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Reon Porter
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For the past six months, Hannah has been gearing up to take the Associate Professional in Human Resources (aPHR) exam through the HR Certification Institute (HRCI). Read more about her experience in continuous learning below!

Before: Why get a professional HR certification?

Some of you may be asking, why get a certification? And why the aPHR?

The reason I chose the aPHR certification was because this program gives a kickstart to individuals like myself just beginning their HR career. Also, in 2018, Payscale reported from their online survey that 34% of respondents in the HR field have a least one HR certification and 30.4% have one from the HRCI.

As the job market becomes more and more competitive, continuing education has become central to achievement, now more than ever. Specific to my personal development journey, an HR certification shows that I am committed to my profession. Not only that, but it helps position me to be a thought leader in the industry by teaching me best practice and relevant industry knowledge.

During: Preparing for the aPHR exam

The HRCI offers a variety of programs to choose from, however since I am still a breastfeeding mom, I felt the online modules were the best form of study as I was able to study at my own pace. There was even a mobile app which I highly recommend when you have a scooting toddler around the house!

‘Twas the week before my exam and I was freaking out! I had been studying for weeks, however for some reason I felt like I was no way near ready to take a 2hr 15min HR exam. Remember the part about how I am still breastfeeding? Well, how was I supposed to leave my 10-month old for 3 days to fly off island to take my exam? That wasn’t going to happen. So, I decided to take her with me to New York to be my moral support (I’ll thank her when she’s older).

The flight was a success! My daughter slept most of the way (amazing, I know!) and I was able to get a bit of studying in. By this point, I was feeling a little bit better and kept thinking it is okay to be nervous, just remember to be confident and positive.

My exam was the next day. Luckily, my mom met us in the city and was able to watch my daughter for the duration of the exam. As most parents do, my mother gave me some words of wisdom before the exam. “No matter the outcome of the exam, we will celebrate afterwards. You studied and worked hard, and that deserves to be celebrated!”

After: The outcome

As I was about to leave the testing centre, the receptionist called me over to the front desk and handed me an envelope. To be honest, I was too scared to open it. So, my mom did. After studying every weekend for months on end, I am proud to share that I passed the aPHR Certification exam and am officially a certified HR professional!

This is a huge step in my professional development, and I am so excited to grow my knowledge and experience in the HR field.

Take a risk, work hard and believe in your path.

Until next time,


Hannah is currently working with Nova as our Tomorrow’s HR Talent” apprentice, she has a passion for helping candidates find their perfect match and does so with a smile! Read more about her journey throughout her apprenticeship here


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