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Rising Stars: Accounting for His Family's Dental Business
After receiving his degree in accounting from University of British Columbia, Amir (who would prefer not to disclose his full name) took two months to travel through Europe before spending three years at a Big Four accounting firm working towards becoming a CA (Certified Accountant). But now, he's back working for the family business: even dentists' offices need accountants.
School: University of British Columbia
Years Out of College: 10+
Title: Director of Finance
With a degree in accounting under his belt, Amir's career in accounting and finance has progressed very naturally. For Amir, it is all about continuing to be a dedicated and hard-working employee--there was "no big break, just hard work." Amir's first job at a Big Four accounting firm provided him with an important realization: he wanted to work in industry, rather than in public accounting. Amir left public accounting and began working for his family's dental business.
His time in public accounting was worth it both for the experience and the Certified Accountant license that he left with.
"The work experience that is involved with getting a CA designation is varied and, as such, can open many doors in different fields."
In his first years working, Amir learned and moved around a lot. "I applied for a transfer to Italy, which presented me with one of the biggest challenges I've ever faced, as I had to learn the language and work in Italian in a short time. That challenge was what attracted me to take the transfer in a non English speaking country." Like many young professionals, balancing personal life and work was also a challenge for Amir.
In his typical day at work: "I review financial statements of the company as they are produced, review legal agreements, am involved in projects with our IT department, and handle issues relating to real estate holdings." Amir says he finds this work exciting because it allows him "to meet the challenges our [family] company faces during this growth phase."
Amir is happy working for his family's business and has no intention of leaving any time soon. That doesn't mean he's not open to change: "I'll cross that bridge when I'm not feeling challenged in my current position." Amir has not seen any major surprises in his career path and overall considers himself lucky in the direction his career path has taken: "I've been very fortunate how everything has lined up for me so far."
Further schooling is probably not in his future, because, as he says, "CA training provides many of the same benefits of grad school."
Advice for Others
Amir recommends working a summer job at a local firm because "it will give you a good idea of what your public accounting career will be like initially." If you do decide that accounting is the career for you, Amir shares the wise advice his father gave to him: "Take some chances once in a while that you wouldn't normally take."
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