January 2021

How We Made it to the Global Finals

team pic

After five rounds of elimination, our CFA Institute Research Challenge (IRC) team moved on to the Global Finals, making us the only 3-person team and the third Canadian team in history to make it to the top 5 worldwide.

The Great Ad-Venture: VCIC Global Finals

Megan

After winning the Canadian finals of the Venture Capital Investment Competition (VCIC) back in March of 2021, my team and I were very excited to move onto the global finals in April. It was definitely a very fun and unique competition!

My Unique Co-op Experience at Elections Canada

Photo of Obafemi

Exploring my interests and preparing for a VUCA World

During the Winter 2021 co-op term, I worked at Elections Canada (EC) as a data scientist on the Enterprise Architecture (EA) team. This position was my first experience in both the data science field and the federal government public administration industry.

First-Time Challengers at the Global Finals – An Exhilarating Experience

Photo of Yigga

The Venture Capital Investment Competition (VCIC) at the regional level was an exhilarating experience. Now a month later, we were doing it all over again — on a global stage. In retrospect, I want to talk about a funny phenomenon at the competition. You’ll often hear about the “power of three” in fairy tales, and I like to think that we were riding on some powerful “three” tailwinds as we pursued a “top three” placement. To begin with, we organized three advisory meetings, aligned with three faculty advisors, and did due diligence on three start-ups over three days of competition.

Competing in a U.S.-style Venture Capital

Tony

After winning first place in the Canadian division of the Venture Capital Investing Competition (VCIC), our team was fortunate enough to participate and move on to the global finals.

Fast Pace to the Case, a new challenge!

keshika

Through the School of Accounting and Finance’s External Subsidy Program, my teammates and I were selected to compete in the Fast Pace to the Case Competition. This was an Ontario-wide accounting case competition that put our case writing and teamwork skills to the test.

Taking every opportunity to learn

Photo of Aliana

Amid a global pandemic, virtual competitions have gathered inspiration from our current circumstances. The A4S International Case Competition (A4SICC) challenged us as students to develop a sustainable solution that addressed supply chain resiliency, which is a critical issue impacted by COVID-19. That’s a big ask!

Our introduction to the exciting world of mergers and acquisitions (M&A)

Photo of Gursimran, Julia and Murtaza

The case competition was on March 11, 2021, and we had around one week to read the case, review the details, create a slide deck, and create a presentation where we assumed the role of investment bankers aiding in a potential acquisition bid. The case was based on a real acquisition that took place in the late 2000s, which added to the realism of the case.

The CFA IRC is a marathon, not a sprint

Photo of Noah

For most of us, when we ask ourselves why we went to university, the overarching answer is to best prepare for the real world. To do so, we must all experience personal and professional development. During my time at the University of Waterloo, I have found that while school, extra-curricular activities, and co-op experience are all critical components to one’s learning, competitions cannot be overlooked.

Waterloo Wins Canadian Finals in Venture Capital Investment Competition (VCIC) for Second Year in a Row and Advances to International Finals

team headshots

On March 5th, 2021, for the second year in a row, students from the University of Waterloo Student Venture Fund (SVF) captured the 2021 Undergraduate Canada Regional Finals Championship for the Venture Capital Investment Competition (VCIC). The University of Waterloo claimed the title over the University of Alberta (2nd) and Acadia University (3rd) and has advanced to the International Finals being held on April 10.

A VC simulation like no other

Sean Mark

Throughout my university experience, I was exposed to a variety of learning environments from the classroom to co-op to the Student Venture Fund. In all these environments, I learned from my professors, faculty members, managers, and industry experts. At the Venture Capital Investment Competition (VCIC), I was given the opportunity to learn by leading.

The road to success is always under construction

Photo of Abhishek

What started out as a volunteer experience in 2017, has ended up becoming one of my most memorable co-op terms. The idea of providing basic life necessities to those in need has always been something I’ve supported in some shape or form. Thankfully, my co-op term with Habitat for Humanity (HFH) Canada has allowed me to get one step closer to achieving this goal.

