I liken my university experiences to a sports analogy. You never know when your coach will call on you to play, but when you’re sitting on the bench, you have to be prepared. For me that meant maintaining strong marks with extra-curricular involvement and never…ever take anything for granted.
Like many students, my first co-op job was at a national accounting firm doing external audit. But I knew that it wouldn’t be the end destination for me. I was selected by the School to compete at ICBC, a business case competition at Queen’s. At this conference I met a partner at one of the largest consulting firms in the world and I reached out to him after the competition, and from this one meeting, it kickstarted my interest in a career in management consulting. Just over half a year after that first meeting and before I graduated, I secured a full-time management consulting position at the firm. This wouldn’t have been possible if I didn’t have strong marks to be selected to attend the conference to meet the partner. So, this goes back to always being ready to play. You never know if a life changing moment is just around the corner.
Being prepared can also be about not being afraid to move beyond your comfort zone. After my first work term, I decided to work at a data analytics startup where I learned data analysis, machine learning, and coding. This experience was definitely not accounting nor finance, but it took me out of my comfort zone and led me to competing in two data analytics competitions in Manhattan and Wharton.
I’m not someone to underestimate my experiences and those that I’ve gained in data analytics provided me with different perspectives in understanding companies and industries, which in my opinion, coupled with the skills I can leverage in accounting and finance, means that I’ll always be prepared