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AMA: Brock BAcc Graduate, Carleton MAcc Graduate, Big 4 Employee
My name is Neal, and I graduated from Brock's Bachelor of Accounting Co-op program in 2016 and Carleton's Master of Accounting program in 2017. I was a yconic Student Ambassador for 2016-17. Although I work full-time at PwC now, I'm still around answering questions about accounting as a career and universities. 

My co-op work experience includes:
-Corporate Accounting, Henkel (Germany)
-Assurance and Tax, Collins Barrow
-Risk Assurance, Ernst and Young

I currently work at PricewaterhouseCoopers in Assurance. . 

A snapshot of my time at Brock:  
-Served as an executive for several clubs  
-Participated in numerous internal/external case competitions and conferences  
-Served as a Tutorial Leader for Brock's first-year Macroeconomics course  
-Inducted into Beta Gamma Sigma (the top 10% of Goodman get invited)  
-Did co-ops and internships with 3 different companies in corporate accounting, assurance, tax and risk assurance located in Germany and Canada  
-Participated in a short-term exchange to France  
-Volunteered for the business school's Career Services office, where I critiqued students' resumes  
-Lived in residence (first-year) and off campus

A snapshot of my time at Carleton:  
-President of the Sprott MAcc Society  

Feel free to ask me questions below! Or you can add me on LinkedIn if you'd like to send a private message (https://www.linkedin.com/in/nsengupta).
OSAP Question
I got accepted to all the schools I applied to, but was not able to afford it. Thankfully, the school I wanted allowed me to defer my admissions offer to next year so that I could take a year off to save money. My parents are in a bad place financially (they're in a lot of debt) and they can't help me with any of my finances, meaning I am responsible for all of my tuition, taxes, living expenses ect. Unfortunately, OSAP didn't care about my financial situation and the fact that my parents weren't helping with my tuition, they just cared about how much my parents make and the savings I had. My parents make a fair amount (middle class), so I didn't get enough from OSAP. I am currently working full-time (40 hours a week) and I plan on continuing to do so until I start school in September and then i'll go down to part time during the school year. .However, I am scared that since I have been working all year and saving up all my money, OSAP will take away all my grants. I am trying to apply for every scholarships but I don't meet the requirements for the majority of them. If OSAP takes away my grants, then I will not be able to afford school at all. Staying home for school isn't an option, because they don't offer the program I want at my local university. I save every penny I can and I never spent money on anything that isn't 100% necessary (not even coffee). I didn't get that much to begin with, but considering how much I'll have saved up during the school year, OSAP will probably take it out of the money they give me, starting with the grants. Is there any way I can make OSAP understand my situation and have them consider the fact that my parents are not helping me whatsoever?
Note: I originally didn't plan on taking a gap year, so I applied to OSAP and the final amount given was $7000 less than what I needed. Depending on how hard the school is and the work load, i'm not sure what kind of hours i'll be able to work during the school year and since I have to move away I won't be able to keep my job, so I'm not sure how long it will take me to find another one, meaning I could be out of work for a long time (it took me 10 months to find the job I have now). I'm also not sure whether or not my current job will allow me to come back during the summers (they typically don't do transfers so that's not an option either). I'm not just the first year i'm worried about but the three subsequent years as well (maybe more depending on whether or not I decide to get my masters). I know I should have started looking for a job earlier on but it's too late to do anything about that. If anyone has any tips or suggestions on what I can do about OSAP please let me know. Thank you!
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5th Year Brock BBA/BAcc Co-op student, ask me anything! (IB and Big 4 Co-op)

I'm basically always on here so figured might as well make one of these and help out any prospective students.

- First 2 years spent as BBA Co-op student, secured first coop term through BBA
- Transferred into BAcc Co-op after 2 years
- Currently doing a spring semester

You kinda get the best of both worlds since I have been in all (both) the programs offered at the Goodman School of Business!

