Marsha had not worked in Calgary since 2017 when she moved out east to be with her family. When she returned to Calgary a year later, she wanted to make a fresh start and considered a career change to human resources. Previously her entire career was in administration, and although she had coordinated projects and human resources tasks, she lacked formal project management and leadership education. She hoped to increase those skills while pursuing a human resources role and sought out WCG Services’ LevelUp program in September 2018.
When it came to job search Marsha found the biggest challenge was writing her resume, as she felt uncomfortable “bragging”. However, with guidance from the LevelUp staff and hard work Marsha was able to create accomplishments statements and gain self-assurance talking about herself. Marsha states this self-assurance helped her with “everything else [in job search] including my elevator pitch, cover letter, and networking.” In the classroom Marsha enjoyed the interactive, hands-on facilitation style and was eager to take advantage of the small classroom size which allowed her to apply the curriculum content. Based on what she learned about herself from the Strengthsfinder and DiSC assessments, she was able to better connect with her classmates on team exercises. She also found the acronym of “STARS” for answering behavioural interview questions very useful, and she even made star shaped cookies for her classmates to encourage them in their interviews.
Towards the end of the program, Marsha was connected with a work experience placement from the LevelUp staff as an HR Assistant. She stepped into the role with increased confidence and leadership skills and was quick to apply her knowledge. Marsha impressed the work experience placement host, and afterwards, they offered her a permanent position as a Human Resources Coordinator. Marsha states “the LevelUp Program gave me the confidence and opportunity to transition into a new area of expertise. I am proud to be in an HR position, to be mentored, to be a mentor and have the ability to evolve and grow.”
When asked why she was successful and for advice to others, she said “Look for and take hold of every opportunity, whether it’s paid or not. Take it seriously, because it’s [your] life. From the project management modules, it not only helped for business but also helped me understand it in life situations”.
Marsha is aiming to complete the Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM) Designation by summer of 2019.