Rotman School of Management, University of Toronto

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About Me: Katherine, GDipPA Class of 2022

Quick info:

  • Class of 2022
  • Previous education: 
    • Bachelor of Business Administration, Accounting Major with Co-operative studies, Cape Breton University 

What surprised you most about your program experience? 

The biggest surprise to me was my classmates. Growing up in a small town and have attended a university with small class sizes, I had never found myself to be in a competitive environment. The students in this program had at first scared me. I remember the first two weeks I would call my mom every night thinking I don’t deserve to be here; I am not smart enough to be in this class. I wanted to raise my hand and participate as much as the other students but I was shy and simply didn’t know the answers. However, as time passed, I became inspired by the others. I craved to keep up, work harder and prove that I could do this. The learning experience I have had here has given me so much to walk away with, I feel so prepared going onto the next chapter of my CPA journey. 

What part of the program did you find most challenging? 

The most challenging aspect of this program in my opinion was definitely trying to keep up with the technical aspect. My base knowledge going into the program was not as strong as other students so I really had to put the work in trying to refresh old as well as learn new material. I don’t believe I would have been as successful in learning if I did the traditional CPA online learning route. The in-person classes kept me focused and motivated. Another challenging aspect of the program for me was presenting. I never liked public speaking, yet I think now after presenting in the two case competitions, I am more comfortable with it. You realize it is never as bad as you think its going to be. By moving out of my comfort zone and now having these competitions behind me I think I am ready to take on the presentation in the CPA program. 

What memory from Summer 2022 will you hold long after completing the program? 

I will never forget my first meeting with the finance and professional practice professor, Catherine Barrette. I had reached out for help when I was not understanding the material and I also felt like I was too far behind everyone from the first day to be able to catch-up.  I was feeling down thinking I will never be capable of learning everything in the short twelve weeks. She had sat down with me and walked me through everything. With reassuring words, she had made me believe I was capable of doing this and gave me the confidence boost I needed. Following this whenever I was in need of some cheering on, she was there. I will be forever grateful for that. 

Want to understand what it’s like covering 4 CPA PEP modules in a 12-week summer program? Join Katherine on December 6 along with three other alumni for a virtual panel: Register here.


The Rotman Graduate Diploma in Professional Accounting is an excellent way for you to gain advanced standing in the pursuit of a CPA. The 12-week program helps prepare you for the Common Final Examination (CFE) and allows you to advance straight to the Capstone 1 module in the CPA PEP.

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