Rotman School of Management, University of Toronto

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

Quick Info

  • Name: Simon Lu
  • Program: Graduate Diploma in Professional Accounting
  • Graduate Year: 2019
  • Current Position: Experienced Associate 
  • Current Employer: PwC LLP
  • Prior Education: Bachelor of Commerce - Rotman Commerce, University of Toronto 

Why did you decide to study the GDipPA Program?

I knew that the GDip program offered a “fast track” of sorts through the CPA program, and I wanted to take the opportunity to get the modules out of the way before I started working. I thought that this would be the best use of my summer off, while also providing strong preparation for the rest of the CPA process.

Top reason for choosing Rotman?

I took my undergraduate commerce degree at Rotman Commerce and knew that the Rotman faculty would provide a strong quality of education. I also thought that the familiarity with the professors’ teaching and setting allowed for a natural transition from undergrad to the GDip program. Lastly, I also enjoyed getting to spend my summer in Toronto.

I enjoyed meeting people from diverse schools and backgrounds, who all came here with the same goal of pursuing the CPA. It was fun meeting like-minded peers and doing activities together since we all had a similar schedule in the summer.

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

The program allowed for the exemption of PEP modules, which really alleviated the pressure of worrying about the CPA process while working full-time. With no modules to focus on, I could fully focus at work which was helpful.

Did Rotman and the GDipPA program meet your expectations?

Of course. The program was very helpful but also was made interesting and fun at the same time. I thoroughly enjoyed my summer in the program and it helped me achieve my goals. Not only that, I felt that it prepared me well for CFE case writing.

What would you say to someone considering choosing the GDipPA?

I would say that the program not only is beneficial in the sense that it acts as a fast-track through the modules, its main benefit was the strong education and preparation for the CFE.

The strong education was my biggest takeaway and I felt that it prepared me very well for when I eventually studied for the CFE. I would fully recommend the program.

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

I was honestly surprised and generally just happy to have passed. I know that my peers also worked hard and had strong answers on the CFE, so I knew that the quality of candidates was high. Ultimately, I am grateful to have made the honor roll whilst writing alongside many other talented candidates.

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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