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Waterloo AFM recruiting

A photo of timduncan01 timduncan01
Hi,

I'm a first year afm-pa student. How hard is it to get a big 4 + BDO coop placement in the second term if I'm not so successful in doing so in the first term. I'll hopefully have the grades but am extremely short on volunteer and work experience and wonder if I'll be able to compete with those who do have it. Thank you.
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A photo of g93 g93

@timduncan01 wrote
Hi,

I'm a first year afm-pa student. How hard is it to get a big 4 + BDO coop placement in the second term if I'm not so successful in doing so in the first term. I'll hopefully have the grades but am extremely short on volunteer and work experience and wonder if I'll be able to compete with those who do have it. Thank you.


There are a few things that are taken into consideration by these firms. Volunteering and work experience are just two of them. If you can network well, the recruiters like you, and are a good fit with the firm, you can get in with sub-par other things.

I would suggest asking these questions at the Managing Professional Relationships and Navigating Opportunities event. There will be people on-hand who can answer these kind of questions. You could also sign up for the adopt-a-co-op. Both can be found on the AFSA website.
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A photo of BobbySproulee BobbySproulee
Not sure why you're asking for B4 + BDO, GT is a much bigger firm.

Anyways, if you want to work for the downtown office, your volunteer experiences/ECs are worthless, only the networking matters. If you want to work in a smaller office, i.e. Waterloo, your volunteer experience/ECs are everything.
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A photo of immaculatedx immaculatedx

@BobbySproulee wrote
Not sure why you're asking for B4 + BDO, GT is a much bigger firm.

Anyways, if you want to work for the downtown office, your volunteer experiences/ECs are worthless, only the networking matters. If you want to work in a smaller office, i.e. Waterloo, your volunteer experience/ECs are everything.



Legendary name l0l.
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A photo of g93 g93

@immaculatedx wrote

@BobbySproulee wrote
Not sure why you're asking for B4 + BDO, GT is a much bigger firm.

Anyways, if you want to work for the downtown office, your volunteer experiences/ECs are worthless, only the networking matters. If you want to work in a smaller office, i.e. Waterloo, your volunteer experience/ECs are everything.



Legendary name l0l.


+ 1
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A photo of Redprince Redprince
Hi, I have four questions.

1) What is the competitive average that a student has to maintain if applying to AFM-PA?

2) Do we have to write a supplementary application for AFM-PA (Like we have to do for business school)?

3) Does the AFM-PA program account for extra circular activities or involvement?

4)Is the Waterloo AFM-PA better than rotman, schulich, queens, and ivey?


Thank you very much for your help.
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A photo of g93 g93

@Redprince wrote
Hi, I have two questions.

1) What is the competitive average that a student has to maintain if applying to AFM-PA?

2) Do we have to write a supplementary application for AFM-PA (Like we have to do for business school)?

3) Does the AFM-PA program account for extra circular activities or involvement?

4)Is the Waterloo AFM-PA better than rotman, schulich, queens, and ivey?


Thank you very much for your help.


1. Are you asking what is competitive for it? The answer to that is roughly 90-94. If you are asking what average you must maintain to keep your offer, the answer would be 80 (at least that's what is was the last 2 years).

2. The AIF form.

3. Yes, that is mostly found in the AIF.

4. That comes down to what you are going through for and also to opinion. If you want to be an investment banker, for example, Ivey and Queen's are the premier schools. If you want to become an accountant, Waterloo or Sculich are your best bets.

I can give you many reasons why I feel that Waterloo is the best school for accounting (and many would agree).
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A photo of kiddinaround kiddinaround

@BobbySproulee wrote
Not sure why you're asking for B4 + BDO, GT is a much bigger firm.

.



Because GT is a joke. Any firm that asks for your ethnicity and whether you "know someone" at the company on their online application should not be taken seriously in my opinion. That's just ridiculous.
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A photo of Redprince Redprince
Thank you for answering my questions above.

sorry about this but I have one more question. How long does it take for the acknowledgement e-mail to be sent? Also, this question applies to other universities as well.

I applied 3-4 days ago and I still haven't received any e-mail from any of my universities which has kind of made me worried.


Thanks again.
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A photo of g93 g93

@Redprince wrote
Thank you for answering my questions above.

sorry about this but I have one more question. How long does it take for the acknowledgement e-mail to be sent? Also, this question applies to other universities as well.

