Human Resources

Lockdown Student Stories: Judy | CIPD Review


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Find out how Judy Barranda is using the coronavirus lockdown to repivot her career path and pursue a future in human resources by studying an online CIPD Level 3 certificate in Human Resources Practice.


Studying at ICS Learn is an incredibly special step I have made. I am originally from Philippines. I moved here in London last 2018 and moving was really challenging for me, especially as I was just starting my teaching career at that time.

Ever since I moved here, I have been so stressed out thinking how I am going to restart my life and my career. Coming from Southeast Asia to Europe, I was experiencing a strong culture shock at first and the first phase of coming here was extremely challenging.


After few months of adjustment, my husband asked me If I wanted to try working in the hotel where he worked, and I did not have much choice but to say yes. I like challenging myself, so even though I feel like I am not ready yet, I just go on and face the real world. I started working in housekeeping and after few months I changed department. I am still employed at the Connaught Hotel in Mayfair in Guest Services Centre Department today, and,  yes – I am one of the millions of people that have been placed on furlough leave.

For the first few weeks, I was trying to enjoy the time off, but as time went on I was starting to get really bored. I would wake up and just want to go back to sleep again.


There are lots of thing on my mind, especially with this pandemic. It gets you really thinking about your life.

I started to check some online courses, and I found quite a lot. Before thinking to do an online course, I had been planning to study for quite long time already. I wanted to do HR courses as teaching is not really something I can do here easily. But it was so difficult to choose, there are so many factors that keep on holding me back. But this period made me push through. It has made me realize that this is the perfect time to start what I have been planning to do.

I emailed our hotel HR Manager to ask a bit of help in regards of the HR course. She told me about CIPD and the levels of HR courses I can take. I was so happy and started to browse online and check the courses and the school. So many schools are offering the course I like but most of them are degrees which I will not be able to do.

Because of too much browsing, online courses started to appear even on my social media account. I then saw ICS Learn and asked them about their HR courses. They got back to me so quickly and have provided lots of information about the ICS and the CIPD course I wanted to do. They have been extremely helpful from the very start until the day I decided to enrol.


Getting used to being a student again was really a strange feeling, and I have not done an online course before. I found it a little difficult at first – studying at home by yourself is something new to me. But with the help of my tutor, the student community, ICS and the CIPD, I can see that I am absolutely getting on track now.

Since I was a kid, I had a timetable of what I wanted to do in my life. Being here changes everything and I thought I am going to lose track of my plan. I know I have a job for now, but I always think of what my life is going to be like in the coming years.

Your job is part of your life, and I wanted something that I would really love to do and enjoy in a long run. This course is the start of my new journey. Once I have finished it will kickstart my new career. With the help and reputation of ICS Learn and CIPD, I will be able to become a professional fit for the HR job that employers would want to have.


Since I joined this family, and I am so happy with all the support I am receiving. I would recommend ICS Learn as a high quality, yet affordable education, that is for everyone.

Use lockdown to your advantage and advance your HR career today with a fully online CIPD qualification that you can study from home. Get in touch with our friendly team, today to find out more.

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