Rotman School of Management, University of Toronto

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May opened the chapter to exciting new experiences and meeting students from universities all across Canada. With a mix between meeting the professors who we would closely interact with the next few months, and a number of laughter-inducing activities on all the students’ first encounter, the orientation for the GDipPA program was definitely the highlight of our first month together. 

Getting to know the class

Knowing that everyone we met that day had a one-track mind towards a common goal, it was motivating to hear the ranging colours in the stories that were exchanged coming altogether for 12 weeks of jam-packed improvement. Perhaps it was the riddles that had us scratching our heads during the orientation, or maybe the hilarious struggle of trying to juggle airy balls, but the orientation served as a crucial connecting point to bringing out the personality and familiarity in all the other highly competent individuals who were our future colleagues. Although we were faced with an uphill battle of hard work the next few months, it was comforting to know that we were all in it together with a smile!

Image of Jackie at orientationImage of Jackie at orientation

Image of Jackie at orientationImage of Jackie at orientation

Developing case writing skills from the start

Straight to work the following day, we all quickly learned to fall into our schedules—the professors made it easy for us by switching rooms amongst themselves and allowing us to stay where our home base classroom was for the 12 weeks. Between much-needed (and appreciated!) reviews over concepts that were learned over the prior four years, the next milestone in the program occurred through our weekly in-class case submissions, amongst which, a few would be personally marked and de-briefed by prior CFE writers and fresh CPAs. 

It was definitely a shock when we got our feedback forms in return for the first time, but I do assume that it will only serve as a benchmark and reflection of our progress over time. Teeming with questions and a bit of anxiety, I appreciated the warm willingness and recent experience that the TAs had to answer our questions. I imagine that they will be one of the best resources for our future case-writing and numerous questions about concepts we may have missed. Not only do they serve as an anchor for us to ask questions, I have definitely felt comforted by the reassurance that they provide on how we would grow and improve in our case-writing skills, and that it was alright to not know what was happening at the start. The level of improvement we need to get to entry level CFE writer is vast, but what we need will be attained through the program. 

Exploring Toronto

Outside of class, I’ve taken an interest in visiting new food locations in Toronto. For example, Stackt Market at Front and Bathurst made of old shipping containers, the 707 Market around Dundas and Bathurst, as well as a few other locations. Other than eating, I’ve been working it off by taking part in a dragonboat team affiliated with the university. I must say, Toronto on the lake is beautiful at sunrise, even in the cool weather of May! I definitely recommend visiting the Harbourfront area for a stroll, if not for a quick paddling or kayaking experience on the Toronto waters. Budapest Park and the Sunnyside Pavilion are wonderful places to visit on the west end, while Woodbine Beach is worth a visit on the east end—all reachable by bike via the trail near the lake!


The Rotman Graduate Diploma in Professional Accounting (GDipPA) is a CPA Accredited 12-week summer program that helps prepare you for the Common Final Examination (CFE) and satisfies the four modules of the CPA PEP.


© Rotman School of ManagementThe Rotman School of Management is accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AASCB)