Being proactive in co-op

Photo of Shashwat

Hi, I’m Shashwat, a School of Accounting and Finance (SAF) student and I was on my first co-op term during Winter 2021. Boy was it a weird time to be working! I was working as a Financial Analyst at a Data Analytics company and some of my responsibilities included developing financial performance projections and preparing the financial statements for year-end.

Challenging Each Other and Competing Together at VCIC

Photo of Yigga

Going into the undergraduate Venture Capital Investment Competition (VCIC), I was nervous. What if I wasn’t prepared enough? I mean, I was working in venture capital, was that enough? And then there was our team — I wanted us to work well.

Venture Capital Learning on Hyper-drive

Photo of Brendan

Before participating in the Venture Capital Investment Competition (VCIC), I had very limited knowledge, if any, about venture capital. I was surprised at the responsibility to represent the University of Waterloo’s School of Accounting and Finance (SAF) in our graduate team, but I jumped at the opportunity, nonetheless.

Venturing out to win first place at VCIC

Tony

Experiences from an unusual Venture Capital Investment Competition (VCIC)

Earlier this month, I was fortunate enough to participate in the Canadian Venture Capital Investment Competition as part of the University of Waterloo’s undergraduate team. While the event is usually held in Halifax, Nova Scotia, it was moved to a virtual setting because of the global pandemic. This presented a new set of challenges for us to face and overcome.

The Great Ad-Venture

Photo of Megan

On Friday, March 5th, I had the opportunity to participate in the Canadian Venture Capital Investment Competition (VCIC). With hard work and preparation, my team was able to place first overall! This competition was an enjoyable experience where I was able to gain insights into the venture capital space as my team attended pitches, led due diligence sessions, and pitched a deal.

A Day as a Venture Capitalist

Photo of Julee

It had been four years since I last competed in a case competition, so naturally, I was hesitant when I was invited to join the School of Accounting and Finance’s (SAF) graduate team for the Venture Capital Investment Competition (VCIC). During the competition, we played the role of Venture Capitalists for a day, assessed start-ups, and presented and delivered an investment strategy in front of a panel of judges.

Inspiring student initiative shaping the future of women’s participation in the finance industry

Women in Finance executive team

Striving to bridge the gender gap within the finance industry through an engaging conference

Hi everyone! I’m a 1B student in the Accounting and Financial Management (AFM) program and I knew when I first started university that I wanted to get involved with an initiative that I was passionate about and made a real impact. After attending a lunch and learn event hosted by the UWaterloo Women in Finance (WIF) initiative, I realized I had found my match!

The VCIC Reinforced My Passion for Investing

Roberto

Lessons gained from competing on a national stage

Having participated in numerous entrepreneurship programs before university, the dynamics surrounding growing companies have always fascinated me. After getting involved with the University of Waterloo’s Student Venture Fund (SVF) during my second year in the Accounting and Financial Management (AFM) program, I combined my background in operations with a newly found interest: early-stage investing.

A Competition Like No Other

Anna

Participating in this competition was an opportunity to represent the School of Accounting and Finance (SAF) and the University of Waterloo on a global stage, learn from the best, and become an expert on one special company. While we faced our fair share of ups and downs, there were a few aspects that were key to our success.

I.C.B.C - A journey to remember...

Photo of Anna, Kyle and Sabrina

Anna, Kyle, and Sabrina met in their first year of university as Associates in the ACE Consulting Group. Their collaboration started three years ago working on delivering consulting engagements to start-up clients, and later on leading the ACE team. The three of them worked well together, had a passion for strategy, and enjoyed the thrill of case competitions. After a successful run at the School of Accounting and Finance (SAF) Strategy Case Competition, they decided to collaborate again at the International Collegiate Business Competition (I.C.B.C.) hosted by Queen’s University. 

