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The Road to Becoming a Human Resource Professional

Posted on Apr 9, 2018

Photo: Michelle Caudron

Michelle Caudron, 26, is a mother of two and a full-time student with Northern Lakes College (NLC) in Peace River. Caudron is originally from a remote community in the Northwest Territories. Her hometown was very isolated, and did not offer her many opportunities to advance her education. In 2009, Caudron moved to Peace River to seek out other opportunities. She said, “I always wanted to continue my post-secondary education after high school, but, like other people, life happened along the way. Once the time was right, it didn’t take me very long to make up my mind and enroll in the Business Administration Program at Northern Lakes College.”

Caudron started with NLC’s one-year Business Administration Program, a well-rounded program with many possibilities. After she graduated, she knew that she wanted to continue her education in business but with a specialization. Graduates from the NLC Business Administration Program can choose to enter the workforce or do what Caudron did and continue their education by transferring to NLC’s two-year Human Resource Management Diploma Program.

When asked about challenges that Caudron faces as a full-time student, she pointed out that balancing family-life and school was a challenge from time-to-time. “The online delivery method is very helpful and allows flexibility in my personal life. For example if one of my children is sick, I access instruction the next day. The online classes are recorded and made available to the class,” Caudron said. NLC’s Anytime, Anywhere delivery method allows students to complete courses without scheduled classes. They learn at their own convenience but are still required to meet specific deadlines.

Caudron hopes to remain in the Peace Region upon graduation. “The Human Resource Management Diploma Program allows me to specialize in labour relations. I hope to do a block credit transfer into the University of Athabasca and earn my Bachelor’s degree in Human Resource Management and Labour Relations. My ultimate career goal is obtaining my Chartered Professional in Human Resources Designation, which is recognized across Canada.” 

One of Caudron’s instructors, Alex Tett, Business Programs Instructor for Northern Lakes College said, “Employers are interested in having Human Resource employees who are familiar with the ongoing changes within society and the economy. This knowledge can range from knowing the most current government regulations, being aware of shifting demographics, or implementing new Artificial Intelligence technologies in the workplace. The CPHR designation is a combination of formal studies and demonstrated Human Resource experience in the workplace. Professionals who obtain the CPHR designation give employers confidence their Human Resource employees are capable of aligning employer needs with those of contemporary societal and economic culture.”