Journey of Achievement: A Payroll Certification Success Story
Article: Dialogue Magazine Volume 42, Issue 1, January 2020
In today’s hectic world, upskilling to advance your career
can seem like a lot to add to your everyday life. But newcomer to Canada Katarzyna Kowalowska, or Kate as she’s
known to friends and family, saw the long-term potential
and did just that.
Kate was leading a full and busy life, working a 9-to-5 job and caring for her family, but she knew she wanted more professionally.
In 2018, she decided it was time to take her career to the next
level by enrolling in the Payroll Compliance Practitioner (PCP)
Certificate program offered by McMaster University Continuing
Education in partnership with the Canadian Payroll Association.
Prior to arriving in Canada, Kate lived in Europe and then the
United States, working as a payroll administrator. When she
moved to Canada, she realized the Canadian job market was different. To work in the payroll industry, she required a higher level
After doing some research, Kate discovered she could take online courses through McMaster University Continuing Education
and the Association to gain the skills she needed. She liked the idea
of being able to take classes virtually, according to her schedule.
“The classes were very convenient and accessible because they
were online,” she says. “The course outline was provided at the
beginning of the semester where the instructors advised us what
was due and when. This was very important because it helped me
balance the course workload with my busy schedule.”
The other great benefit that Kate saw in the McMaster University
Continuing Education program was that it would earn her a
double honour: the courses count towards the Payroll Compliance
Practitioner Certification from the Canadian Payroll Association
and an academic certificate from the University. Kate explains,
“McMaster is one of the best universities in Canada. The fact that
it provides the opportunity for those pursuing a career in payroll
to earn a McMaster University academic certificate in addition to
completing their payroll certification drew me to the program.”
When asked about the program instructors, Kate says she has
them to thank for her career advancement; not only are they
highly knowledgeable about the subjects, they are great teachers.
“My overall experience with my course instructors was great,
with many providing their industry expertise to their lessons and
approaching me each time with a positive mindset and friendly
And when asked what she would tell others interested in taking this program, Kate says she is very happy with the experience—she has great pride in what she has learned and achieved,
and in her profession. She explains, “This sort of education raises
the status of my career, which makes me very proud of my accomplishments and makes me more confident."
Kate was able to complete the program and find Canadian
employment quickly. She now works as an administrative payroll
assistant at an accounting and tax company.
Kate thanks McMaster Continuing Education and the Canadian
Payroll Association for helping her get to where she is in her career: “[They have] provided me with advanced payroll and business communication knowledge that I have applied to my work.”
And as she continues to develop her knowledge and skills,
she is confident that she will continue to succeed. "Everything
I learned in this program is essential to my future. The McMaster
experience has helped me confidently approach my business
community and expand my professional contacts.”