Murtaza Z

AFM Student

Murtaza's Undergraduate Experience at SAF

I now do not treat anything as a burden, but an opportunity that can lead to something special, which by nature, improves my performance and motivates me to do better.

Murtaza Z., AFM Student

Co-op

Murtaza has completed two co-op terms in his young university career, one as a Corporate and Individual Tax Analyst at Deloitte, and one as a Finance Intern at Brookfield Asset Management. As a Finance Intern, Murtaza prepared variance account analysis, assisted with quarterly financial statements and reporting, gathered and summarized information for routine investor requests, and other complex tasks. His experience with Brookfield Asset Management shouldn’t be understated, but it was his job at Deloitte that really caught his eye.

Murtaza would have never guessed in his life that he would learn French and accounting at the same time. “Yet, four months and a global pandemic later I'm capable of speaking French in a professional accounting setting.” Murtaza filed bilingual T1s, T2s, T3s, and created excel models to optimize taxes payable for millionaire clients. It’s these unique opportunities that make co-op at Waterloo so valuable. Merci d'avoir lu!

Extracurriculars

One extracurricular activity that helped Murtaza grow as a person and a professional was his role as a Junior Portfolio Manager with the Student Investment Fund (SIF). SIF prepared Murtaza to no longer be intimidated by the finance world. His mindset has broadened as he is now open to potentially working for Asset Management firms or Investment Banking, instead of possessing the mindset of ‘big four or bust’.

But as Murtaza knows, an extracurricular doesn’t always have to be related to accounting or finance. In his free time, Murtaza had captained an intramural volleyball team to a second-place finish. “Volleyball made me a better team player under stressful situations and improved my quick decision-making that I have applied in courses and co-op.”

Career Goals

After gaining exposure to accounting in the AFM program, and finance from the SIF, Murtaza’s career goals are focused on industry companies rather than public firms. “SIF provides me with a lot of finance experience and a strong network of connections that can enable me to learn more about finance trends and opportunities. AFM in general is more focused on accounting so continuing to perform in the high 90s will allow me to develop and enhance my CPA competencies.”

Murtaza experienced an accounting-focused first co-op term as a Corporate and Individual Tax Analyst at Deloitte, and his current co-op job as a Finance Intern at Brookfield Asset Management is a mix of accounting and finance. Murtaza has now pre-determined that his future co-op terms will be more finance-oriented so he can continue networking and experiment with different fields to eventually find his "sweet spot".

Lessons Learned

Murtaza’s goal was to try something new when he first moved to Waterloo for university. His first and second co-op terms certainly provided new challenges. Murtaza learned that in order to find your passion, in your professional or personal life, you need to “try everything and anything - you never know what you'd end up liking. There's a lot of stereotypes to clear once you're actually in the field so take the risks while you can in undergrad and continue building a strong reliable network of close friends.”

Murtaza also makes it his mission to possess a growth-mindset and to never stop learning, but that isn’t possible if you treat certain projects or assignments as a burden. “I now do not treat anything as a burden, but an opportunity that can lead to something special, which by nature, improves my performance and motivates me to do better.”