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NHBC 2021- From Mental Health to Forensics

Hello there everyone! My name is Marzouq and I'm a Grade 10 student currently attending R.H. King Academy in Scarborough. Today I had the amazing opportunity to attend the National High School Business Conference (NHBC) 2021.

The conference taught me more about the various disciplines of business, and how they correlate, as well as differ from one another. I learned more about consulting, entrepreneurship, finance, and especially accounting.

The information presented by Student Recruiter Jodi- Anne Buckley about the CPA designation in particular was immensely useful. I learned more about the roles of an accountant, the essential skills (both hard and soft) necessary to be one, and the job prospects of the profession. I also discovered how valuable the CPA designation is for fresh graduates, and the immense value it holds to employers and corporations at large. I realize now that an accounting qualification such as CPA's is useful and applicable across a far greater range of professions than I had previously thought.

After listening to forensic accountant Mark Grenon from CPA Ontario, I found myself shocked at the diverse and varied tasks an accountant performs. I never would have imagined that accountants could play a role in exposing drug dealers, combatting terrorist groups, or testifying against corrupt Senators.

Through the Post-Secondary Q & A Panel, I was able to connect with real graduates who had completed, or were completing post-secondary programs relevant to me. I think this was a truly insightful and much-appreciated addition to the conference. Despite how many post-secondary resources are available on the web, being able to communicate with an actual fellow student in a one-on-one manner made all the difference!

Illuminate's Positive Intelligence Brain workshop contained some very well thought-through and beneficial information, not just for students but anyone looking for positive mental health strategies. I really appreciated the science and logic presented here.

And of course, the CPA Ontario Case Study Challenge was the part I enjoyed most. This was my first experience with a competition of this nature so it was a truly unique and engaging time! My team worked incredibly well together and it was remarkable to see how well we came together and prevailed under stress. Despite technical difficulties and a slightly compromised schedule, we excelled at our task and presented a comprehensive report to the judges. The fast nature of the challenge along with the critical thinking and exciting content made this part of the conference an absolute joy to partake in.

The closing ceremony and announcing of the Illuminate Challenge & CPA Ontario Challenge winners was slightly anxiety-inducing at first, but our team soon found out that we had won 2nd place in the Illuminate Challenge! This was very encouraging and a happy moment indeed for our team and I, as it was my first time participating in such a competition.

What I have learned through NHBC 2021 is sure to help me as I progress through high school, post-secondary education, in the workplace, and beyond. The mental health knowledge I have gained will help me ensure I am mentally strong, and, resilient, as this will be very important in the coming years for me. The career resources and insight I have gained will help me make more informed personal career decisions, and ultimately work in a field that best suits my personality, needs, and abilities. The entrepreneurial and general business skills and know-how I have learned will most certainly help me improve my small business plans, and find success in my future business ventures!


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