MAC LLP relies on co-op students’ fresh perspectives to help transform the accounting industry

Tuesday, February 13, 2024

MAC LLP co-op students and employee standing in front of logo at the office

The accounting firm hires eight to ten students each year to help clients with their accounting and financial needs.

By: Lily Francis (she/her)

MAC LLP Chartered Professional Accountants provides emerging accountants, like students, experience in the financial industry. For the first time, the organization has hired a student to work with clients on financial planning in the wealth management unit in the MAC Financial division.

Waterloo co-op students work as student accountants helping the organization to keep pace with evolutions in the profession as generations shift.

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These students are coming directly from school bringing new perspectives as the profession evolves and changes. The perspectives from a different generation coming into the workforce are valuable. It is awesome to see the fresh, excited faces come through our door and be pleasantly surprised with what we have to offer at MAC LLP.

- Rhianna Cote (she/her), human resource manager at MAC LLP

Rihanna Cote headshotRihanna Cote
Human resource manager at MAC LLP

The organization offers a comprehensive onboarding and training program and a buddy system. Through its buddy system, MAC LLP team members commit to mentoring and training students while passing on valuable insights from their experience. Students' contributions to the buddy system include offering their learning from university. The buddy system helps ensure a successful and educational work term for both the co-op student and team members.

“Each student is assigned a buddy and a manager to help support them during their time with us. The manager mentors, coaches and trains their students,” says Cote.

“The buddy is an experienced peer who trains and mentors and helps to acclimatize co-ops and new hires to the office community. They help guide them through training, introduce them to colleagues or even grab lunch together.”

At MAC LLP students are a valuable talent strategy to help grow the firm.

Immersive culture encourages students to return for multiple work terms

Charlotte Litwiller (she/her), human resource generalist at MAC LLP, co-ordinates the onboarding and orientation of incoming co-op students. Litwiller is a support person for the co-op students to help them feel a part of the MAC LLP community from the beginning. Litwiller and the team at MAC LLP invite their students to come back for social events and activities to create a sense of belonging.

The immersive culture gives co-op students unique hands-on experiences. Students take on various challenges that help MAC LLP with their client service and help students expand their skills. “Students get the opportunity to touch all the different pieces of the accounting process including tax returns, bookkeeping, compilation, audits and more,” says Cote.

Charlotte Litwiller headshotCharlotte Litwiller
Human resource generalist at MAC LLP

“We have been really impressed with the students we hire from Waterloo. They are well-rounded when they come on board. They understand professionalism and how to conduct themselves in a professional environment while connecting personably with clients and colleagues.” 

Value of student lens 

MAC LLP helps students to realize the importance of accounting in the lives and livelihood of the firm’s clients. Accountants are present during large life changes and decisions such as getting married, having a child, buying a home, opening a business and more.

The firm looks for candidates that are open-minded, have a good attitude, are passionate, personable and excited to enter this unique field of work.

The team at MAC LLP values their co-op students, incorporating them into the business and providing a sense of autonomy. Cote has been impressed with the level of professionalism that Waterloo co-op students bring to the table. The value goes both ways, students gain a deeper understanding of this industry and MAC LLP gains a valuable lens on their daily work. 

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