Writing your CKE to become an HR professional – Part I

Articles Posts about SCS, Human Resources, SCS blog

By Harrison Stewart


Featuring Post-Degree Certificate in Human Resources Management alumni Belinda Schuler-Chin.

In the field of human resources, gaining a designation from the Human Resources 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).

Two graduates of the Post-Degree Certificate in Human Resources Management sat down to discuss their careers in HR, and how the Certificate prepared them for their journey towards their designations. First is Belinda Schuler-Chin.

Belinda, who already had over 4 years in the HR industry, took the CKE1 exam in June 2016 with the goal of attaining her CHRP designation. She had been drawn to the human resources field for some time.

“Just being around people, I realized HR is much more than administrative, it’s interacting with people, being in a position where you motivate people. It’s amazing how you can impact people.”

She says a designation from the HRPA is vital for success in the job market.

“If you are serious about a career in HR, you have to do your check to so to speak, and everyone I’ve talked to and everything I’ve read pointed to the need for well-educated and well-rounded HR professionals. Employers look for someone who has the designation, someone who knows beyond the day to day, who is a big picture thinker. More and more the industry is asking for that.”

For preparing for the CKE1, Belinda stresses that studying beyond the textbook is key to success.

“Don’t just think only reading the textbook back to front or buying old tests is enough to be successful,” Belinda explains.

“The testing will not be the same as it was previous years, so just reading about the concept is not good enough, truly learning the meaning is important. For example what is recruiting? It’s not good enough to spew out the definition from the textbook; you need to understand in a scenario in an organization, what is it really about? Because in the exam now when asking ‘what is recruiting?’ they won’t be looking for the direct definition from the textbook. They give you scenarios and you have to explain your understanding of the concept.”

Belinda credits her experience at York’s School of Continuing Studies for preparing her for her journey towards the CHRP designation, and for advancing her career in the HR industry.

“It did a phenomenal job preparing me for everything, for the CKE exam, for the Master’s in Human Resources Management that I am doing now, because you really get a true feeling for what HR is. The CKE and Masters expands upon that knowledge.”

Belinda is interested in all aspects of HR and is open to exploring the different avenues career wise, but her ultimate career goal in the human resources field is to work in change management.

“For me change management is huge, it’s something that I have a big interest in. Change management is a challenge both on a personal and organizational level, and I am the type of person who embraces challenges. I think doing that can only make you better – if you stretch and challenge yourself you can become the best HR professional that you can possibly be.”

The human resources program at the School of Continuing Studies simulates a global working environment as there is a mix of international and domestic students who take the certificate. “This is a perfect training ground for the international workforce. You get to understand and work with different cultures, how people are motivated and how they operate,” says Belinda.

She adds that she learned a great deal from the international students in the course, and they still keep in touch, and talk about their careers. “Working in change management you have to understand the differences in cultures.”

Overall Belinda is very satisfied with the Post-Degree Certificate in Human Resources Management and recommends it to anyone looking to get ahead in the HR field.

“You’re never going to forget the experience.”