Posts tagged ‘Students’

April 30, 2012

The Importance of a CMA Counselling Session

by Scott Roehl

Congratulations, you are interested in the CMA accounting designation. Now what?

The decision to pursue an accounting designation is filled with careful consideration and an eye to future goals both professionally and personally. Knowing this, it is important that you get all the information you need to make an informed decision.

Perhaps you have read through a CMA Path Brochure, visited the CMA Manitoba website, attended a CMA Information Session or talked to a family member or friend who is a CMA. These are all good sources to start your research and obtain more information about the designation.

The next step is to arrange a CMA Counselling Session which will further educate you on the program requirements, expectations and support provided. During this step, we will ask to receive a copy of your academic transcripts so that a transcript evaluation can be prepared for the counselling session.

During the session which usually lasts about an hour, Petra Noack Menzies (Program Administrator) will sit down with you to get to know you better, provide an overview of the program requirements, and most importantly answer your questions. A review of your transcript will also be provided such that if any missing requirements are identified, helpful guidance will be provided.

There is a lot to consider with a decision to pursue a CMA designation and a counselling session will help you make sense of it all.

April 18, 2012

Reality Check: Learning Doesn’t End at Graduation

by Scott Roehl

As I write this, students at various post-secondary institutions are busily involved in final examinations. For some, this time signifies the end of a journey; the end of studying, exams, papers, group projects. It’s Graduation time!

Hold on a moment.

Don’t get mad at me for being the messenger of bad news. Certainly it is important to take time to celebrate the achievement of graduating. It is a time to reflect on the journey and recognize those that have helped you along the way. But the end of studying and learning? Not so fast.

Reflecting upon my own graduation from university, I recall the last thought on my mind was going back to school or embarking on some sort of research to determine what I was going to learn next. I wanted to get as far away from books as possible and focus on other interests that I had put on hold while going to school. 

However, during that period of my life and ever since, I’ve come to respect and appreciate the importance of a commitment to continued learning. You need to take some time to look at the long-term. Where am I at now? What skills and knowledge do I currently possess? Where would I like to be in 10 years? What sorts of specialized knowledge or further training will I require in pursuit of my goals? These types of questions are not always easy to answer but are worth the time to consider.

Part of differentiating yourself is your belief in and commitment to life-long learning. Development will further enhance your knowledge and skill set to not only be a subject matter expert, but a positive contributor in your organization and community. 

So graduates, enjoy the celebration and time to re-charge your batteries! But don’t forget, learning doesn’t stop after your last exam.




April 2, 2012

These students are “smart cookies”

by Scott Roehl

Click Here To Return Back To The RRC Home Page

This week I am grateful to once again be a volunteer external examiner for RRC’s Business Administration Entrepreneurship Practicum (EP) presentations. A few weeks ago, I was provided a business plan for an intriguing venture that has developed a concept around delicious cookies. I am looking forward to the team presentation this week!

What is the Business Administration Entrepreneurship Practicum?
Students who are in the final year of the Business Administration program have to complete the Entrepreneurship Practicum. As described in the outline provided to examiners, “the purpose of the assignment is to provide an opportunity for the students to develop and demonstrate business related skills such as research, report writing, time and project management, networking with the business community and self-directed teamwork.” Groups consisting of ten or more students spend the year applying course knowledge by developing a business plan for a fictitious venture.

How are the business plans judged?
The Entrepreneurship Practicum assignment consists of a final written business plan to be submitted as well as an oral presentation before an External Examiner Panel. External examiners are primarily made up of members from the business community who volunteer their time to read and grade the business plan as well as provide helpful suggestions after the presentation. Feedback from the examiners contributes towards final grades in the course.

Why do I volunteer as an external examiner?
If you have ever created or reviewed a business plan, you know how much time and effort is required to development one. I am consistently amazed at the hard work, commitment and creativity displayed by the students to complete this assignment. It is no small feat especially with most students being enrolled in a full course schedule and the struggles that exist to align schedules to meet as a group regularly. I am pleased that RRC offers a course like this as entrepreneurship is an important driver for our economy in Manitoba. Whether students plan to launch their venture or simply meet the requirements for a learning exercise, the lessons learned will serve them well in to the future. And quite honestly, how could I not learn from these talented students? It is a rewarding experience for all involved.

Thank you to Taras Wasyliw, Entrepreneurship Course Leader, and all of the Entrepreneurship Course Instructors for the opportunity to participate again this year.

[Click here to read about the Entrepreneurship Practicum Trade Show students also participate in.]

