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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).
Loran Semi-final interviews (AMA)
So its about that time of year again when semi-finalists should be getting their invites. I was a semi-finalist last year so i wanted to make a thread where you guys can ask me anything (tips, general questions, etc)!

If you are a semi-finalist yourself, share below what city you're from!
Canadian Student at an Ivy League School - AMA (university life, admissions, majors, anything you'd like!)
I made one of these threads a couple of years ago that some people found useful so I decided to make another one to distract myself with over the summer. A little about me:

School: Yale
Major: Statistics (while completing pre-med requirements)
SAT Score: ~2300 (back when it was out of 2400)
High school average: ~95% over all four years (lower in grade 9/10, higher in grade 11/12)
Accepted to: Several Ivies, Waterloo BME and CS/BBA, U of T EngSci, Western Engineering + Ivey

Loran Interviews
Just wanted to see if anybody has heard from the Loran regarding regional interviews (GTA sponsored applicants were supposed to hear by today)?
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Loran Scholarship Advice
Hey, has anyone here applied for the Loran Scholarship before? I'm in Grade 12 this year, and I am applying for it, but I wanted to know some more about it. What was the process was like for you? Did you get an interview? Any helpful tips for the application form? Were you able to get an interview? 

AMA: Student Council President, Rowing Coxswain, High School Senior, UVic Applicant
Hi! I'm Chanel, one of the Yconic Student Ambassadors for 2017-2018. As a student in high school, I can easily relate to any questions you may have and am readily available to help you. So feel free to ask me anything and I answer back speedily! 

About me:
- Student Athlete: joined many sports from basketball to volleyball but transited onto the water for rowing 
- On Student Council for two years as Fine Arts Rep and School President 
- AP English Student with courses aimed towards the Sciences (Bio, Physics, Chem) 
- Arts Student in Visual Arts (published illustrator), Choir and Drama 
- Guide International Students from numerous countries like Japan, China, Korea, Brazil, Spain, etc. 
- Volunteer at Women In Need, aiding women in transition homes
- Attended Private school and Catholic school
-  Applying at the University of Victoria in British Columbia in the Faculty of Science
Schulich vs. Rotman
Hi there,

I was wondering if anyone can tell me about their experience in either one of these schools (including application process, interviews, school life, course work etc.) I'm planning to apply to these schools this year and was wondering which would be better in terms of learning experiences and fees. 

Last year (Grade 11), I had a 93% average. 

Also, Schulich recommends that I take Calc. and Vectors instead of Data Management. Should I? Do they take into account that Calc is more difficult and does that increase my chances of getting in. I got a 92% in Grade 11 enriched functions. 

Thanks in advance.
The key to summer jobs: How to ace the interview
1. Research the Company  
Your interviewer wants to know that you're interested in their company. That's why you should always browse the firm's website and know key facts. What is their vision and mission? What are their main products and services? Where do they operate?  

2. Arrive Early... But Not Too Early  
I always introduce myself to the receptionist exactly 10 minutes before my scheduled interview time. Anytime above 10 minutes is overkill and the receptionist may feel like s/he has to entertain you. Anytime below 10 minutes is cutting it too close. However, because of Murphy's Law, always aim to arrive 30 minutes prior to your timeslot and wait at a Tim's.  

3. Have Good Body Language  
Smile. Sit up straight. Show excitement (but don't overdo it).  

4. Know Your Resume Inside Out  
More often than not, I've had interviewers point to random things on my resume and say "Tell me more about this." In case this happens to you, make sure you are able to talk about every point on your resume.  

5. Be a S.T.A.R.  
That is, when someone asks you a situational question, make sure that you address the following: Situation, Task, Action, Result. For example, let's say I was asked about a time I went above and beyond the call of duty (fictional response): 
Situation: Last year, I worked part-time at Godiva as a Sales Associate. I had just finished a shift, and clocked out. A new Sales Associate was on the floor, and my manager was in the back counting inventory. 
Task: A angry customer approached my colleague as I was about to leave, and started yelling that a box of chocolates that he purchased that morning had a broken seal. 
 Action: I noticed that my colleague got really nervous and flustered. I came back to assist by asking the customer more about the situation. I apologized profusely, and stated I would bring this to my manager's attention so that we could come up with a plan to prevent similar situations from occurring in the future. I quickly exchanged the product, and also gave him a free 50-gram chocolate bar, something that my manager told me was okay to do in similar circumstances. Result: We were able to turn the customer's experience from a bad one, to a good one. 
Result: My colleague and I saw him in the store many times after, and he was never upset. 

6. ALWAYS Ask Thoughtful 
Questions At The End This shows that you have interest in the role or company. My go-to question is "What is the biggest challenge that you foresee me facing if I were to be successful in getting this role? And do you have any advice for how I can face this challenge?"