A social venture to educate and empower young women, First Letter International

Shan

Since a young age, my parents instilled in me and my siblings the importance of giving back to our communities to create a positive impact in whatever way possible. From a young age, I remember joining my brother and father in various random acts of kindness by offering food to the homeless in underprivileged neighbourhoods in Pakistan. These acts of kindness remained important to us as we all grew older and busier with our lives.

A Virtual Fellowship Program

Rebekah

Once I attended UW, I was then offered the opportunity to join the Fellowship program. At first, I didn’t know what to expect, but today I can proudly say I have not regretted signing up for the program once.

How the Fellowship Program has empowered me to give back

Valerie

The Fellowship program is amazing in that it provides you with the ability to connect with like-minded individuals who are both friendly and supportive.

Balancing school, co-op and a virtual case competition

Photo of Shubhankar

The competition day was super quick – we delivered a 10-minute presentation which was followed by a 10-minute Q&A period. A lot of preparation culminated in only 20 minutes of time! Personally, this was the first time I participated in a completely virtual competition and as a result, I had to adjust to working remotely.

More than just a competition

dhanusha

One of the main reasons we won the CFA Ethics Local Challenge is because of the support received from the SAF Faculty.

How the Fellowship Program has broadened my perspective

Mahek

In my first term, it has already given me many opportunities to meet industry professionals and attend a variety of workshops and events.

An inside look at being a SAF student within the UWaterloo community

Nicholas

Advice for grade 12 students who are nervous about starting university.

My Participation in the CFA Ethics Challenge: Lessons Learned

Johanna W. AFM Student

Participating in the CFA Ethics Challenge has provided me with an amazing opportunity to learn about the CFA Code of Ethics and Standards of Professional Conduct and to apply these ethics standards to a real-life scenario. All the feedback from faculty and the time spent together as a team in preparing for the presentation led to our team winning the local competition of the CFA Ethics Challenge!

Tips for Students Starting University

Ryan

Reflect

Chances are, you probably have not taken the time to reflect and get to know yourself very well. I would encourage everyone to take the time to learn about themselves. I have found it very helpful to think deeply about my passions, the ways in which I am developing, and the lessons that I am learning throughout my extra-curricular activities and coursework.  

First place at the CFA Institute Research Challenge Ontario Finals!

Photo of Brendan, Anna, and Noah

On February 18th, three students representing the University of Waterloo’s School of Accounting and Finance (SAF) competed at the 2021 CFA Institute Research Challenge (IRC) Ontario Finals. Led by Faculty Advisor, Steve Balaban, student team members Brendan, Anna, Noah - all upper-year Accounting and Financial Management (AFM) students - competed against teams from Brock University, Carleton University, and York University and won first place!

Making real contributions to early business objectives through the BETS program

Edmond H. Math/CPA student

At first, I was scared of entering my first ever co-op because I had no real work-experience prior, however, the BETS program really came in clutch and helped me enter my first co-op placement extremely prepared.

Insider Look at Being a SAF Student

vishnu

I’m what you call a battle-tested, seasoned veteran. No, not because I’m an Ace Pilot who has an airport named after me, but because I’ve been in your shoes, breaking a nervous sweat while wondering what life would be like past high school. (Spoiler: It’s pretty sweet!)

Feeling confident and hopeful in my abilities thanks to the Fellowship Program

Photo of Alina K

Hi everyone, I’m Alina and I’m in my 1A term of the Accounting and Financial Management (AFM) program. Like a lot of other first-year students, I was nervous about juggling the transition from high school to university. Joining the Fellowship Program has been a big help because it gave me the opportunity to meet a lot of new classmates that I otherwise would never have met because of the pandemic.

