Growing up in Winchester, ON, Devin Fraser knew he wanted to stay close to home for university. After deciding on studying business, he explored the university options in Ottawa.
“I remember attending the information sessions at Carleton and I got a really good feeling from the people talking about Sprott,” says Devin.
He recalls one of the presenters at the open house proudly stating, ‘I go to class at Sprott, I eat at Sprott and I’ve even slept at Sprott. It’s my home and it’s what I love.’
Fast forward five years, Devin has taken Carleton by storm. During his undergraduate degree in Commerce with a concentration in Accounting, he has been a residence fellow, teaching assistant, Vice President of Events of Sprott Accounting Students Association and a Co-op student.
Devin took a Co-op position in audit at PwC prior to his first audit course at Carleton. Though he initially says he had no idea what he was doing, it gave him a step-up from his classmates once returning to school.
“I may not have known what I was doing at the time, but once I learned it in class I got a much better understanding of what I was doing and how it can be applied in the real world,” he says.
Devin recalls one of his most memorable moments from his time at Carleton in his second year, when he visited Sprott’s Business Career Management Centre (BCMC) for a resume review. Following the meeting, Devin assumed he wouldn’t hear from the advisors until the next time he needed assistance. About six months passed, and one of the career advisors that he had met with reached out to share a job opportunity that fit his profile.
“I just remember getting that email and thinking, ‘wow, they remembered me!’” says Devin.
“It’s a good feeling to know that they truly care about the students to follow up and go beyond the job description.”
Looking back, Devin says the biggest take-away from being a Sprott student was what he learned outside the classroom. Throughout his degree, he says Sprott emphasized the importance of soft-skills and the “extras.”
In fact, Devin was able to land a summer job at the City of Ottawa after his first year by connecting with an employer at Sprott’s etiquette dinner.
“The classes are only a part of how I got to where I’m going. It’s the networking skills, the breakfast events and formals that I went to that helped prepare me for the real world.”
In December, Devin completed his undergraduate degree with High Distinction and landed a full-time job with PwC Ottawa as an Audit & Assurance Associate. He will be crossing the stage in the ceremony this June. Currently, he’s pursuing his CPA designation through Sprott’s Masters of Accounting (MAcc) program.
“Not only is the MAcc program a stepping stone for the CPA designation, but it teaches you even more modules,” says Devin.”He says he was drawn in by the well-rounded, interactive experience that the MAcc program offered, opposed to the independent study associated with CPA designation.
Another benefit of the MAcc program is that the courses are concentrated in the summer, during the off-peak season for the accounting sector.
“I can take the summers off and focus solely on school,” explains Devin. “I learn better by interacting with teachers and classmates opposed to learning on my own.”
Reflecting his experiences and those who made a lasting impression, Devin says he would have to say thank you to Jacques Maurice, accounting professor and director of the MAcc program. Devin credits. Prof. Maurice with introducing him to people beyond the classroom, hiring him as a teaching assistant and providing him with opportunities to take on projects outside of school. As the director of the MAcc program, Devin says he is fortunate to be able to continue to interact with Jacques and get his advice while working towards his CPA.
“Jacques has his CPA, he teaches and has accomplished a lot in his career,” says Devin. “He’s definitely someone I look up to and am working towards being like in the future.”