I applied 3-4 days ago and I still haven't received any e-mail from any of my universities which has kind of made me worried.


Thanks again.


Waterloo is notoriously slow for this kind of thing. Some universities send an email within a day, others take a week or more.

The universities are also closed over the holidays (Waterloo's closed until tomorrow) so that could be delaying the process.

Don't worry about it. If it been 2-3 weeks and you still haven't hear anything, you could contact the universities and see what the hold up is.
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A photo of Gymmonkey Gymmonkey

@kiddinaround wrote

@BobbySproulee wrote
Not sure why you're asking for B4 + BDO, GT is a much bigger firm.

.



Because GT is a joke. Any firm that asks for your ethnicity and whether you "know someone" at the company on their online application should not be taken seriously in my opinion. That's just ridiculous.



Lets clear up a couple of things.

Every Big 4 application asks for your ethnicity and how you heard of the posting, it is very standard in the industry. Also its fairly well known that BDO is the 5th largest CA firm in Canada as well as 5th largest at the international level.

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A photo of g93 g93

@Gymmonkey wrote

@kiddinaround wrote

@BobbySproulee wrote
Not sure why you're asking for B4 + BDO, GT is a much bigger firm.

.



Because GT is a joke. Any firm that asks for your ethnicity and whether you "know someone" at the company on their online application should not be taken seriously in my opinion. That's just ridiculous.



Lets clear up a couple of things.

Every Big 4 application asks for your ethnicity and how you heard of the posting, it is very standard in the industry. Also its fairly well known that BDO is the 5th largest CA firm in Canada as well as 5th largest at the international level.




Are you sure? According to this, GT employs nearly as many staff as EY, while also having the 5th highest revenue. BDO lags a little bit behind, and MNP is catching up in the revenue rankings (for Canada, for 2010).

Other sources (not sure how reliable they are) list GT as 5 globally, followed by either BDO or RSM Richter.

Correct me if I'm wrong.

Not that it really matters.
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A photo of Gymmonkey Gymmonkey

@g93 wrote

@Gymmonkey wrote

@kiddinaround wrote

@BobbySproulee wrote
Not sure why you're asking for B4 + BDO, GT is a much bigger firm.

.



Because GT is a joke. Any firm that asks for your ethnicity and whether you "know someone" at the company on their online application should not be taken seriously in my opinion. That's just ridiculous.



Lets clear up a couple of things.

Every Big 4 application asks for your ethnicity and how you heard of the posting, it is very standard in the industry. Also its fairly well known that BDO is the 5th largest CA firm in Canada as well as 5th largest at the international level.




Are you sure? According to this, GT employs nearly as many staff as EY, while also having the 5th highest revenue. BDO lags a little bit behind, and MNP is catching up in the revenue rankings (for Canada, for 2010).

Other sources (not sure how reliable they are) list GT as 5 globally, followed by either BDO or RSM Richter.

Correct me if I'm wrong.

Not that it really matters.



Im sure about the applications, had to apply to all of them last term.
As for revenue, BDO took in 5.2billion internationally while GT brought in 3.7 (shown on each of their company websites).

The Canadian figures are interesting. BDO claims it is 5th largest in Canada directly on their website, not sure how that is allowed!

Thanks for the source though g93.
But yes, this is a student board, and to get into a national CATO during your time in university, Id say it really doesnt matter.

Cheers
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A photo of g93 g93

@Gymmonkey wrote
Im sure about the applications, had to apply to all of them last term.
As for revenue, BDO took in 5.2billion internationally while GT brought in 3.7 (shown on each of their company websites).

The Canadian figures are interesting. BDO claims it is 5th largest in Canada directly on their website, not sure how that is allowed!

Thanks for the source though g93.
But yes, this is a student board, and to get into a national CATO during your time in university, Id say it really doesnt matter.

Cheers


Yeah, I knew about the applications.

As I check now, even on that link: "According to [BDO CEO], “we added $24 million in annual revenue and 24 partners. The aim is revenue and profit growth “as well as to solidify our market position as Canada’s fifth largest single national practice.”

I had always heard BDO was the 5th biggest in Canada too (I've posted that on the forums a few times). Interesting.
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A photo of WalnutCake WalnutCake
I didn't get a big 4/BDO/GT job in my first co-op term, but am now working at a big 4 for my second. Just make sure to network well at recruiting.