Any other tips? Post below!

Neal, yconic Student Ambassador
We want to hear from YOU! #Askyconic
Hey yconic!

We are having our first ever #Askyconic Facebook live show on May 24th at 6 PM EST. Tune in as our hosts, Aaron (yconic super intern) and Benson (Student Ambassador), chat and answer your questions about student life.

Do you have questions for our show? Ask them in the comments below.
Also, come back after the show because we will be posting all the links and resources we referenced during our show. 

See you then!

PS. Be nice! Inappropriate comments will not be tolerated.
Tips for Finding Summer Jobs for Students
If you are in university or going in next year, you are probably looking for a summer job to help pay off that student debt. Often, it’s difficult to land one that is of decent pay and can give you a valuable learning experience that you can have moving forward. Here are some of my personal tips on how you can find that perfect summer job!  

Tip 1: Online Presence Matters- It might sound silly now, especially if you are just a student looking for a summer job, but as you move forward in life, how you present yourself online through social media can really affect the possibility of you receiving that position that you want. This is not always the case, but every once in a while, you will come across a company that will happen to check out your Facebook profile and look at those pictures you posted last weekend.  

Tip 2: LinkedIn is the Key- In high school, I was one of the few students in my high school that had it. In university, EVERYONE has it! So if you are still in high school, my advice would be to start early. Stats have shown that it is a great resource for employers to find new workers and will help you build your CV automatically.  

Tip 3: Talk to your Friends, Family, and Teachers- It seems cliché but networking is really important, especially when you are trying to find that ideal summer job. For myself personally, one of my high school teachers referred me to an internship position that I had the opportunity to be a part of for 2 years. If it wasn’t for me talking with her, I would have not even known about the position.  

Those are my top tips for finding summer positions! Do you have any of your own? Share them down in the comments section below!  

yconic Student Ambassador
Terry Fox Scholarship 2017
Have any applicants for the Terry Fox Humanitarian Award heard back about the interview? According to their timeline, interviews will be conducted in April/May, so how much notice do shortlisted candidates get?
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interview outfit
what is a good outfit to wear to a university interview (undergraduate)? I am a female btw. I was thinking jeans, plain top and a blazer? any thoughts?
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Tips on getting Amazing Reference Letters
For those considering scholarships, competitive undergrad programs, or professional schools, references will play a huge part in your success. Getting that right reference might set you apart from the rest of the competition. However, you may not have had experience so I'm here to share some tips I have used to get amazing reference letters. 

1. Variety, Variety Variety 
No reference likes to be asked over and over again for a letter. So if you have alot of supplementary applications, the rule of thumb is to ask no more than twice a year. This is because your reference may just prepare a generic letter for you in anticipation for you asking OVER AND OVER AGAIN. Consider having a roster of 4-5 references from a wide range of organization that you can alternate between. Having a variety of references from different organizations are important because certain references make more sense for certain applications (e.g. hospital employee for a medical related application). 

2. Give Adequate Timing 
This might be obvious but more often than not, students will wait for the last minute for a reference. If that happens, your letter of recommendation may just be a few quicksentences and fall short of the quality that you might want it to be. If possible, give 1-2 weeks (if possible, more) notice for your reference to brainstorm and prepare. Leading up to the deadline, casually and politely remind them because your reference may have a busy schedule! Don't be afraid to ask because your reference will actually be glad you brought it up as they too, want you to be the most competitive applicant possible. 

3. Quality of the Referee
You want to make sure that the person you are asking to be a reference is a good pick. Just because someone says yes, it doesn't necessarily mean that they are the best fit. You want to make sure that person understands you very well, either because they have known you for a long time or because you have worked with them over many hours. This way, they can talk about you specifically and why YOU are a good fit for a program based on their own personal experiences. Secondly, you want to make sure that they have a recognized point of contact. What that means is that they have a work email (no gmail or hotmail accounts) and/or a work phone number and extension number. This ensure that all references are legitimate and this becomes increasingly important as you approach professional schools for verifiers. What this means is that when choosing your reference, have it be someone who has supervised you or overseen your activities as well as works at a recognized institution. 

4. Contents of the Reference Letter
The last thing you want to have is a plain, generic reference letter. While most supervisors don't like to be told what to write, there are ways to gear what they write to better suit your needs. 
a) Tell them what the scholarship or program is all about so they understand what they should talk about you that makes the most sense. All the while giving them a chance to creatively write about you.
b) Inform them of the word/character limit so they know how much they can talk about you and what experience to highlight you best with. 
c) Ask if you can view the letter before they officially submit it, giving you a change to give some input or ask questions.

Want to share some of your own tips for reference letters? Comment below!

