Why did you choose to study the Business Administration – Financial Planning advanced diploma program at Seneca?   

I chose to study at Seneca because I had heard great things about the school from people that I knew. I was told that the program was very hands on and would give me a chance to obtain licences such as the Canadian Securities Course (CSC) and the Investment Funds Institution of Canada (IFIC). These licences are crucial if you want to work with mutual funds and stocks. Another reason that I chose to attend Seneca was because of the degree pathway options that were available to me.

How would you describe your experience at Seneca?  

My experience at Seneca was phenomenal. There were a lot of resources available to students and the staff were very helpful. I had great professors and was able to learn a lot from them. Class sizes were smaller, which allowed you to get to know your peers and encouraged more interaction with the professors. The professors also know you on a first-name basis, which really helps.

What influenced your decision to pursue your education within the business and financial fields?   

I was really interested in investments and finance. I knew that with the Business Administration – Financial Planning advanced diploma program, I would be able to learn a lot about investments, financial products as well as financial planning. Obtaining the licences was also a plus because without them, obtaining a position at the bank at an adviser level would have been very difficult. I believe that this program really helped to prepare me for my professional career after graduation.

What influenced your decision to continue your education after completing your diploma? 

I always knew that I wanted to study more and eventually go to graduate school. At the time that I applied to Seneca, my plan was to finish the advanced diploma, work for a few years and then return to school to obtain a degree. I also didn’t know what I wanted to study in graduate school, but I knew that it would be something related to business. I believe that getting an education is really important especially in today’s world. The job industry is competitive and having higher education always helps to set you apart from the other candidates. 

How did your Seneca diploma program prepare you for your degree program at Okanagan College in British Columbia? 

Seneca prepared me for my degree program by offering essential business courses and classes from a lot of knowledgeable professors. It was a very hands-on style of teaching and I loved that approach. We did a lot of teamwork and I found interacting and working with my peers to be a critical component of my college experience.

Any words of advice to students who are currently in the program you graduated out of at Seneca who are also considering pursuing further education? 

My advice would be to always have a backup plan for your plan. Always be adaptable in this ever-changing world. The job market is extremely competitive and there’s value in getting a degree. Writing down your goals also helps. For example, I would think about a few careers that I was interested in and I would write down and research what kind of education or job experience I would need in order to get to those desired careers.

How was your experience at our partner institution, Okanagan College, while obtaining your Bachelor of Business Administration degree?

My experience overall was good. During the time I attended, their finance courses were working towards their Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) credentials, which was very exciting. Seneca and Okanagan College have a block transfer agreement, so it was quite easy to transfer courses/credits from Seneca to Okanagan. The adviser was then able to advise me on the remaining courses I was required to take in order to finish the degree requirements. 

You then went on to pursue your master’s at the University of Rochester in New York. How was the master's application and process different than your application to Seneca or Okanagan? 

The master’s application process is quite different from the undergraduate application process. My undergraduate education was done in Canada and the application process was straight forward. For a master’s it’s quite lengthy and that’s why it’s better to start applying to grad schools a year to a year and a half before you actually want to begin the program. I had to do an application, GRE/GMAT test scores are involved, and there are interviews from the admissions team, two essays, submission of a resumé and school transcripts as well as references. I am working towards my STEM-Certified Master of Science.

From experience, do you think there is value in having a diploma, degree and master’s? 

It depends on your major and what career goals you have for yourself. For me there was definitely value in having a diploma, degree and now obtaining a master’s. I found the course work at college to be more hands on and easier to grasp, whereas the degree work was a bit more theoretical. 

What are your plans for the future; both short term and long term? 

My short-term plans are to successfully complete grad school and get an internship in the summer to obtain more experience. After graduation, I’ll begin writing the Certified Public Accountant (CPA) board exams. A career that I am interested in is financial analyst. My long-term goals would be to study further and possibly obtain a Certified in Financial Forensic (CFF) or Chartered Business Valuator (CBV) designations which can be completed post-CPA.