Looking at tax through a new perspective

Friday, August 27, 2021
by Abirna G., AFM student

Lessons gained from competing in the YTP Case Competition

Hello SAF community!

My name is Abirna, and I am an undergraduate student who has recently completed her third year in Accounting and Financial Management (AFM), and even more recently joined the Young Tax Professionals program (YTP for short).

When people hear I am learning tax in school they often get confused. People assume that tax is just inputting numbers into a form and that it is easy as that. However, the taxation field is so much more and is integral to our daily lives. 

Abirna and student team

The YTP Case Competition challenged my team and me to use the theoretical concepts we learned in class and apply them in a case setting. This was an adventure, as it was something I never tried before and it was one of the best decisions I have made since entering the University of Waterloo. It was a great opportunity to work alongside MAcc students and professionals with industry experience who guide you and really push you to understand tax in a practical way. When in class, certain concepts are just memorized to receive a mark, or just calculated to get a final answer without understanding the impact, why you are doing what you do, and what that means.

However, working on the case was an amazing opportunity for me to take what I learned in the classroom and see how it actually affects clients and users. Being able to better understand how what I learned in the classroom affects the greater good and allowed me to hone my skills and showed me the impact I can make on people’s lives.

This case was during school, so it was stressful to balance taking courses and the case on top of this. However, in real-life the same rule applies. Being able to balance school, work, and different projects is important and allows for overall growth in personal and professional settings. This case pushed me to use different resources, ask insightful questions, and improve my time-management skills, all while working alongside very smart and talented people. Being part of the YTP Case Competition pushed me to be a better worker and look at tax from a new perspective.