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At 59, Pia went back to school because she believes one never stops learning. Here is her incredible story.
Tell us what drew you to bookkeeping in the first place?
I already had a Bachelor’s in Business Administration and had been handling bookkeeping and payroll for many years. When we decided to emigrate here from New Zealand, I wanted to find work in the same field. I knew I needed to get my head around the GST, PST and HST scenario, get local credentials to set myself up for the future.
Why did you decide to study at Ashton?
I googled several colleges while still in NZ and decided on Ashton, because of its reputation and the extensive curriculum. The admissions officer at the time got back to me immediately after I had queried and answered all my questions, which helped me make a decision. I arrived in Vancouver in July 2013, and my course started in September. So I had plenty of time to order my books and get myself organized.
What was the best part of your program/experience at Ashton?
Apart from the excellent faculty, I also met some really interesting people in my course. Most of us were immigrants, even the tutor, which pretty much sums up Canada, and I loved that.
How did the bookkeeping certificate from Ashton help you?
I graduated in December of that year and started looking for work. Having a certificate from a Canadian college like Ashton gave me a lot of confidence. First, I volunteered at the Immigrant Services Society of BC for a few weeks, helping with their Tax Clinics, which was very rewarding. I enjoyed it very much.
By February 2014, I got a confirmation for a seasonal job with Fraserway RV in Delta, the largest Canadian-owned RV Rental Company in the country. I started at the check-in counter, then progressed to Central Reservations and finally onto my current position, which is Administrative Coordinator.
What do you enjoy about your work?
Working with numbers is still my favourite thing to do. I process all the cash-reports from all our seven busy rental locations from coast to coast. In April, I had my five-year work anniversary here.
What are some of the key skills you need to have to be successful in your field?
Attention to detail, an understanding of the bigger picture, and being organized are some of the skills that make for an excellent certified bookkeeper.
What are some of your future goals and aspirations?
(Laughs). I am retiring next year so no more big plans for me.