Originally from the province of Shandong, China, Rui Sun is a fourth year Bachelor of Commerce student, majoring in Accounting. After graduating high school in China, Rui knew she wanted to broaden her horizons and attend post-secondary in Canada. She chose Dalhousie because of its culturally diverse location, and this being her first Canadian experience, she wanted her school to be in a city that doesn’t get too cold, allowing her to enjoy all types of weather. Rui decided to pursue a career in finance and was inspired by her mother, who introduced her to the industry through her lifelong career.
In hopes of attaining a master’s degree, Rui will be attending the University of Toronto in fall 2021 for the Master’s of Accounting and Finance (MAccFin) program, which is North America’s first graduate degree option in both accounting and finance. “I am not the kind of person who can put all my effort into work or study. Work-life balance is really important to me, and I enjoy time to stay with myself or hang out with friends. If I got a job now I would need to work full-time, and still need to prepare for CPA exams. This is not the life I want.” For these reasons, Rui decided to take the master’s program to help her prepare for her CPA, as well as to devote more time to learning as much as she can at a young age, and then using that knowledge to further her career in the future.
Accredited by the Chartered Professional Accountants of Ontario, the MAccFin program is 16 months long and will allow Rui to move freely between different careers, both in management and finance. She will also get the opportunity to gain more work experience through the work term component of the program. Rui is excited by the opportunity to add even more work experience to her resume, on top of the three co-ops she completed through the Bachelor of Commerce program, before completing her school journey.
Rui completed her first Commerce co-op with Holloway Lodging Corp. as an accountant. This was her first work experience in Canada. “I learned a lot about what constitutes a Canadian workplace, which is quite different from China.” Rui began her co-op at a very busy time for the accounting industry, but she was able to quickly adapt and attained valuable knowledge.
Her second work term was at Charm Diamond Centre, also as an accountant. The individuals Rui worked with made her feel like family and helped her learn throughout her time there. Communication was pertinent for Rui as she had three supervisors, which was more than she was used to. “I needed to communicate with all of them about my work, so my business communications skills were further improved.”
Like a number of students last summer, Rui had secured her third and final co-op work term but due to the COVID-19 pandemic, her position was cancelled unexpectedly. After this setback, Rui felt the pressure of an approaching deadline to secure work for her final co-op. She has been a member of the Nova Scotia Chinese Culture & Art Club (NSCCAC) for two years, so she inquired about completing her last co-op with them. Through networking with various individuals and marketing her skills, Rui secured her final co-op with the NSCCAC, which entailed both accounting and coordinating events. “This was definitely a positive result from my networking. It is good to join clubs or associations during school time. You will never know when your networking will work.”
For most of her last co-op, Rui worked remotely and experienced a few challenges that many co-op students are currently also experiencing. “It can be harder to communicate if faced with difficulties, but my supervisor is kind and is always patient in helping me.” Rui accredited MCS in aiding her with her job search. “Advisors in MCS helped me work on my resume and work permit. Lauren Shaw also helped me with my personal statement for my application for my master’s program. I am so grateful for all your help!”
Rui’s advice for you:
- Be brave and work hard. We are young, don’t be afraid of making mistakes.
- Go on adventures, instead of doing things you can still do when you get to ninety years old.
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