by Patty Mah
Jacqueline Sue and fellow 2019 Master of Accounting (MAcc) graduate, Jasper Lam are both working in social-focused organizations. In building their careers, both attribute the co- and extra-curricular opportunities they’ve had in leading them into careers with an objective to solve social problems and provide social benefits. The School of Accounting and Finance caught up with Jacqueline and Jasper to learn more about their experiences and their motivations to do good for their community, Canada, and potentially the world.
Sue, is the director of finance for Palette Skills, a national non-profit organization that helps Canadians to upskill to transition careers. Lam, is the business operations manager at Elemy, a US healthcare startup focused on providing care and support to children with autism, ADHD, eating disorders, and depression.
“What kept us grounded throughout university were all the extra-curricular experiences,” noted Sue. “We realized we needed to do something that was meaningful similar to the things that we’ve done as part of our extra-curriculars.” This same sentiment was also a motivator for the founding of &Vision, a social venture that provides resources as a one-stop-shop for students to learn more about post-secondary business programs offered in Canada and business skills development to secondary school students.
The origin story of &Vision is one to which many first-generation Canadians can relate. Sue, fellow MAcc ’19 graduate Annu Puri, and a high school friend and graduate of Queen’s University business program founded &Vision on the principle of breaking barriers to information within the complex journey of university business program selection.
“Naturally, when you have a life decision to make, you often go to your parents, but this was the first time in our lives when we were 18, where they didn’t know the answer and we had to figure it out ourselves,” recalls Sue in telling the story of her university selection process.
Lam joined &Vision not long after its founding and led the development of &Vision’s first resource, VisionBoard. “Being around Jacqueline and Annu was very inspiring. I’ve grown with them throughout university and thought it would be very exciting to link arms again and take part in another venture.”
Lam’s university selection journey was similar noting that “business is so much broader than just debits and credits and if I had known that, it would have made me even more excited to join the Accounting and Financial Management (AFM) program. It would have made me value accounting and finance more now that I know what it can do for me in the business world.”
Both Sue and Lam credit the combination of co- and extra-curriculars, their co-op experiences and their openness to get involved have created opportunities to build their leadership and transferrable skills that have led to where they are today.
“In school, everything is in a textbook and within this perfect environment. My experience with the Student Investment Fund allowed me to really expand and see how the world operates… that mentality is hard to build. It’s easy to read about it in a textbook but until you fully experience it – a real experience – you wouldn’t be able to truly build that global perspective.” - Lam