December 2, 2011

Balancing the technical mindset

by Scott Roehl

Earlier this week, I had the opportunity to speak before a group of aspiring engineers at the University of Manitoba. This might come as a bit of surprise. Why would CMA, an accounting designation, be talking with engineering students?

The key to the answer is professional diversity.

The CMA designation complements an engineer’s technical base with an added financial and strategic focus. Combining these skill sets provides a strong foundation for business leadership roles and an enhanced perspective, especially in multi-disciplinary meetings.

In opening a dialogue with engineering students, we are able to provide clarity on how the CMA goes hand-in-hand with a P.Eng. Additionally, students can complete some elective studies through a business or accounting minor which will be an asset in entering the CMA Program in the future.

For another perspective on this topic, please read the CMA Profile of Dave Wardrop, CMA.

November 4, 2011

Want a job? Be careful what you post.

by Scott Roehl

Social media has quickly transformed the landscape of how we connect with one another and access information. Through this rise, it has also been interesting to watch the effect it has had on hiring practices. Many companies now use social media channels to promote new job opportunities or to seek out potential candidates. The other side of this trend is that many employers now use these very same channels to review candidates (numbers vary depending on the study but I have seen some very high percentages of employers who acknowledge they review candidates on social media sites).

This post is not meant to support or condone these practices nor will I debate the issue of privacy with what you post online. The reality is whether you like it or not, employers will very likely use social media to review whether you are a suitable fit for their organization. The choice becomes whether you as a student completely ignore this fact or realize that you have to take responsibility for what you post.

The graphic I reference above (credit Kashmir Hill) points to some of the reasons surveyed employers did not hire a candidate after searching them through social media. Even with privacy controls, consider that online there is no guarantees of privacy. Be mindful and careful on what you share as it can live on for a very long time and even impact future employment.

October 25, 2011

Managing That Student Stress

by Scott Roehl

It’s tough being a student. Your time is stretched in every direction and sometimes it can almost seem too much. I am reminded of the stress in being a student especially at this time of the year when midterm exams are occurring at many of the post-secondary institutions in Manitoba.

While I have no magic solution for making all that stress disappear, I do want to take a moment to offer some ideas on how to manage (perhaps even minimize) some of it. Feel free to share your tips in the comments!

  • Exercise – As @TypeACubed suggested on our @cmamb Twitter Account, “Boxing and Pan Am Boxing Club! There is nothing like hitting the bag and sweating out the stresses of the day.” Whether it is boxing, running or playing team sports, exercise is a great way to release stress and re-energize.
  • Get More Sleep – What is that? I realize it is easier said then done as a student. but take care of yourself and make sure you are getting adequate rest.
  • Take time for Friends – When opportunities arise, take time in your schedule to meet up with friends. Friends are there for you and can be a sounding board for the stress and challenges you are experiencing.
  • Tune in to something else – Put some music on or put on that favourite TV show to watch. These little “breaks” can help you in coping with all that stress.
  • “Staycation” – If you ever watched the show Corner Gas you might recall actor Brent Butt taking a “staycation” – essentially dreaming about vacationing in an exotic location without actually going anywhere. Reality is, not all students are in a position to take vacations away during school. Instead, have a mini-vacation and find some fun activities you can do locally to get out, have fun and relax.
October 21, 2011

Accredited University Graduate Explained

by Scott Roehl

A popular question I have received this fall has been in regards to what the CMA Accredited University Graduate means and how to achieve it? Let me explain.

For most students interested in pursuing a CMA designation, a recognized Canadian university degree (or an approved international equivalent) in conjunction with the successful completion of CMA pre-requisites in accounting and management topics is required to challenge the CMA Entrance Exam. Graduates who have not completed all of the CMA prerequisites can complete the CMA Accelerated Program in order to challenge the CMA Entrance Exam.

In Manitoba, the B.Comm. (Hons.) accounting major program delivered at the Asper School of Business is a program accredited by CMA Canada. This means that students at the Asper School of Business who successfully complete their degree program including all CMA pre-requisite topics while maintaining a high GPA over their course work may be eligible to be waived from the CMA Entrance Exam. If approved as an Accredited University Graduate, the student would be able to proceed directly in to the CMA Strategic Leadership Program.

Students who are considering the Accredited University Graduate path need to consult with the CMA Manitoba Office while completing studies at the Asper School of Business to ensure understanding of what is required to apply for the waiver.

July 6, 2011

What does the potential CA/CMA merger mean to students?

by Scott Roehl

On May 24, 2011, the leaders of the Chartered Accountants of Canada and the Certified Management Accountants of Canada announced they had entered into discussions to explore the possibility of uniting the CA and CMA organizations through the creation of a new professional designation –  the Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA). Following this announcement, a consultation process was established to engage important stakeholders in a dialogue including Members and Candidates of the respective organizations.