Benson Law 
-Yconic Student Ambassador 
Calling all yconic members!
We know it’s hard to think about but it’s almost that time of year again. Tell us your top 3 “Must Haves” for back to school and you could be featured in yconic's newest article.

Example:              1. My trusty Herschel backpack
                               2. Red TOMS shoes
                               3. My lucky pen
                              ~Jon, first year Queen’s student in Economics

Reply to this thread now for your chance to be featured!
3 Things Accounting Students Should Consider Before Graduating

Although graduating from university is an exciting time, there are a few things soon-to-be accounting graduates should think about well in advance of walking across that convocation stage. Here are 3 of the most important:

#1 Sharpen Your Excel Skills:

MS Excel will be one of the programs you’ll use the most in the workplace; it would be good to familiarize yourself with some common formulas and functions. You may even find it worthwhile to take short course – you’ll thank yourself later!

#2 Prepare For The CFE:

Take a look at the CPA Competency Map to find out exactly what you need to know for the last exam in the CPA process, the Common Final Exam (CFE). Also, organize your notes to make studying more efficient. Although you have a ways to go for the CFE, pre-planning never hurt anyone!

#3 Post-Grad Job Search:

Ideally, you will have a job in hand before finishing university. The bulk of recruiting for accounting roles occurs between late August and early October. That means, you’ll want to spend the summer before (the earlier, the better) doing research on your target firms, perfecting your resume and cover letter, and reaching out to any potential connections.

Is there anything else you think accounting students should do before graduating? What is the single most important thing? Comment below!

Dealing with Rejection
Hello Yconic Community, 

For some of us, this is one of the most exciting times of our life. Most of you hopefully will gain acceptance into the program of your dreams, moving out of the house and embarking on a journey living away from home that you haven't experienced before (living at home is ok too). For others, full ride scholarships might be awaiting you, welcoming you with open arms after piles of applications and hours of interviews.
But what if you don't make the programs of your dreams or get the major scholarship that you have hoped for. 

Over the past year, I have experienced some high and lows, especially with scholarships. Here are some mindsets and ways that I have used to cope with my shortcomings. 

1. Never Feel entitled to anything
I cannot stress this enough. Feeling entitled to a scholarship, or for admission into a program only means that you will continue to dwell in the past. Realize that you are not granted a right to anything. Even though you didn't get what you hoped for you, perhaps there is someone out there who was BETTER suited for it.

2. Life goes on
On top of letting go to one's sense of entitlement, there needs to be a realization that there will be more opportunities in the future. Not getting into admission into a certain undergrad program doesn't mean that you won't be able to meet that career goal, whatever it may be. On top of that, there will always be other ways to get from point A to point B. You might want to take a year off to raise your average. Or you might want to go to another similar program and transfer later on. The possibilities are always there, you just need to steer away from that tunnel vision and see the bigger picture. 

3. Grow stronger from the experience 
Take the time after your rejection to understand where you went wrong. Not being able to realize where you went wrong doesn't put you at a better place than when you started. For example with scholarships: Was your tone condescending? Did you highlight the best part of yourself in that application? Or for video interviews: Were you poorly prepared, sitting on your bed when you should have been at your table? Take the time to think about what you could have done to make it better. Taking note of these things will only allow you to submit a BETTER application in the future when those opportunities arise 

Best of luck to you all, 

Benson Law 
Yconic Student Ambassador
How a Social Life can win you Scholarships
When we talk about scholarships, the two main traits that comes mind are Academic Excellence and Extra-Curricular Activities. Likewise, we often see having a “social life” as having a negative impact on our academic profile. Today, I am going to prove that this is a myth! Here is why having a social life can win you scholarships:  

The Interview: If you are looking at major scholarships across Canada and within Post-Secondary Institutes, you will notice that your academic portfolio will only get you to the interview stage. After that, it is a new ball game and how well you communicate and present yourself will get you all the way to the end.  

Builds Leadership Skills: Following up on the benefits for interviews, it is evident that through the enhanced ability to communicate, you are able to build leadership skills and be a role model towards others, which can then be reflected in both your EC’s and the interview.

The Network: It’s apparent in society that having a strong network of connections allows us to have more opportunities. This is the same for receiving scholarships, though more importantly, finding a job moving forward. So build strong rapports with those around you, get involved with faculty events, and meet new people!  

yconic Student Ambassador
House of Commons Page Program 2017-2018
Hey! I've been pouring over old threads looking for hints on what to study for my upcoming page program interview - the general knowledge section. Anyone else nervous? Or, if you've already gone through it, a few hints would be nice. Either way, I haven't seen any new threads for the page program, and I figured it'd be nice to talk to a few other students applying. 
Good luck!
anxiety and interviews - I need advice
all my peeps with mental illnesses or people who just get the jitters, how do you go through an interview? I had one recently and was pretty humiliated, anyone have any tips on how to deal?
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I did not Do my waterloo AIF
So I applied to Biomedical Engineering at Waterloo, I have done Part A and B, but I haven't finished the engineering part. Does anyone know the deadline, did I miss it?
How can I stand out to a future/summer employer?
It's getting to the point where many people, high school students, and post-secondary students are starting to think about summer jobs and their future employers. How can you stand out to a future employer? Here's some tips:

Always include a cover letter
When it comes to resumes, some jobs require you to submit a cover letter, while some do not. I highly recommend submitting one - it shows that you are taking the time to mention how you'll benefit them, and that you have enough interest and passion to prove you have an understanding of the company you're applying to.