Since OP is still in first year, there's a lot of time left to do more volunteering. Try to find some interesting ones to set yourself apart from the rest of the AFM crowd.
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A photo of timduncan01 timduncan01
Hi,

Is it really that competitive in recruiting season? I don't have any program related extra curriculars ie afsa, uwac, ace, deca etc. Does that disadvantage me in anyway or would it be ok if they're looking for something different anyway? Also what are the chances that an fm will get a big 4 job thats on job mine ie are the jobs on jobmine open to external students? Is it any easier to get a big 4 job in the second placement, do more spots open up because it seems that most of those who end up working there have worked there since their first term? thank you.
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A photo of WalnutCake WalnutCake

@timduncan01 wrote
Hi,

Is it really that competitive in recruiting season? I don't have any program related extra curriculars ie afsa, uwac, ace, deca etc. Does that disadvantage me in anyway or would it be ok if they're looking for something different anyway? Also what are the chances that an fm will get a big 4 job thats on job mine ie are the jobs on jobmine open to external students? Is it any easier to get a big 4 job in the second placement, do more spots open up because it seems that most of those who end up working there have worked there since their first term? thank you.



Yes, unfortunately it's very competitive in recruiting season. 2A was an honest nightmare for me... I wonder how I ever got through it. Not to scare you or anything xD

I don't think it's super important to have program-related ECs. What's more important is that you have leadership roles in your ECs. Just pick something you enjoy and try to get an exec position. This will give you more things to talk about when you get asked behavioral questions during interviews.

FMs don't have access to the CA jobs on Jobmine, but you can apply externally on their websites. As far as I know, there aren't many FMs who have big 4 jobs.

I didn't think it was any easier to get into the big 4 the second time around. It's not that they have more spots open, because they don't have a set number of people that they hire. The biggest hurdle to get over is getting an interview. Once you have an interview, as long as they liked you during it, you'll get an offer.

Don't get too caught up in the big 4 craze everyone in SAF seems to have. Working there isn't the be all and end all to a successful career. Just something to keep in mind ;)
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A photo of aimango aimango
you are highly disadvantaged if you don't have any program-related ECs and you're trying for big 4. If you're in AFM, you should already feel the competitiveness in your class. It gets worse during Jobmine season (at least, when you guys first apply).

I have a close friend who was in AFSA, but didn't have great marks. She also does not have much work experience (or none at all I think). She had a really hard time finding a job in her 2A, and she was in PA, too. She eventually did find one at a small firm, obviously not at big 4 as I believe they only post during the first round (similar to how the big software companies only post in first round for CS/SE students ;) )

What you can do to get ahead is to get a finance-related job during your summer off. I know a few people in AFM who did this, and DID have an easier time getting interviews.

Like others have said, don't expect to get a Big 4 job for your first co-op. Definitely apply though, because you never know. You'll eventually get there in your upper years.
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A photo of timduncan01 timduncan01
Highly Disadvantaged? I don't have bad ec's and do have meaningful positions at other clubs around campus. I'll try for finance related jobs for the summer but they would be difficult to find. Oh no I'm already feeling the competitivness lol.
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A photo of Junction Junction

@aimango wrote

Like others have said, don't expect to get a Big 4 job for your first co-op. Definitely apply though, because you never know. You'll eventually get there in your upper years.



Your highest chances of landing a Big4 job is during your first co-op; it is usually very difficult for 2nd or 3rd/4th co-op students to get a Big 4 job (although the Big4 has indeed hired more upper years this past recruiting cycle).

The Big4 likes fresh new co-ops so that they can spend four co-op terms training the students into Senior Staff/Associate when they graduate, so definitely attend all networking opportunities in first year.
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A photo of Redprince Redprince
Hi,




In the level section do I put like U,M or the grade? I know this is a stupid question but I am very confusing because the course name(code) should be enough to tell them everything.


Thanks
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A photo of julee297 julee297
I have an 89 average. Will be writing my AFM this saturday but I have not completed the AIF. Was this a manadatory document for the admissions process?
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A photo of AdJan AdJan

@julee297 wrote
I have an 89 average. Will be writing my AFM this saturday but I have not completed the AIF. Was this a manadatory document for the admissions process?



Yeah, the AIF was mandatory to complete to be considered into the program.
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