Being a Fellow has opened me up to opportunities that I wouldn’t have found anywhere else

Photo of Eddie

Hey everyone! I’m a 1A student who has just completed my first term at the University of Waterloo in the Accounting and Financial Management (AFM) program. With everything going on, it was a unique experience to say the least, but thanks to the hard work of the School of Accounting and Finance (SAF), I was able to make the best out of the circumstance and still create a memorable first term.

What being a Fellow in first year is like

Photo of Ciara M

Hi, my name is Ciara and I am a 1A student in Accounting and Financial Management (AFM). I was offered a spot in the Fellowship Program last May after I had accepted my offer to AFM. Back then, I wasn’t sure what being a Fellow meant for me — I was told extra networking opportunities (which scared me) and a financial scholarship each term (which was very exciting). Looking back on May now, I wish I could tell myself what this awesome opportunity would open up for me.

How the Fellowship Program has Prepared me for uncertainty and risks

Photo of Zareen Z

Learning and receiving support and guidance from various alumni

More Than Just a Stock Pitch

Brendan M. MACC student

Four lessons I learned competing at the CFA Institute Research Challenge.

Learning tips and skills in the Fellowship Program

Photo of Tanvi S

My name is Tanvi and I joined the Fellowship Program at SAF in the fall of 2020, and my experience has been nothing but amazing! With meeting my peers in the Fellowship Program, to getting to meet industry professionals who’ve achieved great heights in their profession, it is clear that I have been given an opportunity to improve and grow in many ways! The Fellowship Program did keep me quite busy, however, I enjoyed each stage of it. I think along the way, the enthusiasm of the Fellowship staff and other Fellowship students really made the experience worth it for me.

Community in Action

Photo of Rebecca L

Hi everyone! My name’s Rebecca and I’m a third-year Accounting and Financial Management (AFM) student. Some of my interests and hobbies include reading manga, drinking bubble tea, playing volleyball, but most of all, spending time with my friends! I’m happy to say not only the AFM program students but all of Waterloo have been welcoming of me and my interests since joining in 2018!

How the Fellowship program as positively impacted my university life

Photo of Chelsea

Hello, my name is Chelsea and I just recently graduated from the Accounting and Financial Management (AFM) program. I’ve just started my Masters in January and and I’m so excited about that! My three-year Fellowship experience has been a fun and helpful ride. I have definitely gained lots of valuable skills from building a positive relationship with my Honouree and taking on Fellowship roles.

Learning and receiving support and guidance from my Honouree

Photo of Sarah L

Hello! I’m Sarah, a first-year fellow in the Accounting and Financial Management (AFM) program. Deciding which university to attend is a big deal and trying to do so during a pandemic is even harder. Personally, the invite to the Fellowship Program was a huge part in deciding which school to go to. The thing that really intrigued me about the fellowship program was that each fellow gets an honouree who is a successful alumnus that is supposed to provide you with advice and guidance throughout your undergrad.

My advice to future AFM students

Photo of Albert C

Hey prospective students! My name is Albert, and I remember feeling scared and confused when I was applying to universities. I wanted to know how difficult the courses were, whether or not I would have free time, and how I could succeed. One of the things that helped me was hearing about current students’ experiences. If you’re feeling scared or confused yourself, hopefully reading about my experience within the AFM program will help!

An appreciation for the Fellowship Program Café and my Honouree

Photo of Maria Y

“Stay positive and look for the good in every position you are put in.” My Honouree reiterated the importance of mental well-being and positivity in the workplace and at school, a much-needed piece of advice as I wrapped up exams and head into my first co-op term.

Learning and receiving support and guidance from my Honouree

Photo of Nicole W

Hi! My name’s Nicole, and I’m a 2A student in the AFM program at UW. This is my first term in the Fellowship program, and the Fellowship Café was the first chance I’ve had to “meet” my Honouree, Krista Heuston.

 

Opening myself up to new opportunities

Mohitreet

Question: How has being a Fellow and the extra connection you have with your Honouree helped you transition to an online learning environment successfully?

