Rotman School of Management, University of Toronto

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

Quick Info

  • Name: Samantha Wong
  • Program: Graduate Diploma in Professional Accounting
  • Graduate Year: 2019
  • Current Position: Intermediate Staff Accountant
  • Current Employer: Ernst and Young LLP
  • Prior Education: Bachelor of Commerce, University of Toronto Mississauga

Why did you decide to study the GDipPA Program?

Knowing that the CPA process is stressful as is, the idea of being able to avoid working and studying at the same time was attractive for me as the program allowed me to focus on work once I started working full-time. Additionally, another aspect of the GDiPA program that appealed to me was the classroom structure as I found it more effective to have an instructor I could ask questions to rather than having to be 100% self-regulating in terms of learning the required technical concepts and case writing skills.

Top reason for choosing Rotman?

I earned my undergraduate degree at the University of Toronto Mississauga campus, so continuing my CPA journey with a UofT graduate program and many of the same professors that had been teaching me in my undergrad years were the most efficient way to continue my academic journey. 

Based on my undergrad experience, I knew that UofT has some of the highest quality learning in Canada and I had no doubt that Rotman would prepare me well for Capstone 2 and ultimately the CFE.

What was the highlight of the Rotman experience?

The people. Being able to spend so much time with a small group of people, students and professors alike facilitates constant learning and creates a friendly and welcoming atmosphere that really motivated me to work hard, develop my skills, and make lifelong friends.

Did Rotman and the GDipPA program meet your expectations?

Absolutely. I found that once I started studying for Capstone 2 and the CFE, many of the case writing skills and technical knowledge that other students were struggling with was already familiar for me due to the case writing experience and feedback I gained from GDipPA. This significantly reduced my stress and overall made the rest of the CPA program so much easier.

What would you say to someone considering choosing the GDipPA?

I strongly recommend the GDipPA program for all students. GDipPA was instrumental in developing my case writing skills, decision making, and building on technical accounting concepts from undergrad which ultimately helped me to succeed on the CFE. Furthermore, I can confidently say that the friends I made during GDipPA are still close friends of mine today and that that going through the program together created a close bond that is unique to GDipPA.

Choosing the GDipPA program was one of the best decisions I could have made for my career and education.

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

Amazing. It was truly a testament to all the hard work I’ve put into my undergraduate degree, GDipPA, and my self-studying. I couldn’t be more proud of this achievement. It was gratifying to earn my spot on the National Honour Roll, however, it was with the support of all those who believed in my abilities (even when others didn’t think I could do it) who made this achievement possible.

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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