And since I know these are gonna be popular Qs:

- Avg (both major and overall) ~80%
- ECs: Leadership position in a club, some entrepreneurial stuff, sports stuff
- Work XP: General accounting internship at no-name organization doing very basic stuff, manual labour

Since attending Brock, I have received interview requests from:

Company / Quantity / (Co-op vs summer intern, Location) 

RBC x 3 (Various positions, co-op x2 and summer intern x1, Toronto)
Big 4 Audit x3 (1x Co-op and 1x Summer intern, Toronto...1 x Co-op in Calgary)
Big 4 Summer Leadership Conferences x2 (Toronto)
CPP Investment Board x2 (Summer Analyst, Toronto)
Scotiabank (Co-op, Toronto)
Grant Thornton Audit (Co-op, Toronto)
Canadian Tire (Co-op, GTA)
Ontario Securities Commission (CPA position, summer intern, Toronto)
Mercedes-Benz Financial Services (Co-op, GTA)
TeamBuy .ca (Summer intern, Toronto)
Imperial Oil (Co-op, Calgary)
Suncor (Co-op, Calgary)
Regional CPA firm (Co-op, Hamilton area)
Small CPA firm (Co-op, Niagara region)
Publicly traded minerals company (Co-op, Toronto)
OMERS Pension Fund (Co-op, Toronto)
Big 5 Canadian Bank Capital Markets x2 (Co-op, Toronto)
Husky Energy (Summer intern, Calgary)
Accenture Consulting (Full time, Toronto)
McKinsey Consulting (Full time, Eastern Europe)

- Rejected from BAcc Co-op
- Accepted to BBA Co-op with 83.5% top 6

- Joined B4 Audit in January 2016
- Done 8 months of co-op, not at an accounting firm
- Major average ~85, overall ~80+
- ECs, unchanged from when applying to first co-op
- Completed a couple certificates in excel

- Get public accounting experience somewhere else. This is basically a must. I believe I was the only upper year hired from my school into B4 this past term without prior public experience. It's something I noticed during recruiting
- If you have the above, grades matter a bit less. Yes you still want to do as best as you can, but a high 70 is OK enough if you have prior XP. An 80+ is still ideal though
- Be prepared to explain why you left your previous employer (and don't speak poorly about them)

That's basically it. So feel free to ask me anything and I'll try to answer your Qs as best as I can!

*Even if nobody has posted in this topic for a while, feel free to do so, chances are I'm still lurking on here

Robert Half 2018 Salary Guides & Salary Centre

Sharing the link below to download RH's salary guide for Canadian Accounting and Finance professionals.  There is also an online salary calculator which is quite handy.


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Schulich BBA Competition
So a York U representative came to my school last week and said that the cutoff for Schulich's BBA program was a 93 last year. I wanted to clarify or confirm this with anyone who may have information about this. In previous years, the cutoff was 91-92 so is it still possible to get in with those marks this year? Thanks
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How could I make a six-figure out of uni? (More explained below)
Anyways, I've already come to terms that I'll practically get acceptances into any university in Ontario....

Let's just say that I'm the most driven and passionate man in the world about making money in the field of BUSINESS!  I'm assuming that I need to go to a top-tier university in Canada but I'm naive and I really don't know much about the Canadian job-market...

5 years post-graduating how can I make an AMAZING salary and set myself up to be in at least the 5% of income-earners in Canada? (5% is a conservative number... I'm aiming to be in the top 1% but anything past 3% is just luck...) 
Financial Aid: How are you paying for school?
Hey everyone! I am one of your yconic Student Ambassadors for this school year. Today I will be discussing financial aid and sharing my thoughts on how you can pay for school.

Before you even apply to university, you have to pay fees to get your applications processed. In some cases, you might even have to pay more to complete supplementary applications (Check out my post last week about university applications: http://bit.ly/2jKJt6m). Unfortunately, this is only the beginning. 

I am currently in my third week of university and have spent A LOT of money. Textbooks alone can cost you hundreds of dollars. Thankfully, there are many ways for you to finance your education. 

1. OSAP (Ontario Student Assistance Program) 

OSAP is a financial aid program set up by the government to assist families and students to fund their education. You get grants and loans from OSAP and the amount depends on your family's income. That said, you might qualify for FREE tuition. 

