Photo: Gladys Gonzales, graduate of the Business Management diploma program at Herzing College Ottawa
Gladys Gonzales was already very well educated when she arrived in Canada from the Philippines. She had a university degree plus several years of work experience as a care-giver and domestic helper.
But she was looking for something more. When her elderly client passed away, she decided to return to school and earn a Canadian diploma, so she would have better career options here in Ottawa.
Gladys enrolled in the Business Management diploma program at Herzing College, and 12 months later, landed her first job as an Accounts Payable Clerk with Richcraft Homes Ltd - one of Ottawa's largest and most successful home building companies.
This week, we interviewed Gladys to get her opinion of Herzing's program, and find out how things are going at work. We talked about her instructors, the skills she learned in class, how long it took to get hired, and her new job at Richcraft.
Here's what we found out.
Q: Gladys, can you share a little about your background and education? When did you come to Canada?
Gladys: My name is Gladys Gonzales, and I am originally from the Philippines. I have a 4-year Bachelor of Science in Mathematics from back home. At the age of 20, I moved to Hong Kong and worked as a domestic helper for 7 years.
In February, 2009 I came to Canada, where I worked as a nanny and caregiver for several years.
Q: What made you decide to go back to school?
Gladys: Before I went back to school, I spent 4 years working full-time as a caregiver at a residence. But when my elderly client passed away, I knew it was time for a change. I decided to take the first step toward improving my future.
Q: Why Business Management? What inspired you to choose this diploma program?
Gladys: Actually, I wasn't really interested in business at first. But, I have always had an interest in numbers and good math skills. I felt certain this was something I wanted to do in my future career. I was drawn to the accounting aspect of business training.
Q: What was your opinion of Herzing? How were the instructors, course material, and overall experience?
Gladys: I had a fantastic experience at Herzing! I really loved some of our instructors, like Jamie Welsford, who was amazing at teaching Accounting and Payroll. Also, Craig Kennedy was great with Microsoft Office.
And another instructor I really enjoyed was Ellie Rock. I learned a lot from her, especially in business ethics.
Overall, the course material was clear and concise. If I didn't understand something, the instructors were always there to help me out and answer my questions.
Q: What was your favourite part of Business Management training?
Gladys: My favourite part of the program was working with classmates on labs and assignments. I had so much fun working with them. We really learned a lot from each other.
Q: What was the hardest part of the program for you?
Gladys: The most challenging part of the program was preparing for tests and exams. Every Friday, we would have a test, and I felt like my mind would "go blank." My heart would race, I got really nervous, and found it difficult to concentrate.
But in the end, I was able to conquer this fear. All my hard work paid off with high marks.
Q: Looking back, what were the most important skills you learned in class?
Gladys: For me, one of the most important skills was effective communication. Also, hard work and the ability to collaborate with others in a team. These are key skills in business.
Q: Can you tell us about the internship? What was it like?
Gladys: I did my internship at Dollco Print Solutions, a company that specializes in magazine and catalogue printing in Canada and the US.
I was responsible for many tasks during the internship. I prepared vacation reports, payroll entries and reports, and completed detailed data entry.
I also organized expenses, garnishment, vacations and leaves, personal information changes, as well as changes to pay.
I also learned how to deal with applicants. I conducted phone interviews for applicants, scheduled them for meetings, and prepared employment agreements for newly hired staff.
Q: Where are you working now? What is your role?
Gladys: I am currently working at Richcraft Homes Ltd. They are one of the largest home builders in Ottawa. I was hired as an Accounts Payable Clerk. My role includes keeping track of all payments and expenditures, including purchase orders, invoices, and statements.
I maintain historical records, arrange cheques for vendors and tradespeople, and ensure payments are received for outstanding credit. I also prepare account analyses, produce monthly reports, and respond to all general inquiries regarding finance.
I'm really enjoying it! After years of working in residences as a caregiver, it's a dream come true to work in an office with professional people.
Q: Was it hard to find a job after graduating from Herzing? How long did it take to get hired?
Gladys: No, it wasn’t hard for me to find a job after graduation. It only took me one month to get hired. Employment services helped me, and I also applied to business management jobs by myself online.
Q: What are your future career goals? What's your dream business job?
Gladys: My goal is to grow with a company where I can continue to learn, take on additional responsibilities, and contribute as much value as possible to the team.
Once I gain additional experience, my dream is to move from accounts payable into a management position. I know this is a common path for many people in my position, and I think it would be a logical move forward for me.
However, for now, I am excited to apply and improve my business management skills in the job I have now.
Q: Any advice for future Business Management students? What does it take to succeed in this program?
Gladys: My advice for future business management students? Work hard, dream big, and never give up.
Remember KSA: Knowledge, Skills, and Ability to succeed. Struggle leads to success!
Thank-you, Gladys for sharing your story with us. We are totally confident you will achieve your goal of becoming a manager. Congratulations!
Have questions about Business Management training?
Herzing College Ottawa offers a 12-month Business Management diploma, which includes a 4-week internship.
Courses include accounting and payroll, Microsoft Office software, communications, marketing and sales, business law, and the principles of management.
Find out if this program is right for you. Chat live with an Admissions Advisor to learn more about training, careers, and how to get started.
Or click below to explore courses and learn more about business training at Herzing College Ottawa. We're here to help!