Rotman School of Management, University of Toronto

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Q&A With Elaine Vuong GDipPA ’16

Elaine Vuong, GDipPA '16

Quick Info

  • Graduating year: 2016
  • Current job title: Senior Accountant, Deloitte
  • Previous education: Bachelor of Business Administration, University of Toronto Scarborough 
  • 2017 Common Foundation Examination (CFE) Honour Roll

1. Why did you decide to study the GDipPA program?

I decided to study the GDipPA program because I find I am more motivated and learn better in a lecture environment; rather than studying on my own. I enjoyed meeting new people from all three UofT campuses, and I appreciated the different teaching styles that professors had. They broadened my mind and helped me understand difficult concepts that I struggled with in the past. Most importantly, I decided to study the program because I wanted to be worry-free once I started work, and not have to think about CPA Challenge Exams and Modules. By completing the program in advance before starting work, I felt like I had a head start compared to my colleagues that did not do a diploma program, as they always had to juggle studying and work. As a bonus, I found that the GDipPA program was an excellent prep program for the Common Final Examination (CFE) I would write the following September.

2. Top reason for choosing Rotman

I chose to do the GDipPA program at Rotman because it is a highly established, well-known, and respected business school. They have excellent teaching facility as well as top caliber students that really push you to excel and enjoy the material you’re learning. As a plus, I love how Rotman is nestled in the downtown core of Toronto, which makes it easy to grab a few drinks with your classmates after lectures are done! 

3. What was the highlight of the Rotman experience?

The highlight of my Rotman experience was getting to know students from all three University of Toronto campuses! Through this program, I really got exposed to how different students think, learn, and study and I think that is invaluable to understanding what study approach works best for you. Being surrounded by bright and knowledgeable peers allowed me to grow, learn to not be afraid to ask hard questions, and really further my understanding of concepts that I had always struggled with in the past.

4. Does completing the program over the summer before you started work help with your new job? 

Completing the GDipPA program over the summer definitely helped with the transition to my job. Unlike some of my coworkers, I didn’t have to worry about studying for my challenge exams or taking time off to write the exams - I was stress free as soon as the GDipPA program was over! Overall, I enjoyed the GDipPA program, and I found the exposure I had throughout the program a key initial part to preparing for the Common Final Examination (CFE) I would write the following September. Best of all, I found my CFE study buddy through the GDipPA program – thanks for meeting me at the library everyday.

5. What would you say to someone considering choosing the GDipPA?

Financially, I know the GDipPA Program can be quite pricey. However, they do offer a student loan program through BMO, which does help ease the financial burden – and GDipPA will cover your interest payments during the time you are studying. In addition, I believe the benefits of completing the GDipPA program was a worthwhile investment, especially for me. I enjoyed the interactive lecture environment, the knowledgeable and accessible faculty, and most of all I enjoyed being surrounded by peers that really pushed me to grow. The Rotman Facility is also a wonderful place to study – situated near parks, librairies, and enrolment in the program also provides students with access to all University of Toronto facilities such as Hart House and the Goldring Centre for High Performance Sport. Overall, if these are experiences and relationships that you are looking to create – you will find them at the GDipPA program. 

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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