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By: Alex NikotinaPublished On: July 6, 2016
Immigration to a different country can require certain sacrifices, including leaving your career behind. But Karen Klouth has never seen coming to Canada as a sacrifice – for her, it was an opportunity.
Karen receives her Diploma at the Ashton Achievement Awards
“I came to Canada from Mexico about 10 years ago,” shares Karen. “I used to be a criminal lawyer back home, but my career was put on hold after I became a mother and immigrated to Canada.”
For Karen, coming to Calgary, Alberta and building a life there was a huge change, but also a great opportunity. “I have two beautiful girls, and that in itself is a full-time job,” she says with a smile. “Coming to Canada, I was facing a decision between getting further education and credentials here, and staying home with my kids.”
Although the decision was tough, Karen made her choice with confidence. “As a mother, it can be difficult to find someone you trust with your children. You always want the best for your kids: you want them to be loved and cared for and you want to be the one to provide that to them. So I made the decision to stay at home and focus on my children until they get older.”
“Although my profession was put on hold for a few years, I do not regret my decision to stay at home with my kids. And now that my children are older and go to school full-time, I decided it was time for me to explore other career options.”
Karen completed her Immigration Consulting diploma and a few months later she attended Ashton’s graduation ceremony, Ashton Achievement Awards. “I was very happy to be here with everyone and to see my classmates and instructors in real life.”
“Although I took an online course, I connected well with my classmates and we are still in touch with each other.”
“Those of us in the program who lived in Alberta decided to come out to the Ashton Achievement Awards and have a reunion. Many of us saw each other in person for the first time that day!” Karen exclaims with a smile. “It was a great experience.”
Karen with Ashton College President Colin Fortes (left)
When asked why she chose immigration consulting, Karen smiles in delight. “I always enjoyed immigration law, and I thought it was a good progression for me. Being an immigrant myself, I know what going through the immigration process feels like: how long it takes, how much knowledge and documentation is required… It’s a world of information! So I decided I want to help other immigrants with it.”
There was another factor to Karen’s decision. “One of my first close friends here in Canada was my immigration lawyer. Although the stereotype is that immigration lawyers and consultants don’t always like each other, I don’t think that is true. At least in my case, my immigration lawyer has been a mentor to me. Knowing my background, interests and where I came from, she recommended that I take the path to Immigration Consulting.”
“Instead of going back to school and complete another law degree, I decided to pursue a shorter Immigration Consultant Diploma. It was a great way to jumpstart my career without having to go through extensive studies.”
Learning has never scared Karen – in fact, she was excited. “Canada has so many different rules and regulations when it comes to immigration, and I found it very interesting,” she shares. “I enjoyed learning from my instructors: Nevena Djuricic, Shawn Bowden and Stanislav Belevici have been especially influential.”
Karen is now looking forward to what her future has to offer. “I’m very excited now – I’ve taken my first career step here in Canada, and I look forward to the opportunities in front of me!”
When asked what advice she would give to other Immigration Consultant Diploma students, Karen states the following: “Never give up! I know that studying can be very stressful and demanding, and I understand that working full-time and having family commitments makes it difficult to accommodate your studies. I definitely experienced this. But I strongly advise: never lose your focus.”
“If there is something that you really want in life, you just have to keep trying again and again, heading towards your goal and your dreams. Surround yourself with positive people who love you, who understand your goals and support you on your path – and keep going!”
We wish Karen all the best in her career and her future, and we are happy to have been part of it!