It was her personal experience with immigrating to Canada that got Michelle Peralta interested in the field.
A nurse in her native Philippines, Michelle came to Canada as a caregiver in 2018. After going through the steps to get her work permit and become a permanent resident, and helping some of her loved ones through the same process, she decided to pursue formal training in immigration.
So she enrolled in Herzing’s online immigration case manager program—and landed a job in the field even before she graduated!
We spoke with Michelle to get her reflections on the training and learn more about her career journey. Here are the highlights of that conversation.
Q. Michelle, can you share a bit about your background? What were you doing before enrolling at Herzing?
Michelle: I was a registered nurse back home. While I was waiting for my registration to be processed here, I worked as a personal support worker.
But I was very interested in immigration, mainly because I came here as a worker and had to go through the process of applying for a work permit and then going through the permanent resident process. I also helped some of my family and friends who needed visas. I learned a bit about how to do it myself, and I got really interested in that side of immigration.
So it was totally different from what I originally studied. But when I saw the ads for Herzing College, I inquired. It was all online and it fit my schedule, so I went for it.
Q. Were there any other programs you considered?
Michelle: I actually started by looking into the medical office administration course. I felt like that might be a little bit related to my background. But then I thought I would know a lot about that field already, and maybe I should learn another skill that’s completely different. So I decided to try the immigration course as something new.
Q. How was the instructor, course material, and general vibe in class?
Michelle: In the beginning, it was a little bit hard for me because I had never studied online. I had to figure out where to put my assignments and how to access all the materials.
I’m not sure how many people were in the class, but it was very diverse. I liked that everybody had different backgrounds. Some were already working in law offices or immigration firms. I was new to the field, so having a very diverse classroom where people share their thoughts and ideas was very good.
I was really crunched for time because I was working two jobs and then studying. I almost didn’t finish the course, but I pushed through!
Q. Can you describe some of the skills you learned in the program?
Michelle: I learned a step-by-step process for conducting research. Instead of just winging it or going at it in a haphazard way, we learned which resources we should go to in different cases. That’s very important.
I learned how to write proper letters, which was really hard for me. All those essays!
I also learned how to be organized and pay attention to details. You have to be very particular about each client’s file because every case is different. You can’t miss a letter or a date or a place or an address. Everything must be correct.
Q. What was the most enjoyable part of the training?
Michelle: When we did a case study as a group, that was very nice because I got to collaborate with all the other students. We all pitched in with our ideas about how to approach the case and how to present our report.
Q. Your internship turned into a job! Tell us about that.
Michelle: What happened was that one of my classmates who graduated just before me went to work for CJC Canada Immigration Services, and she recommended me as an intern. So when I started my internship, I already knew her and we worked well together.
It was great because the consultant I was working with was very interested in teaching us. She answered all our questions very well. Plus, she would really give us a chance to make mistakes and then teach us how to correct them.
By the time I finished, she could just give me tasks to do and I could do them. We had a very good flow.
Right before I graduated, she said we are willing for you to continue as a case manager, and I accepted the job as part time. So I’m still working with them now.
Q. How would you describe your overall Herzing experience?
Michelle: It was very informative. I learned a lot about different pathways I was not even aware of before I started the course.
The training gave me the basic skills I needed. And then through my internship, I learned more through hands-on practice.
Overall, the program was a good experience for me. I would definitely recommend it for people who want to learn more about immigration.
LEARN MORE ABOUT THE IMMIGRATION CASE MANAGER PROGRAM
Herzing College’s online immigration case manager program takes just nine months to finish and includes a five-week internship at an immigration consulting company or law firm. Training covers immigration law, legal research, document preparation, and client file management.
Click below to get more details on the program and chat live with a knowledgeable admissions advisor. We’re here to help!