Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Meet our Alumni: Norine AwadAllah reflects on the value of the Sprott network

Professional headshot of Norine smilingNorine AwadAllah graduated from Sprott in 2014 with a Bachelor of Commerce degree, concentration in accounting. During her five years at Carleton, Norine was extensively involved in Sprott and Carleton activities and societies. She was involved with Sprott Business Students’ Society (SBSS), JDCC Accounting Team, Students in Free Enterprise (now ENACTUS), Ambassador for International Civil Aviation Organization, AIESEC Carleton, Sprott Mentorship Program and Sprosh. Norine was enrolled in Sprott’s co-op program, where she was offered a term position with Raymond Chabot Grant Thorton. Following graduation, Norine went on to obtain her CPA, CA designation. Currently, Norine works as a Senior Auditor at MNP LLP, a national accounting, tax and business consulting firm. 

Why did you choose Sprott?

My brother attended Sprott for his Bachelor of International Business degree and he loved it! Seeing and listening to his excitement whenever he spoke about his experience made Sprott an easy choice to make.

What path did you follow after Sprott? (even if unrelated to your degree)

I was enrolled in the co-op program during my undergraduate degree. In the summer of my second year, I was incredibly fortunate to be the successful recipient of a merit scholarship and co-op term offer with Raymond Chabot Grant Thornton (RCGT). Getting my first taste of what accounting and auditing looked like in the “real world” was the best thing that could have happened – I knew from then on that accounting was it for me. After graduating, I went on to write my Common Final Exam in September 2015 and successfully obtained my CPA, CA designation.

In my current role, I work as a Senior Auditor in the Assurance and Accounting service line at MNP LLP, a national accounting, tax and business consulting firm. The offices across the nation operate on a one firm/one pot/one team rule – this was really important to me as it meant that any type of work was within my reach, anywhere in Canada (or even the world!). Since joining 9 months ago, I’ve already had the opportunity to work for 5 different offices across Canada, within 6 different types of client sectors and service lines, for so many partners I can’t even count.

Advice you would give future Sprott students?

In a conference I attended one year, the motivational speaker Drew Dudley had this advice for us, “Work incredibly hard to make your grades extraordinary. Then, work twice as hard to make them the least impressive thing about you.”

When I first applied to RCGT, a key factor in getting through the door for an interview was my grades; without good grades, I would not have been eligible for the merit scholarship and the co-op term that came with it. But once I was through that door, all the other candidates had comparable grades. So I had to have other things to distinguish myself, which for me were my extracurricular activities.

I made it an active mission from my first year to be committed to both my academics and extracurriculars, and it’s the best decision I could have made. I was involved in several capacities at Sprott and Carleton throughout my undergraduate degree – I joined the tax clinic volunteer with SASA, manager with Sprosh, finance director with SIFE, VP of Finance at SBSS, a board of ambassadors representative for the ICAO, got involved in many case competitions including JDCC, and more.

With that comes my second piece of advice: reach out when you need to and when you don’t need to.

Juggling university life is hard: you have GPAs to keep up, careers to look for, a social life to maintain, and sleep to catch up on. It. Gets. Tough. Don’t be afraid to reach out to your contacts when you need to because you are not alone – the Sprott family always has your back and makes you feel right at home.

But also reach out when you don’t need to. Get to know your professors during office hours, mingle with your classmates at events, check in with the ladies at the Undergraduate Student Services Office, pop by BCMC to see how they’re doing. This is how you build your network which will be with you long after you have graduated.

Other reflections or messages of thanks to share with the Sprott Community?

Thanks to everyone at Sprott – For making Sprott the best decision I could have ever made. My experience was truly the best of its kind and I have only the most positive and happiest memories.

Thanks to Rob Riordan – For helping me find my voice! BUSI 2400 was a truly life-changing experience that drove my passion to participate in case competitions and presentations.

Thanks to Jacques Maurice – For giving me my first official adult job as a teaching assistant for your courses. Your encouragement and support was key in building confidence in myself, in my work, and in my abilities.

Thanks to Sandra Cloutier – For always being there with an open-door policy to talk about anything and everything.

Thanks to the BCMC group – In the same day: I learned about the RCGT opportunity in the morning, met with Dotti in the afternoon to work on my first resume and cover letter ever, and applied that evening before the deadline of 6pm. Thank you for your patience.

Thanks to the Undergraduate Student Services Office group – For welcoming me whenever I came by to check in on my university path. (Also, for letting me have all the complimentary candy I wanted – I know I may have gotten too comfortable at times, but thank you for never cutting me off.)

Wednesday, August 30, 2017 in
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