The following is part two of a series on continuing studies and career success.
In the field of human resources, gaining a designation from the Human Resources (HR) Professionals Association (HRPA) is a great way to set yourself up for success in the industry. An important part of attaining your Certified Human Resources Professional (CHRP), Certified Human Resources Leader (CHRL) or Certified Human Resources Executive (CHRE) is being properly prepared to take the Comprehensive Knowledge Exam (CKE).
In June 2016, after completing the Post-degree Certificate from the School of Continuing Studies at York University, Jody Yap wrote the CKE2 with the goal of attaining her CHRL designation. “The CKE 2 paper was challenging in terms of the extent of content and time management expertise expected of candidates – 225 multiple choice questions over 5 hours. It was a demanding endeavour, but well worth the effort.”
Yap, who has a wealth of international experience working in both Malaysia and Singapore, was first attracted to HR way back when she first got her feet wet in the field as an intern.
“My first internship as an executive recruiter gave me the opportunity to discover my strengths for relationship building and a passionate interest in developing people professionally,” said Yap.“This further spurred my progress to explore and enhance my skills into the other facets of HR as a generalist inspired through working and partnering with good managers and leaders.”
The next step for Yap will be writing the Jurisprudence II exam in January 2017 continuing on her path towards the CHRL designation. She looks forward to securing an HR role in Canada to add to her international experience in the field, and to apply her new knowledge and skills.
As for advice for those looking to take the CKE, Yap stressed the importance of having a plan of attack well in advance of writing the exam. “Have a study plan and ensure that you keep abreast of the changing requirements needed for accreditation given the dynamic pace of evolution to HRPA’s conceptual framework,” she said.
She found her study habits taking the Post-degree Certificate in Human Resources Management paid off in the long run when writing the CKE.
“I exercised diligence in keeping pace with the required readings and exercises during the course through keeping compressed notes of my learnings for more efficient and effective revision later on before the CKE2 exam. I also found the additional preparation learning materials and practice exams geared specifically for CKE2 helpful and conditioned me to perform during the actual test,” said Yap. “The lecturers were helpful in the learning process in providing guidance and structure for the subjects to be learned.”
Yap found progressing as part of a cohort at the School of Continuing Studies especially rewarding in terms of learning the subject matter and the views of others, as well as developing a professional network.
“I found the cohort model of social learning with my colleagues through dialogue and simulations were the most valuable in truly understanding the material to be learned as well as a beneficial platform to develop our interpersonal skills and appreciate alternate views,” she said.
Reflecting on her time at the School of Continuing Studies, Yap feels the learning experience helped both herself and her career. “I enjoyed the opportunity to work with a diverse cross-section of both international and local Canadian colleagues who were essential to a meaningful overall learning experience,” she said.
“It was a rewarding experience both professionally and personally.”