Learning From My Fellowship Honouree’s Experiences

Nishika, AFM student

Hi everyone, my name is Nishika and I am a part of the School of Accounting and Finance (SAF) Fellowship program. As a member of the program, I was given the opportunity to be paired with a distinguished Honouree member of the SAF Alumni. My Honouree was none other than Russ Weir. Russ is an acclaimed industry professional who is currently the Office Managing Partner at BDO Canada, LLP.

The Fellowship Program: A fruitful learning experience

Grace

Fellowship events have added colour to the current online learning environment for me and made my transition into university an exciting one!

The Fellowship Program has been one of the highlights of my first term studying Accounting and Financial Management (AFM) here at the University of Waterloo. In addition to meeting a group of like-minded and motivated peers, I have been introduced to numerous opportunities that I would never have even heard of otherwise.

How the Fellowship Program has Impacted my Learning and Future Career Goals

Sherry F., SAF

Becoming Comfortable with Uncertainty

As a student in the Fellowship Program, my future is so clear that I can see it from 100 miles away. Did I get you? Did you believe that?

Okay I didn’t think so. The future is always filled with uncertainty and unanswered questions, but that’s the exciting part of the journey! I don’t have a clear outline for my future career, but this unknown gives me the freedom to seize any opportunities that come my way.

How the Fellowship Program helped my career goals

Nicholas B.

Hello, I’m Nicholas B. I’m in my 1A term of the Accounting and Financial Management (AFM) program at Waterloo. Accounting and finance found its way into my life in high school, where I was fortunate enough to have an accounting course offered to me. Accounting doesn’t run in my family, so it was an all-new and exciting adventure into the unknown.

Fellowship Cafe - Bolstering the Honouree Relationship

Vishnu, SAF student

What’s up, Warriors! My name is Vishnu, I’m a first-year student in Accounting and Financial Management (AFM) and I’d love to share some insight into the opportunities and experiences you stand to gain as part of the Fellowship Program.

AFM and Sustainable Finance

Jessica

In my past 4 years in AFM, terms such as environmental, social and corporate governance (ESG) and corporate social responsibility (CSR) have increased exponentially in importance and frequency when discussing any business. Given my past co-op work terms in finance, accounting, and most recently a not-for-profit organization (NPO), I was interested in how this renewed focus on sustainability would play out as we as a society continue to challenge the responsibilities and duties that a corporation should undertake.

Battling it out on Bay Street…what a wild ride!

Photo of Michael K, Roberto B, and Isaac D

In the first week of January 2021, we, Michael K., Roberto B., and Isaac D. competed at the 14th annual Battle on Bay (BoB) case competition organized by the Ryerson University Finance Society (RUFS). The BoB is a three-day event where students from more than 10 schools across Canada work in teams of three to four members and compete by developing a stock pitch and completing a crisis case.

My Co-op Search During Covid-19 Visualized

Yahya

Reposted from LinkedIn with permission.

This fall, I entered my second year of university in the Accounting and Financial Management program and began to search for my first co-op job. Given the backdrop of the global pandemic, I knew that the process would be more challenging than usual.

What it was like to win Campus Brand Ambassador of the Year

Ceanna

A conference is only as successful as the team who plans it, and while hosting STRIVE virtually for the first time was indeed a challenging decision, it turned out to be very successful! During the summer while I was applying for the STRIVE case competition, I thought to myself, “why not take it one step further and apply for a CBA position rather than being just a delegate?” I thought it would be interesting to take on a role I had never tried in the past. After rounds of interviews with several other candidates, I was both proud and excited to be selected to represent the University of Waterloo as a CBA.

Correcting my misconceptions of hackathons

Tamania

Now, first things first, as a student in the Accounting and Financial Management (AFM) program at the University of Waterloo, my knowledge of coding is pretty limited. I had the misconception that only students who knew how to code or “hack” could participate in hackathons. For anyone else with similar notions, let me tell you that you are entirely incorrect!