Name: Sonia Kundra
Program: Accounting and Financial Management (AFM)
As a first year accounting and financial management student here at Waterloo, Sonia is a very involved and passionate student in the School of Accounting and Finance community. She is currently a junior executive for Waterloo DECA and a general member of the marketing team for ENACTUS Waterloo.
What is DECA?
DECA is a club that’s part of an international association that helps build future entrepreneurs and business leaders. There are different case competitions and case studies to help enhance your knowledge of business and build future leaders.
How Competitive is it to become a junior executive for DECA?
It is very competitive because there were a lot of applicants and it is different from high school, but how you portray yourself as an individual is what can set you apart from the other applicants.
Why did you decide to join DECA?
I was apart of DECA in high school for two years and I had the opportunity to compete in regional and provincial competitions. I’m also passionate about case studies so when I came to university I still wanted to be part of DECA. I didn’t want to be a general member, I wanted a more integral role because I wanted to help others learn from my DECA experience in high school and I wanted to be a part of the planning and executing area of the club.
What are some exciting things you’ve done in DECA so far?
DECA has had several events during fall term. We’ve had several training sessions, everything from pitch competitions to mock cases which helps delegates prepare for provincials and competitions. We’ve also had in-house competitions in which delegates compete with one another to help them compete in competitions such as the one in Queen’s. Due to the commitment and passion of our members, our Waterloo team has won the provincial quiz bowl! And after a term of hard work, we had a celebration night at the Bomber with free food, which was a lot of fun.
What’s your favourite thing about DECA?
My favourite part is working with the executive team to plan and execute all of the events. We’re like a family and it hardly feels like work when I’m with them, they make everything I do very enjoyable!
How do you manage your time being so involved with extra curricular activities and schoolwork?
Time management and planning out your day are very important skill sets to me because I am currently juggling five courses and an executive position on DECA. What I do is prioritize my activities by knowing exactly when deadlines are and finishing things that need to get done as soon as possible.
What makes the Accounting and Financial Management program at Waterloo different than other university accounting programs?
AFM at Waterloo is different from other programs in many ways. For one thing it is very focused and structured, all of the courses are laid out for you in order to achieve your CPA. Studying AFM here also means you are exempt from the two CPA exams you have to take to get your CPA designation. I chose Waterloo because the co-op aspect of the program is very important to me. Co-op allows you to have set work experiences and the hours you earn during co-op also count towards your CPA designation. There is such a sense of community here which helps students grow professionally and personally.
What’s your favourite thing about the Waterloo School of Accounting and Finance (SAFA)?
I have a lot of favourite things about SAFA. My most favourite thing about SAFA is that there is a sense of community. You really get to know everyone in the program including students in Math and CPA, Biotech and CPA and the upper years (which are very approachable)! Another thing I love about SAFA is that they have their own frosh week that helps ease the transition to university.
What do you see yourself doing in 10 years?
What I see myself doing in 10 years is achieving my CPA designation, gaining some work experience and hopefully starting my own business.
Do you have any advice for future AFM students?
My advice for future AFM students would be to follow your passion, to keep an open mind and to be flexible with your future plans. Always remember that it’s ok to not be set on being an accountant because students in AFM are also free to work in other industries and not just accounting!
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