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Commerce students shine at UOAA Connect Conference

For the UOAA Connect Conference case competition, participants split into teams of four to tackle strategic decision-making scenarios.
For the UOAA Connect Conference case competition, participants split into teams of four to tackle strategic decision-making scenarios.

University of Ontario Institute of Technology (UOIT) Commerce students recently showcased their skills and networked with industry professionals at the two-day UOIT Accounting Association (UOAA) Connect Conference, hosted at the Robert McLaughlin Gallery and the university’s downtown Oshawa campus location in Oshawa, Ontario.

The event was open to all undergraduate students enrolled in the Faculty of Business and Information Technology’s Commerce program. More than 80 undergraduate students participated.

Day 1 kicked off with guest speakers Alex MacPherson, Recruiter, Chartered Professional Accountants of Ontario (CPA Ontario) and Fahad Meer, Motivational Speaker and Manager, PwC Canada, who offered students tips on how to further their careers and improve their communication skills.

For the case competition on Day 2, participants split into teams of four to tackle strategic decision-making scenarios using their skills in areas such as finance, operations, marketing, accounting and strategic management. After two hours of preparation, each team presented its case to a panel of judges, which included accountants from various industries. The top three teams from both the junior (first- and second-year) and senior (third- and fourth-year) student divisions then presented to a larger panel of judges and students.

Junior team winners:

  • Mitchell Gleaves (class of 2018)
  • Gillian Leask (class of 2018)
  • Andreas Menes (class of 2018)
  • Madelaine Stewart (class of 2019)

Senior team winners:

  • John-Mark Labonté (class of 2017)
  • Jordan Macklai (class of 2017)
  • Kirby Paterson (class of 2016)
  • Emily Pollard (class of 2017)

Keynote speaker Jeff Zajac, CEO and Founder, Solus Robots, talked about how he used his CPA designation to start his own accounting firm, and how his passion for entrepreneurship led him to branch off into the business of making robots. The students also networked at the conference with faculty members and representatives from:

  • Canada Revenue Agency
  • CPA Ontario
  • Deloitte Canada
  • Grant Thornton LLP Canada
  • KPMG
  • McColl Turner LLP
  • PwC
  • Sun Life Financial
  • TD Canada Trust

Quote:

“I was thoroughly impressed with the work the conference team put into making another successful event this year. There were a lot of great connections made between our students at the university and professionals from large, medium and small firms as well as other industry representatives.”

- Jeremy Rodgers, Bachelor of Commerce, class of 2016; President, UOIT Accounting Association, 2015 to 2016

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