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Alumni News

Finance and Accounting Alumni

Looking ahead through the lens of experience

April 16, 2015

Take an opportunity as soon as it comes knocking; try and be different and never stereotype those you meet. This was just some of the advice given accounting and finance students during a mentoring event organized by Sheridan’s Career Centre and alumni office at the Hazel McCallion Campus on March 24.  Pictured left to right, Gertrude Mendoza, Manager at RBC Insurance (Business Administration-Finance, 2009) with finance students Sharanya Mallik and Kaushalsingh Devda.

“It’s sort of a day-in-the-life of an industry professional or alumnus,” explained Kerri Zanatta-Buehler, Employment Development Specialist at the college. “We hope the students are able to call upon the connections they made afterwards to answer questions and offer further advice.”

Mentors included eight industry specialists (seven of whom were Sheridan alumni) in the field of accounting and finance.

Each table seated three students and two mentors, and they were given 10 minutes for each round of consultation, at the end of which, the mentors moved down to the next table to talk to a new set of students. The rotations continued until everyone had had a chance to mingle.

With a short list of icebreaker questions provided by Zanatta-Buehler, students quickly warmed up to the concept and soon the room was abuzz with chatter.

“They should take it one step at a time and aim for a designation,” said Justin Cote, Senior Financial Analyst with Ecosynthetix, Burlington, “Students shouldn’t look too far ahead, but definitely have a goal they can work toward.”

The Business Administration-Accounting, 2006 graduate added that he has often found it easier to work with younger employees “because they’re eager to learn and are hungry for experience.”

General themes that emerged from the discussions included preparing for an interview by researching the company, asking questions and taking notes during an interview. Mentors also advised new graduates to emphasize their soft skills because they are transferrable in any situation.

First-year finance student Sepher Farahmand felt relieved that it wasn’t the end of the world if he hadn’t decided what he wanted to do yet, but the 23-year-old added that “It’s useful to learn about the importance of co-op, though.”

Nam Vu, 21, a second-year accounting student, said, “I have done a lot of networking today. I learned about the hierarchy of accounting and software people are using. I also learned that following your gut and putting it into action is important.”

This advice came from Paul Latour (Business Administration, Accounting, 2005), who runs his own accounting business in Acton, Ontario. “I’m not worried about those graduating from Sheridan, because the school has a good reputation, and at the end of the day, everyone needs an accountant.”

By Mehreen Shahid, Journalism – Print, 2015

Bachelor of Business Administration (Accounting)
Bachelor of Business Administration (Finance)