Photo captured: David Stobbe

I followed a current MPAcc student around for a day and here's what I learned

Alicia Deibert is in her second year of the Edwards MPAcc program and has gained many new technical skills as well as new lessons to bring into the world of accounting.

Maya Gauthier

The main goal for most accounting graduates is getting their CPA. Where, when, and how students will get their CPA is often the first step after graduating. Alicia Deibert grew up in Calgary and after graduating, she moved to Ontario to work for PWC in Core Audit. After graduation, Alicia had to make a choice; the Professional Education Program (PEP) or a Master’s program. Alicia decided to attend the Edwards School of Business for the Master of Professional Accounting (MPAcc) program.

The social aspect is a large part of the reason Alicia chose the MPAcc program over PEP. Alicia explained that she has made friendships during her time in the MPAcc program that will last a lifetime despite experiencing her first year in the MPAcc program in an online learning format, due to the Covid-19 pandemic. This year is Alicia’s first year of in-person learning in the MPAcc program. “It was fun coming in person this year and getting to put a name to a face,” explained Alicia. “It's been fun being able to have in-class discussions and going to do things after class.”

She also expressed her appreciation for the Edwards MPAcc professors. “They do make the classes tough,” said Alicia. “Assignments and cases are challenging, but it's all for the benefit of your learning. If we're ever struggling with anything or have questions, the professors here are more than willing to chat about technical materials, CFE tips, and about careers.” Alicia hopes to be a professor someday, so this advice holds weight.

The program's intensity is one thing that is not to be missed when considering this route. MPAcc is a Master’s program and is treated as such. It is important to remember that you will get out what you put in. There are times when students can socialize and have some fun, but there are also moments where you need to buckle down and focus on the work. The nice thing about this is that it is the only thing you must focus on. There is no coming home from work and having to open your laptop. You have the summer to focus and give your undivided attention to the program. “I think one of the big benefits of MPAcc is when I am at work, I can be 100% at work and I can put in the effort that allows me to get the most out of work. And then when I am here, I can put in the effort that allows me to get the most out of school,” Alicia explained.

Days are often split into sections. There is a morning class and an afternoon class that students are split into. This helps with the workload and time management. Many students in the program stay in residence and walk to classes. 

Alicia is finishing her time in the MPAcc program this year and has high hopes for her future career. She has had the opportunity to discuss her options with many of her professors. “I've talked to a couple of them about their experience moving from industry and public practice into teaching,” said Alicia. These are connections Alicia would not have been able to make had she chosen a different route to obtain her CPA.

The Edwards MPAcc program is CPA-accredited and offers you a transformative learning experience with the opportunity to study alongside high-achieving peers from across Canada and build relationships with an established network of alumni and faculty.

You are actively involved in competency-based training to prepare them for success on the Common Final Exam (CFE). Over the course of two summers, you will hone your communication, collaboration, problem-solving and decision-making skills in an immersive and innovative program. Visit the Edwards MPAcc program page to learn more or to chat with an advisor.

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