Understand Apply Integrate
Experiential Learning opportunities are offered as part of your program and is coordinated by SAF faculty and staff in association with University departments, student groups, employers, alumni, and other external partners and supporters.
Having SAF play an active role in your professional development through experiential learning will give you the competitive advantage. When you graduate, you’ll be well-equipped and well connected, because you’re experienced. You’ll know what big challenges in accounting and finance you want to tackle and where you see yourself five years, because you’ll be well on your way to getting there.
The Experiential Learning & Career Development Team (ELCD) develops and provides undergraduate and graduate students in SAF programs (AFM, Biotech/CPA, CFM, Math/CPA, MAcc, MTax) with experiential learning components for their program to ensure successful entry into the workforce as accounting and finance professionals upon graduation.
Experiential Learning & Career Development Coach
Tracy Hilpert provides support to students to assist in their professional growth by developing and managing coaching and awareness programs. Connect with Tracy about your co-op and career development goals in accounting and finance by setting up an appointment
If you have ideas for professionally related events or workshops, feedback about co-op, or you would like to learn more about experiential learning, co-op and career development at the School of Accounting and Finance contact Tracy.
Associate Director, Experiential Learning & Career Development
To achieve the full engagement of undergraduate and graduate students in high quality experiential learning initiatives, Kevin works with campus partners, student groups, employers and other external stakeholders to encourage student participation, job development, and inform and support SAF staff and faculty. Students and employers are welcome to connect with Kevin (519-888-4567 x32792) about experiential learning opportunities.
Are you a member of a student group or club with a strong connection to the School of Accounting and Finance? Do you want to maximize the co-op and professional development experience of students in SAFprograms? Get involved with the SAF Experiential Learning & Career Development Subcommittee. Contact Kevin to learn how to get involved.
Co-op is a mandatory benefit of the SAF programs. All students enrolled in a SAF program are enrolled in a co-op program. Co-op is defined here by the Canadian Association for Co-operative Education.
Academic/Work Sequencing Paths for AFM and Math CPA students:
- Successful completion of four work terms is required.*
- Students are expected to follow only prescribed academic/work-term sequencing paths through to graduation. Prescribed paths for each program can be found at:
- Students may not end their sequence with a work term. All students are assigned to Sequence 1 as their default sequence at admission.
- Requests to change sequence are considered individually before the second and/or third work terms. The ELCD team will notify you by email of the specific timing of when sequence change requests will be accepted.
- Sequence change requests must be accompanied by a completed Sequence Change Form and should be emailed in pdf form to the ELCD Coach for review and processing within the requested timeframe.
* Students who have attempted, to the satisfaction of the School of Accounting and Finance, Co-operative Education and Career Action (CECA), and their Faculty's Examinations and Standings (E&S) Committee, to gain employment for all four available work terms, but are successful in so doing for only three work terms, will be considered for a co-op degree, provided they have received credit for all three of their work terms and the necessary professional development and work term reflections/reports, and they have successfully completed all academic graduation requirements.
Academic/Work Sequencing Paths for CFM and Science Biotech CPA students:
Sequencing paths for CFM and Science Biotech CPA students are fixed and can be found in the relevant undergraduate calendar for your year of entry:
Any questions about your sequence should be directed to your program advisor.
Professional Development (WatPD) Courses and Work Term Reflections/Reports
Professional development courses and work term reflections/reports requirements are specific to each faculty. Math CPA, CFM and Science Biotech CPA students should refer to the undergraduate calendar links above for your specific degree requirements and direct any questions to your program advisor. AFM degree requirements are described below.
AFM students admitted in Fall 2015 and thereafter:
Professional Development (WatPD) Courses
- AFM students are required to complete a minimum of four Professional Development (PD) courses. PD1 must be taken in the term prior to the first work term and PD12 (formerly PD2) must be taken during the first work term. A third PD course of the student’s choosing must be taken in the second work term, and a fourth in the third work term.
Work Term Reflections
- Students must complete three work term reflection assignments by specified due dates for the second, third and fourth work terms. A satisfactory grade for each assignment is required. A reflection is not required for the first work term as PD12 includes a major reflective assignment.
AFM students admitted prior to fall 2015:
Professional Development (PD) Courses
- AFM students are required to complete a minimum of four Professional Development (PD) courses. PD1 must be taken in the term prior to the first work term and PD2 (now called PD12) must be taken during the first work term. A third PD course of the student’s choosing must be taken in the second work term, and a fourth in the third work term.
Work Term Reflections
- Students must complete four sets of work term reflection assignments by specified due dates, one for each co-op work term. A satisfactory grade for each set of assignments is required.
Become a CPA – Register as a Student
The School of Accounting and Finance has received the highest level of national accreditation under the new CPA National Accreditation and Recognition Standards. Learn more here.
If you would like your practical experience recognized during your co-op terms, you should register with CPA Ontario as a student.
SAF Mentorship Program
The School of Accounting and Finance (SAF) Mentorship Program connects SAF alumni with SAF students. The aim of the program is to:
- Provide students with the opportunity to gain valuable insight into a range of industry sectors, professions and professional related topics.
- To ensure students are well informed and confident when navigating career opportunities.
- Provide a great experiential learning opportunity for students who have a keen interest in making a connection with alumni.
- Offer a meaningful way for alumni to contribute to the development of SAF students by sharing insight with them.
- The aim of the program is not to match students with potential employers.
Success as an accounting and financial management professional requires much more than technical skills. The School of Accounting and Finance (SAF) offers professional development activities that will help you focus on improving skills employers demand.
SAF hosts a number of professionally related events each year. Our goal is to help you successfully navigate opportunities. Common themes for these events include:
- inspiring your industry awareness,
- building your workplace skills,
- enhancing your professional image,
- charting your professional pathway
- launching your career in accounting and finance
- Launch Your Career (LYC)
- A one-day event for all first year SAF students. Build your understanding of the co-op process and discover the benefits of a diverse job search. Start developing your professional image and learn how to promote your personal brand in preparation for early networking.
- Save the date: Saturday September 30th, 2017
- Professional Futures Conference (PFC)
- 2.5 day conference for all second year SAF students. Prepare yourself for a successful co-op job search. Polish your resume and cover letter, practice your networking and interview skills and strengthen the promotion of your personal brand.
- Save the date: Tuesday September 5th and Wednesday September 6th, 2017.
Past professional development workshops have included:
- Professional Designation information sessions: CSI, CFA, CMA, CA and CPA
- Meet the Chairman: Q&A with DBRS Chairman, Peter Schroeder
- Financial Services CEO Talk with Alpha Group CEO, Jos Schmitt
- Personal Branding for Accounting and Finance Professionals with Karen Wensley
- Managing Your Online Professional Profile with Graham Sogawa, CMA Ontario
- Professional Image Consultation with Nove Image Consulting
- Configurations: How to Leverage Experiential Learning featuring Eagle’s Fight Creative Training
- Industry guest speakers on special topics in accounting and finance: bond rating, investment banking, portfolio management, internal auditing.
Past networking and relationship building events have included:
- Employer-student networking events featuring 6-12 employers: Opportunities in Public Practice and Opportunities in Financial Management
- Employer-student networking events featuring 6-10 employers, Exploring Corporate CPA, CA Training
- SAF Women’s Network
- Practice job interviews, with designated professionals
- Networking simulations, with designated professionals
- Employer information sessions hosted at CECA where HR staff and hiring managers visit campus to promote co-op jobs