When you're applying for OSAP, hand in your required documents ASAP to ensure that your OSAP money comes on time to pay your tuition and buy your course materials. 

Check out this page to get more information and to calculate roughly how much you can get from OSAP: https://www.ontario.ca/page/osap-ontario-student-assistance-program 

2. RESP (Registered Education Savings Plan) 

An RESP is like a savings account for your parents to contribute to for your post-secondary education. In addition to the amount your parents contribute, the government adds to it as well. 

3. Bank Loan 

Getting a bank loan is another option to help you pay for school, especially if you'll be studying as an international student abroad. It is important to note that the interest rate might be higher than OSAP and varies from bank to bank. 

4. Part-Time/Summer Job 

Working part-time or having a summer job is a great way to save and pay for school. It definitely helps reduce the amount you have to borrow to pay your tuition fees and course materials. An added bonus is that instead of asking your family for money, you have your own to spend for textbooks and of course, food! 

5. Scholarships and Bursaries 

Free money is awesome! Bursaries are offered to students who demonstrate financial need. Just like OSAP, it takes your family income into consideration. A lot of post-secondary institutions have a financial aid section on their websites, which gives students information on how to apply for them. 

In addition, you can get an entrance scholarship, which is based on your Top 6 for Grade 12. They might range from $500 to $4000 though it depends on the post-secondary institution. This is one of the reasons why it is important to maintain your grades after getting accepted into your program of interest. 

There are many scholarships available here on yconic, so if you're reading this, I would highly recommend that you start applying to them. Last year, one thing that I found surprising was the fact that many scholarships go unclaimed due to people not applying for them. Writing essays might seem unappealing and a lot of work now, but your future self will be thanking you later for doing so. 

Let me know in the comments how you plan to or are currently paying for school. If you have any questions, please check out my AMA as well: http://bit.ly/2fknIsA 

Hope to hear from you soon! 

Alyssa Vidal 
yconic Student Ambassador
Can I still be successful if I don't go to a prestige business school?
This may be a dumb question, sorry in advance.

The best business schools for accounting are Schulich, Queens, Rotman, Ivey ( more finance though), Mcgill etc. They all require averages in the 90s to get in which I know I won't be able to achieve. So I am gonna apply to programs like York Bcom  and pursue my accounting undergrad there. Will I still be successful?  I want to become a CPA.

( I'm not saying the schools I mentioned above are the only best business school/havethe best business programs,  AFM, Bacc and Laurier BBA  etc are also good programs, so don't get mad!)
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is my reasoning for picking Schulich BBA over Waterloo AFM dumb?
the only reason I choose Schulich is because I can stay at home, I am really attached to my parents ( make fun of me as much as you want) so i was scared to move away.
Did i make a mistake?
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why do i keep seeing comments that Schulichs reputation went down?
is this true? should I not apply there for Accounting anymore? Also does Schulich have the same Masters program where you don't have to do 2/3 exams to become a CPA?
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McMaster Bursary
Would anyone know or be able to give me an estimated value of how much McMaster would typically give in bursaries for students who received OSAP?
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Voluntary Donation Fee
Are there any negative ramifications in opting out of a voluntary donation fee to my faculty? I am trying to keep my costs down, and the extra money could be used to buy textbooks and other school materials that are necessary to my success in school. I would pay the fee if I had the money, but I am not in that position. So, I was wondering if opting out of this fee would mean I can't join clubs, or participate in other activities at the school (even though it is voluntary)?
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I want to get into AFM this year but i feel like I'm too optimistic
I will be in grade 12 this year and my school is non semester.  The courses I will be taking are advanced functions, Calculus and Vectors, Accounting, English, Religion, International business and I'm going to pick up an easy course. Since my school Mary Ward Catholic Secondary School, is self directed, I had to learn majority of the things myself....there was seminars here and there sometimes but they teach to fast for me. Since I'm taking TWO maths the same time this year, not half and half, THE SAME TIME.. I feel like i won't be able to pull of a 90 + average in both. Im trying to learn advanced functions ahead of time but I'm getting a bit confused even though its simple i get confused here and there about Logarithms. I don't know if i should just give up my dream and go to a college. I really want to go to waterloo but at this rate I won't be able to pull of a high average. This is really depressing. Maybe I'm too stressed so maybe I don't understand some concepts of logarithms. I don't know really.  I just felt like sharing...have a nice day.
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Scholarships as an influence for choosing a university
I want to hear your thoughts. For me last year, this was about the time that universities begin to hand out their scholarships, both small and large. I was humbled enough to receive major scholarships from more than one university. I ended up choosing the University of Calgary not only because of the larger amount of monies I received but also because of an offer for a conditional acceptance into their MD Program.  

