After completing a Biology degree in the Philippines, her desire for adventure led her to a career in HSSE around the world. She ended up gaining a total of 8 years HSSE experience in construction, oil and gas before arriving in Calgary in March of 2016. When she started looking for a job in her field, she found her lack of both Canadian experience and the Canadian HSSE credential was seriously hurting her career prospects. Landing in the middle of one of the worst recessions in Calgary’s history made things even more challenging.
Being the highly driven person that she is, Melanie eventually found jobs in the food services sector at McDonald‘s and Calgary’s Saddledome. While this helped her pay the bills, she was determined to put her HSSE experience to use. She knew that to be competitive in such a tight labour market, she would need to upgrade her credentials.
Melanie discovered a Health and Safety Administrator course through the Alberta Construction Safety Association. She completed the course using her own funds, but decided she needed something a step higher. She discovered the Canadian Registered Safety Professional designation (CRSP), and realized that the University of Calgary offered a certificate program that would meet the educational component of the designation. The tuition was more than she could afford and another job was unattainable due to her already busy schedule.
Melanie first heard about Windmill Microlending from Calgary’s Centre for Newcomers. Within a week of applying, Melanie was approved for a Windmill loan and started the certificate program at the University of Calgary in April of 2016. The knowledge gained through the University of Calgary certificate program, in addition to her extensive work experience, helped her land a job at Predator Drilling in Red Deer. In May of 2017, she was offered a position as an HSSE Administrator, which she happily accepted.
“I have two more courses to complete before I can get the CRSP designation, but I am very glad to be working in my professional field. I would recommend Windmill Microlending to any new immigrants.”