boy.
Even then, he understood the value of learning and hard work. He moved slowly up the ranks from the stock room to the customer service team, and finally to the accounting department.
At that point, he reached the limit of skills he could learn on-the-job. Gleason needed professional training in accounting and payroll software, regulations, reports, and financial management.
Going back to school was a natural progression for him. "Education is the key to professional and personal success," says Gleason. "Plus, I always loved math classes at school."
But even Gleason couldn't predict just how far accounting training and a talent for numbers would take him.
Since graduating from Herzing in 2019, he's managed an entire social housing project and become President of Kivalliq Development Corporation.
From stock boy to president, Gleason is living proof of the power of education.
We interviewed him this week to learn more about his new role, and get his opinion of Herzing's Accounting and Payroll program. Here are the highlights of our conversation.
Q: Can you tell us about yourself? What inspired you to take Accounting and Payroll Administration training?
Gleason: I am an Inuit Descendant originally from Arviat, Nunavut.
I started working for a local retailer/contractor at age 13 as a stock boy. Eventually I moved on to cashier, customer service rep, and then started working in the accounting department right after grade 12.
I always loved my math courses at school. I went back to school to improve my accounting skills and further my career. Education is my top priority.
Q: How was your experience in the Accounting and Payroll program at Herzing College?
Gleason: My experience attending Herzing College was very positive. All the instructors and staff are very supportive. The one-on-one accounting and payroll training is outstanding.
The assignments reflect real challenges you will face at work. The program is practical and hands-on.
Q: Where did you work after graduating from Herzing College?
Gleason: After graduating from Herzing College, I managed a social housing program in Whale Cove, Nunavut. I looked after 100 houses and apartments and managed 10 staff members.
My role included handling payables, receivables, monthly reports to our parent corporation, payroll processing, rent collections, cash flow, planning and hosting board meetings.
Q: You recently started a new leadership position. Can you tell us about your role?
Gleason: In 2020, I started a new position as President of Kivalliq Development Corporation. We are a boarding home for medical clients in Winnipeg. We host patients who come in from Nunavut for health care services.
We provide accommodations, transportation, translation services (Inuktitut/English), meals and recreational activities for our clients.
As President, I oversee the entire organization, including staff, clients, accounting and payroll. The managerial accounting skills I learned at Herzing have been very helpful in my new role.
Q: How have the skills you learned at Herzing benefited your career?
Gleason: I now hold a leadership role in an important organization. I oversee the entire accounting platform, calculate ratios, percentages, and identify trends. I can generate reports and forecasts for future financial planning.
The enhanced accounting skills and accounting software I learned at Herzing have directly impacted my career success.
Q: What advice do you give someone who needs college training but is nervous to return to school?
Gleason: I say don't be afraid. Your home will always be there waiting for you; home will never change. Go out and get your education.
Learn, have fun, and come back with a diploma, certificate or designation. Start contributing your time and knowledge to our society.
Education is the key to a successful professional and personal life.
Thank-you, Gleason for taking the time to talk with us. We wish you continued success in your career!
Learn more about accounting and payroll administrator training
Herzing College Winnipeg offers a 10-month Accounting and Payroll Administrator program. Training includes a 6-week internship at a local business or organization.
Students can study on campus, online, or a blend of both.
This program teaches accounting and payroll software, accounting principles and techniques, business math, and payroll compliance.
Graduates are qualified to become Accounting Assistants, Payroll Clerks, and Financial Officers. Our students have been hired by companies throughout Winnipeg.
Click below to explore the program in greater detail. Learn about courses, start-dates, career options, and chat live with an Admissions Advisor. We're here to help!