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I am originally from Monterrey, Mexico, where I used to be a Lawyer and work as a Legal Research Executive in the Courts Service.

But when I moved to Ireland and started looking for a job I realised that I would have to reinvent myself. Ireland has a Common Law legal system while Mexico’s legal system is based on Civil Law, so if I wanted to start working in my field here I’d have to get another qualification.

I could not afford to pay for an expensive Masters degree and extra courses, so I decided to stop looking into becoming a lawyer here and started looking for something else.

Then one day, I was online trying to find a cheap course to get a qualification and I saw in the Migrants Rights Centre page that they were looking for people to start a course completely free as a Healthcare Assistant.

I thought this is completely different from what I was looking for and I have never heard about this kind of job before. They don’t exist in my country, so I thought this is an amazing job helping and assisting people, taking care of them. I couldn’t believe this exist in this country and it’s awesome. It was also a huge opportunity to start afresh, learn something different and get a qualification to start working.

Doing this course online with Covid restriction has been a challenge for me, because this is the first time in my life that I’ve attended online classes. Normally it is face to face interaction, but because I am a mommy of a toddler it was just perfect. I can stay at home with my family and learn at the same time.

I will complete my QQI course this month and finally I will have the opportunity to work in Ireland. I am so happy because of that.

I will definitely continue studying, learning as much as I can. This is an amazing multicultural country where I live and that I love. I want to be part of Irish society, work hard and cooperate.

Finally I just want to say thank you to all the people from MRCI, The Great Care Coop and B&B Nursing for the opportunity to be here and to all the fellow participants in my class for supporting each other in every assignment/module.

By Paulina Valencia

*Find out more about MRCI’s QQI Healthcare Level 5 course