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Honest Insights about my Experience at the NHBC

Hey! My name is Joseph, and I’m an old, old grade 12 coming from Richmond Hill High School in Richmond Hill (shocking). Today I was fortunate enough to attend the National High School Business Conference (NHBC) for the first time with over 170 other students, and want to share my experience at this unique event.

To give you a bit of context about myself, I’ve never really concerned myself with business, investing, or money in general for a good majority of my high school life, which may elicit cries of shock and appall from some readers. I stuck with tech and sciences but have learned the errors of my way, realizing that business is important, no matter what field you go into. Therefore, I was enthralled when I was given the opportunity to participate in a simple yet informative event—the NHBC.

To begin, I was quite impressed with the quality of the opening CPA keynote speaker, Mark Grenon, who works as a forensics accountant. His story intrigued and hooked me, and his compelling stories along with how simply interesting his job was really made me recognize both the fascinating life of a forensics accountant and the importance of audits, dutiful attention, and deduction in fraud prevention.

Next, we were provided with two workshops: one about the CPA, and one about mental fitness. To give my heartfelt opinion, I was a bit dismayed with the selection of workshops this year. Of course, this does not credit the absolute quality of the workshops presented this year, but I was expecting more business-oriented workshops, or simply a more numerous and diverse selection. However, I did find the two provided workshops interesting in their own way. The first workshop (CPA workshop) helped me know more about this elusive, almost esoteric organization, and made me realize how beneficial this organization and its certification could be in my life. The second workshop (mental fitness) offered a different approach to thinking about mental health, introducing concepts about “sage” and “saboteur” combatting in one’s psyche and instructing attendees on how to positively use our sage muscles to improve mental well-being. Both workshops were well-spoken and provided in-depth detail, and while I wish there could have been more business-oriented workshops, I am still quite satisfied with the information I took away.

The post-secondary panel was quite informational and offered some important answers to equally important questions. It was quite useful as an incoming post-secondary student.

The “Who Did It?” CPA case challenge at the end was a very creative and interesting event. As someone who had never done something similar, it was quite engaging and allowed me to have fun deducing and problem-solving. Unfortunately, 3 of my team members did not show (however the one that did was an awesome teammate), and the initial given receipts and documents were a bit perplexing to figure out. However, I had immense amounts of enjoyment deducing with my partner, haphazardly constructing a functional slide deck, and presenting our case and evidence. Even though we didn’t win, I feel like I’ve learned a lot about accounting and forensics, but more importantly, I had fun! Additionally, I was able to gain insight into a job that I may be potentially interested in.

Overall, this event certainly had memorable highlights that I will take away from in the end. I was able to learn about an awesome job opportunity and an interesting organization, and will apply what I learned by looking more into this occupation and more into business as a while. The closing ceremony wrapped up on time, and I have to congratulate the planning team on their immense efforts to follow the timeline and provide such an event. Even with my tribulations, this last Saturday of May 2021 was certainly a well-spent one, and I will continue to look forward to these opportunities in post-secondary!

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