Canada is a country built on immigration, but all too often newcomers to Canada find that the qualifications they earned in their home countries aren’t always recognized here. That was the case for student and mother of three Ann Jean B. Bucacao, whose inspiring journey took her from her home in the Philippines to the Academy of Learning Career College’s (AOLCC) Payroll Administrator program.

Let’s take a look at how Ann Jean has worked hard to overcome obstacles and achieve career success in her new home.

A Payroll Career in the Philippines Gave Ann Jean Valuable Experience

Ann Jean’s journey began in the Philippines, where she graduated cum laude from Polytechnic University of the Philippines in 1984. She then pursued a career in the accounting field and eventually worked her way up to become an accounting supervisor.

In 2008, with the help of her sister who lives in Toronto, Ann Jean’s journey brought her to Canada. When she arrived, however, she had trouble finding a job in the field she excelled at in the Philippines. As she says, “I want to look for a job in the accounting field. I tried to apply before but they are asking for Canadian Payroll Certification.”

With her desired career plans on hold, she picked up a career as a cashier at a Canadian Tire in Calgary followed by 10 years as a hotel housekeeper in Edmonton. But Ann Jean never gave up on her plans for a future working in the accounting field. She knew that she would need Canadian certification, specifically as a Payroll Compliance Practitioner (PCP), to get back into the accounting field. PCP certification is especially important because, according to the Canadian Payroll Association (CPA), payroll coordinators and administrators who are certified earn an average of $10,000 to $15,000 per year more after 3 years of experience than those who aren’t certified.

Ann Jean Chose AOLCC’s Payroll Accounting Program to Pursue a New Future in Canada

To get PCP certification, Ann Jean needed to complete a series of CPA-approved courses along with one year of experience in the field. The moment when she realized she could earn her certification and once again pursue her desired career was when she learned about the reputation and flexibility of the career college programs at AOLCC.

“I chose Academy of Learning Career College for my training because I heard lots of students succeed after going to this school,” she says, “I heard that it is one of the best schools for training students.”

“Plus,” she adds, “the factor of having flexible time in studying” was another reason that convinced her to join the AOLCC community. Ann Jean enrolled in AOLCC’s payroll accounting program, which features the classroom components needed for PCP certification.

During her time at AOLCC, she learned skills that will serve her well in her future career. For example, when she began her career in the Philippines computers were only starting to be used in the accounting field. Nowadays, computer knowledge is essential for payroll accounting careers. With AOLCC, Ann Jean was able to greatly improve her computer knowledge. “Plus,” she says, “I’ve learned the Canadian laws regarding payroll and [will] hopefully get the certificate soon.”

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