Since the announcement, I have been approached by a few students who have wanted to learn more about why this is occurring and, probably just as important, what the impact may be. I suspect that once classes begin in the fall, more students will be asking similar questions.

To begin with, I strongly encourage students to review the information that has been provided to Members and Candidates of both organizations. To assist you, here are some helpful links (also available through

Uniting the Canadian Accounting Profession Position Paper

Uniting the Canadian Accounting Profession Paper Highlights – a “coles notes” summary of the key points in the full position paper

Consultation Update – June 2011

Video: Joy Thomas, President and CEO, CMA Canada, talks about uniting the Canadian accounting profession

For a student considering the CMA designation these resources provide an important window into the global factors impacting the accounting profession here in Canada and why the respective organizations are addressing them now. As you review the information, reflect on what is being discussed and understand the impact on you. For students, this potential merger represents the prospect of a further strengthened and respected accounting credential in Canada and improved mobility opportunities globally. Over the long-term this would also serve to reduce confusion over multiple designations and increase recognition of the value you can provide to any organization as a professional accountant. These points aside, consider the full impact and be sure to ask questions.

Finally, you have an important voice in this consultation process as well. Should you have any comments or questions to share, please email them directly to me – sroehl @ I will ensure your privacy and pass along the comments verbatim for consideration.

June 29, 2011

Leadership and the 4 new Ps

by Scott Roehl

If you come from a marketing background like myself or you have sat through an introductory course on marketing, then the 4 P’s ingrained in you are linked to the marketing mix elements of Product, Price, Place and Promotion.

Amidst all of the excitement over the last few weeks with the announcement of NHL Hockey returning to Winnipeg this fall (Go Jets Go!), 4 new P’s emerged that are worthy of consideration for future business leaders. Stated in a June 6, 2011 Winnipeg Free Press article, NHL League Commissioner Gary Bettman referenced Mark Chipman’s “Patience, Perseverance, Professionalism and Persistence.” Now those are some worthy 4 P’s to follow!

While these 4 new P’s certainly apply to Mark Chipman’s and True North Sports & Entertainment’s long-term vision and approach to landing an NHL team, they are very much relevant in application for any developing leader. As a student, it can be hard to envision where exactly you want to go or how you are going to get there. To update an analogy that helped shape the original marketing 4 P’s, following this recipe of the “new 4 P ingredients” can really go a long way to helping you accomplish whatever goals are set out.

March 14, 2011

What a CMA Panel Taught Us

by Scott Roehl

(Photo credit: Stephen Dueck –

During the evening of March 9th at the Fort Garry Hotel, students from several post-secondary institutions gathered with members of the CMA Community in Manitoba to learn how a CMA designation can create possibilities in their future. The first annual CMA Panel Event fostered connections and interactions between students and CMAs/CMA Candidates from a variety of backgrounds and industries.

One of the key elements of the evening was the panel discussion which gave students the power to ask questions that mattered to them. A panel consisting of three CMAs and a Year 2 CMA Candidate along with a CMA Panel Moderator took questions supplied by students and provided their thoughts and advice. Very insightful questions were asked on a variety of topics ranging from the impact of the recession, to what is gained from the Strategic Leadership Program to advice for someone coming from a non-conventional accounting background.

Darrell, a student from the University of Winnipeg, shared some of these key takeaways from the evening:

A designation gives you a strong foundation to build on, but does not entitle you to a high level position immediately. You have to be prepared to work hard.

The CMA Accelerated Program disciplines you and prepares a person well for the Entrance Exam and Strategic Leadership Program

The Strategic Leadership Program fosters relationships and networks that will carry right through your career

The Strategic Leadership Program: strategy development, you learn to ask and understand the questions “where we are” and “where do we want to be”

Advice given for students considering the CMA designation: Budget your time, be flexible, build a support base around you of family and friends, find ways to integrate what you learn in to your life and remember to keep a work-life balance

For students that attended, what else did you takeaway from the evening? What did you find insightful? Please share in the comments.

Thank you to the following individuals who provided their time to be on the panel:

Denise Zaporzan, CMA, FCMA (Panel Moderator)
Sara Stasiuk, CMA
Jeremy Messner, CMA
Kerry Wolfe, CMA
Sarah Townsend – CMA Candidate

Related Blog Post:
Denise captures the spirit of the event with some additional comments from the evening through her latest blog post. (recommended read!)

Photos from the event: CMA Manitoba Facebook Page (CMA Panel Event Photo Album)