Morgan Robertson-Tran is a fourth-year Bachelor of Commerce student majoring in Accounting. Originally from Cole Harbour, Nova Scotia, Morgan chose Dalhousie for a number of reasons. Morgan loves Nova Scotia’s natural beauty and likes that the province is growing and innovating, and it feels like people are able to enjoy life without rushing to the next moment. In addition, Morgan’s mother went to Dalhousie University for her undergrad and really cherished her experience. Morgan looked at other universities in the area knowing that Nova Scotia has some very high-quality institutions. At first, Morgan really liked the idea of getting real work experience as part of her degree.
For Morgan’s first work term, she found a job at Emera as an Internal Audit Intern. She was attracted to the job because “Even before I had started my job search, I had heard about Emera, as they have been Top Co-op employer,” she said, adding that “At first, I thought they only took engineering students, but I have learned in my journey never to make assumptions. Knowing that they had an excellent reputation as an employer, and that they were a company started in my hometown was really exciting,” she said.
The position was within the Internal Audit department, at that time, Morgan said she felt underqualified because she had only completed the introductory accounting courses. “Then,” she added, “I got an excellent reminder from my Career and Recruitment Specialist that so had most students in the program. So, I took a risk and ended up staying in Internal Audit for all three of my work terms.”
Morgan added that while she was fairly certain that she wanted to pursue a career in accounting in her first year, her first work term really solidified that idea. “By being able to test out the knowledge I learned in school I was able to feel more certain about my choice, about whether I could see myself doing this job for the foreseeable future. However, the most important part was that as I worked more with the team and displayed my skills, they gave me more responsibility.”
Morgan said that this increase in responsibility improved her confidence. “By the end of my work term, I was managing my own walkthrough and testing process. My role specifically involved meeting with people in other parts of the business to gather evidence for testing and to understand their processes,” she said, adding that she learned more than just auditing skills. “One of the reasons I am so interested in continuing this role was having to learn that there are many different communication styles, and that different processes work for different people.”
After her first work term, Morgan said there was no doubt that she wanted to complete her other two work terms at Emera. “It was the team I worked with that really made me want to stay. They were committed to making it a positive and educational experience.” Morgan added that this meant providing her with challenges to learn and succeed, and support for when she was out of my depth.
“Emera would bring in experts for workshops, and had newsletters and weeklong events to encourage wellness in many forms. As a company they emphasized the importance of diversity and inclusion, mental health, physical health and having a safe environment,” she added.
As for her job search process, Morgan credits MCS workshops and counselling. “MCS was a huge help in my job search. Throughout my four years at Dal I have gone to my MCS advisor for everything from resume review, to interview practice, to honest talk about insecurities and confidence. MCS helped me gain confidence in myself, which allowed me to sell my “personal brand” to employers.” She said.
Morgan’s short-term goal is to get her CPA (Chartered Professional Accountant) designation. This is going to be her main focus in life for the next few years, and will better prepare her as an accountant. Her long-term goal is to pursue a career in audit. She said she loves the work she does, and she is so grateful and excited that she will be continuing to do her full time job with Emera for the foreseeable future. This aligns with her goal of staying in Nova Scotia.
Tips of the week from Morgan:
Do not join a society just to have it on your resume. The reason having extra-curricular on your resume is not just to show you ‘being productive’, what employers really want to see is that you are a person with passions and that you involve yourself in those!