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08-10-2012, 12:17 PM
Jack Bourdain
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Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Montréal, QC.
Country: Canada
Posts: 12,171
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Originally Posted by HarryHabs View Post
I am starting up in HEC, any advice?
Bang out a good GPA in your first year and then watch it go down the drain subsequently.

Also network (réseautage). Join the student associations. Meet important people. Go to conferences and seminars.

Getting a BAC in Accounting is worthless (IMO), it's the jobs you get after that make it worth it. You'll have to figure out what you like (auditing, taxes, managerial/cost accounting etc.) and that will help you decide what job suits you best.

Since you're about to start your accounting journey now, you'll be eligible for the "brand new" CPA designation. Basically all the 3 professional orders in Québec have merged under the same banner (CPA) and now all students must be enrolled in the same post-Bachelors program even though they will all specialize in different skills (tax, audit, management etc.). It'll be confusing at first, but once you know what you want to do, it'll make sense.

First thing you do when you start is:

- Go look at the opportunities that are available to an accountant. Read up on the profession so you know what to expect.
- Go look at what courses are pre-requisites to get into post-Bachelors programs (such as CPA)
- Plan ahead. Figure out what courses are easy and what are hard and have a balanced sequence so you're not stuck doing 4 core classes in your final semester

Finally, and most importantly:

- DO INTERNSHIPS. I cannot stress how important it is to get a practical experience of Accounting. It's really not for everyone. People get into Accounting thinking they're gonna ace it because it's mathematical. That's like 15% of what it really is. Accounting requires so much social skills and even more judgment. You're a financial advisor and you'll be expected to give people advice based on your calculations. It gets stressful when your words and your signature can cost a company millions of dollars (I'm exaggerating but this is the end goal of an accountant).

Good luck mate!

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