Making the Best Out of the Pandemic

The upside was that I could compete in competitions that are now virtual and make meaningful connections with other students

At the start of the global pandemic, I pictured months filled with monotony and boredom, since the most enjoyable part of being in the Accounting and Financial Management (AFM) program was missing – connections in person with other people. Fortunately, the reality was very far from my pessimistic expectation.

There were a lot more group projects to participate in, and opportunities like case competitions became much easier to sign up for as I could easily participate from the comfort of my home. Previously, I had to pass on opportunities for competitions as it was on a school day or was in another citybut the virtual environment helped remove those barriers and focus more on what was important—the competition. 

Anika, Arushi and Isabel Group 1When I was registering for case competitions such as Young Tax Professionals (YTP), I was skeptical that the energy and enthusiasm surrounding a competition would be missing. I was pleasantly surprised. With everything being virtual, everyone was even more passionate to compete and was excited about the learning opportunity involved. Even my fellow team member on a co-op work term was able to join due to the competition being virtual. It was so much fun just bouncing ideas off each other about solutions to the case and coming up with recommendations.

The best part was knowing there was no right answer which gave us the flexibility to get creative with our presentation and our recommended pitch. This was also good practice before setting foot in the full-time world where I will be making recommendations catered to clients. At the end of the day, the highlight of the competition was competing as a team and making meaningful connections with each other.

I want to end with a valuable piece of advice that I learned from multiple guest speakers at YTP sessions:

 “It’s not about what you know, it’s about who you know. Because at the end of the day, the strong connections you form with people are what makes life meaningful.”

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