Get creative with your personal brand
This one is important - show that you have consistency between your cover letter and your resume. For example, I designed a sunflower logo for my resume and cover letter, and submitted a quick "elevator" video - which was a minute long to introduce myself, and elaborate on my personal brand (and explain the significance of the sunflowers!) Think outside the box!

Submit your application in person (if possible!)
This one may or may not be possible. In a world where we constantly submit applications online, try to put a face to your application whenever possible. This may work best if you're looking for a summer job. Try asking to speak with the manager when dropping off a resume to give your application a face!

Do you have any tips on how to stand out to a future employer? 
Loran Scholarship 2016-2017
Hey everyone, 

This a thread for all the applicant (school nomination or direct pool) regarding whos got their calls for interviews! 

Since interviews for GTA are coming soon, so should the phone calls for the various regions 

In the comments below, feel free to...

1. Tell everyone how you feel
2. What you hope to gain from this
3. If you've got your phone call yet
What would I tell my first-year self?

Kill Your Shyness By Getting Involved

Whether it’s a club, a sports team, a part-time job, or whatever, do something to meet new people. You never know who you may meet or what interests you might develop just by stepping outside your comfort zone.

Don’t Study Hard, Study Smart

In first year, I thought that the key to acing exams was writing out all of my notes – I thought that there was a “memory in my hand.” While writing stuff out may have made me remember things more, it took forever to do. Instead, study to your subject.

For example, as an accounting student, my tried-tested-and-true method of studying for finals was this:

1. Anticipating the problems that would be asked (by writing down hints professors would give throughout the semester).

2. Typing out similar problems from my lecture notes/textbooks (taking up no more than 1/5 of the page).

3. Printing out several copies, and doing them over by hand – until I knew the steps by heart.

The Key To Landing A Solid Co-op Placement/Full-Time Job

I was under the impression that all I needed for an interview at my target firms was a high GPA. Boy, was I wrong. It turns out that my target firms were looking for well-rounded people: individuals with slightly-above-average grades who are involved in things outside of the classroom (club involvement, athletics, a part-time job).

Current students – what advice do you have for YOUR first-year self? High school students – what is the best advice you’ve received about university?

-Neal, yconic Student Ambassador

Pathways to Medicine: The Application
In high school and in our undergraduate studies, the largest barrier that we see in our way of reaching our MD dreams is gaining acceptance into one of Canada’s 17 medical programs. Today, we are going to break down the application process based on estimates from numerous programs.  

This is a Generic Breakdown of what you could expect:  

GPA and MCAT: 25% (50% of Pre-Interview)  
GPA typically consists of your grades throughout your undergraduate studies, in which numerous medical programs will use a weighted GPA which may consist of the removable of your worst year or a calculation using your final 2 years! The MCAT is also an important element that may or may not be used during the application process.  

CV, Personal Statement, and Reference Letters: 25% (50% of Pre-Interview)  
This is the section which can make or break your application. From volunteering, to your work experience, to your research publications, to practically anything… This is the part where you want to show them who YOU are! The beauty of this section is that every person is different, so you have an opportunity to really make a move here. Reference Letters are also a difference maker too (Remember, you want an EXCELLENT reference letter, not a good one). 

Interview (MMI or Panel): 50% 
Who said having a social life was a waste of time? The interview allows the admissions committee to ensure that they are accepting candidates that are more than just a bookworm and can communicate well. MMI’s typically consist of 10-12 short stations (Think of it as speed dating) whereas a Panel interview is a more traditional style. 

Be aware that it is an always changing process and that each university’s application is different from one another. Coming from high school, here are some quick things to keep in mind to help you stay on track: 

-Program Pre-requisites (Many are moving away from having pre-requisites)
-Average Admission GPA and MCAT (Some schools don’t even look at MCAT)
-In-Province Status (Up to 90% of Seats can be reserved for IP residents!)
-It is a learning process (If you don’t get in on your first/second try… KEEP TRYING!) 
-High School Admission Programs (ie. UCalgary’s Pathways to Medicine & Queen’s QuARMS) 
Best of Luck!

yconic Student Ambassador