Hello everyone! My name is Kai Antoine and I am a student at White Oaks Secondary School. Today I had the pleasure to attend the National High School Business Conference. Here are my thoughts highlighting what I learned throughout the conference. I got to hear from many great people on many great subjects such as forensic accounting, the pathway and perks of a CPA, and about mental fitness. We had the opportunity to engage with a panel of university students and graduates and ask them about post-secondary life. Lastly, we participated in the CPA challenge which was the solving of a case study with your designated teams. All of the parts of the day were very helpful and I'll highlight what each part of the day entailed.
To start of we went through a presentation with the forensic accountant Mark Grenon, who gave us much insight into his profession and what it demands. As a forensic accountant there is lots of international travel involved, and a lot of work with crimes. He talked about his work with money laundering, fraud, and other financial related crimes. One in this profession might work alongside law enforcement to find and stop the criminal activity. One point he emphasized was the need to become a CPA to open doors so you can have a wide array of career options, which is where the next part of the conference comes in.
After that we went into two workshops; one was on the CPA pathway and experience and one was on mental fitness. To start of Jodi Buckley from CPA gave an informative session on the perks of being a CPA, what it takes, and opportunities now and in the future for attendees. She was able to explain how being a CPA can lead to many career options, good career prospects, a good salary, and job stability. We then transitioned into a workshop where we focused on our mental well being and mindset. We were taught about the 10 saboteurs and 3 core muscles, which was new for me as I had never heard about this philosophy. I also found out that I fit into the category of hyper-achiever which was I was glad we acknowledged so I can improve myself and my mindset.
Next there was a question and answer session with 4 post-secondary panelists with great experience in the realm of business. Their insight was very helpful, as they did not only give advice with regards to business, but also life skills and what to expect come university. From how to manage time as a procrastinator, to why the university program they chose stood out to them, a wide range of questions were explained in detail by people that were in our shoes several years ago.
Lastly, we participated in the CPA challenge which was a case in which we had to find out who was responsible for missing funds of a company. The case was very different than other cases I've done such as DECA or the Ivey case class because of the amount of information presented through visuals and spreadsheets. This was very helpful because of how well it was able to emulate the information that would typically be presented in a real life case like this. Our analytical skills were put to the test, and it was a fun experience with friends which along with the experience and information gained is just as important.
To conclude, the day was an overall fantastic experience that was a good mix of learning through listening, seeing, and doing. The involvement in the workshops, Q&A, and the CPA challenge left me as a more educated individual after it. The conference engaged, and informed the students the entire day, which made this a success and great opportunity for the future.