Meet Marina: My Experience in the Community Services Worker Program

Marina Denisova always knew she wanted to help people change their lives for the better.

She completed graduate studies in social work in her native Russia. But when she came to Canada, she knew she needed additional training.

She needed to build on her English language skills and learn about the social programs and systems that were in place in this country.

That’s what led her to enrol in the Community Services Worker (CSW) program at Herzing.

Marina graduated from the program and is now an ECE assistant with the Ottawa Catholic School Board.

We spoke with her recently to get her thoughts on the CSW course, the instructor, and the overall Herzing experience.

Here’s what she had to say.

Q. Marina, can you share a bit about your background? What were you doing before heading back to school?

Marina: I’d been working with the Russian language school at Le Conseil des écoles publiques de l'Est de l'Ontario (CEPEO) in Ottawa for about 10 years. I was an art director and music teacher.

I had already earned a bachelor’s and a master’s in social work in Russia, but I wanted to get a Canadian education and advance my English vocabulary in social science.


Q. What was the best part of the Community Services Worker program?

Marina: For me, the best part was that all the subjects were related to psychology, psychiatry, and the social sphere.

Also, the instructor, Bryan Coker, was great. He gave us the educational material in a clear manner and made all our time in college very interesting. It was helpful for us and useful for our future careers in the social services field.


Q. Why did you choose Herzing?

Marina: I chose Herzing College because it was a one-year, very condensed program. It was shorter than other colleges and very convenient for students.


Q. What was your overall experience in the program?

Marina: The Community Service Worker program is for individuals who like to help people. You have to like to communicate, and you need to be ready to write many pages of essays and create big written projects.

It was an interesting and challenging time for me, full of discovery and useful knowledge. I made a lot of friends and connections with professionals who could help me in my future career.


Q. How was the instructor, course material, and general vibe in class?

Marina: Our instructor was the best. He gave every student the knowledge and help to master the material. He also gave us each a lot of attention, supporting our learning and showing us how to bring kindness and love to people.

The general atmosphere was great. We all listened to each other with attention and understanding, discussing different people’s life situations and searching for the appropriate approach.


Q. Tell us about the support systems at Herzing that helped you succeed.

Marina: All staff from the administrative office were ready to help us with any questions or difficulties. From the admissions advisor and the technical support specialist to the program instructor and the front desk administrator, they were all professional and helpful.

Joseph Perera, the director of career services, helped everyone find an excellent internship placement. I know he helped a lot of students find very good jobs.

I have very much appreciated all the staff at Herzing College.


Q. Why would you recommend studying at Herzing College? What advice would you give prospective students?

Marina: Studying at Herzing is an excellent opportunity to gain a high level of knowledge in a short period of time. It’s convenient and well-structured.

Be ready for hard work and you will achieve your goal.



In Herzing's CSW program, students learn about the Canadian social welfare system and get thorough training in psychology, mental health, family dynamics, counselling, and more.

The program also includes an internship for real work experience.

Need more info? Talk to admissions.

An advisor can walk you through all the details of the training and help you determine if it matches your needs and goals.

Click below to learn more about the CSW diploma and chat live with an advisor. We're here to help!

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