For many of you, you guys will also be in a similar position, where you will receive scholarships from multiple universities. It definitely is a difficult decision, with scholarships making the decision much more complicated. 

As you approach these next couple of months, how much will scholarships influence your decision in choosing a university? What other factors will you be also weighing when making this big decision? Share your stories and thoughts in the comments section below.  

yconic Student Ambassador
Can I rent without a job?
I am a student in university in Toronto and I would like to rent during the school year as its cheaper then staying in residence on campus, however I wont be working as I have an education savings plan and recently recieved an inheritance ($80,000). I plan to use some of the inheritance to help pay for rent so I dont need a job and I can focus on my studies. Will the lack of a job make it impossible to find a place to rent?
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Living with parents...
Hey guys!

I'm writing an article on living with parents as a university student.

Whether you are 18 or 25, I'd love to get some insight from you AND your parents! Maybe you're only home for the summer or maybe you are living at home for your entire uni experience.

Comment down below their tips as well as your own!

Thanks again :)

MSFAA help
On the MSFAA it says to put your bank account number in the 13 spaces given however my number is only 7 numbers long.  When I emailed my financial aid office they said: "If your account number is not as long as the spaces then leave the rest blank." Did anyone else experience this and did they do the same thing? (I don't want to mess it up)
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Looking for a job
Hey I'm currently looking for another job anyone know any places that are hiring besides McDonald's and Tim Hortons? I need some more money for university. Thanks in advance!
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On the OSAP application, there is a part that says expected scholarships, for which I reported $2000 (guaranteed entrance scholarship). However I recently noticed that Western reports all entrance scholarships on your behalf. Would that $2000 affect the amount of OSAP I would receive, and therefore should I ask to change it?
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Should I do this:

Redirection of OSAP Funding

" This is an easy way to ensure your tuition and fees get paid. The Ministry pays a portion of your OSAP funding directly to your school fees."

Or just do it myself?

Does anyone have experience?

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I made a stupid mistake! I put my wrong birthday and now my account is on hold. I'm an incoming 1st year universit student at York. I already went to York but they only took my Student number andthe photocopy of my passport not my OAN!!
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Transferring to UBC Sauder or UofT Rotman from UWO in third year
Hi, I finished first-year BMOS without AEO status with a 3.95 GPA ( could've gotten a 4.0 but screw 1220) and had only a finance executive position (but I landed myself a director position for the second year). In the summer, I'm currently in an HR management position and I'm soon interning at an investment bank, as well as working as a social worker abroad. I'm thinking of transferring to either school in my third year if I don't get into Ivey since I heard non-aeo BMOS students are at a disadvantage.

What are my chances of getting in, (in Ivey HBA, Sauder, and Rotman respectively) and what are some recommendations you have in terms of what ECs I can try to obtain to boost up my chances? Currently, I'm thinking of starting a club in my second year since I have a rough idea of what I want, and I also need more leadership roles and breadth in my profile, but I'm unsure whether the amount of time/effort spent is really worth it (will this be a big plus to their consideration?). I'm also looking for required courses for transfer and their course equivalents. 

I'm really anxious right now so any help is much appreciated :) Thanks!

Edit: got some useful responses regarding transferring so thanks! Now, I'm wondering how to increase my likelihood into hba. I did some research and unfortunately I missed the deadline to submit new club request. What other leadership role should I pursue (not sure what else I can do...)
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