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Q&A with Mohammed, GDipPA '19, CFE Honour Roll 2020

Quick Info

  • Name: Mohammed Surti
  • Program: Graduate Diploma in Professional Accounting
  • Graduate Year: 2019
  • Current Position: Intermediate Staff Accountant 
  • Current Employer: Ernst & Young LLP
  • Prior Education: Bachelor of Commerce (BComm), University of Toronto - St. George Campus

Why did you decide to study the GDipPA Program?

The GDipPA program provides the opportunity to fast track the CPA PEP program and learn in a similar manner to undergraduate classes at Rotman. I thought that completing the PEP program during the summer would be beneficial as it would help me avoid having to balance studying and working at the same time. Further, the prospect of having the same professors as in my undergraduate classes was also enticing since I was already familiar with the classroom environment.

Top reason for choosing Rotman?

Having attended the Rotman Commerce program for my undergraduate degree, I was already familiar with the campus and the university.

The campus being right in the heart of downtown Toronto provided me with the opportunity to make the most of the activities and events that the city has to offer during the summer.

Additionally, given that many of the exceptional faculty members that teach the GDipPA program also teach undergraduate classes, my familiarity with their style of teaching and the environment at Rotman was a key deciding factor.

What was the highlight of the Rotman experience?

The highlight of my Rotman experience was meeting other individuals with similar interests from Universities all across Canada throughout the summer and having the opportunity to share amazing social experiences that the city has to offer with many of my classmates.

The GDipPA program helped me develop a strong bond with a lot of my classmates, many of whom are now my colleagues in the workplace.

How did completing the program over the summer help when it came to starting your current job? 

As a staff accountant in the assurance practice, the case-based approach used to teach the assurance class I took as part of the GDipPA program helped me understand the various ways in which my technical knowledge can be applied to real life situations and was extremely beneficial in aiding me with my transition from the classroom to the workplace.

Did Rotman and the GDipPA program meet your expectations?

Rotman and GDipPA met my expectations. The socials organized throughout the summer allowed me to get to know my classmates better and make valuable friendships and connections with individuals from all across the country. Further, the case competitions conducted during the program and the courses taught by the professors at GDipPA were really helpful as they directly prepared me for the Common Final Examination (CFE) by providing a strong foundation on how to effectively approach various case scenarios.

What would you say to someone considering choosing the GDipPA?

I would recommend pursuing the GDipPA since the learning environment directly assists in creating a strong foundation for the transition to the workplace and prepares you well for the Common Final Examination (CFE).

The opportunity to learn while making new friends that is offered by the program is a once in a lifetime opportunity.

Future plans? 

I haven’t planned for the long-term future yet. My immediate plan is to continue to build on my experiences from the CFE, the GDipPA and my undergraduate program and apply what I have learned at the workplace to complete my CPA designation.

Finally, how did it feel to make the CPA CFE Honour Roll?

I was surprised to hear that I had made the Honour Roll. After writing the CFE, I felt that there were parts that I could have done better and would have been happy to pass.

The firm informed me about my placement on the CFE Honour Roll prior to the release of the results and I was in disbelief for a few days.

Once it sunk in, I felt a mix of relief and joy for passing the CFE. It was a very unique feeling. I am grateful for everyone that has supported in my educational journey to help me achieve this result.

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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