IIG Recipient Winter 2016 – Maria Cardenas
I am a first year student at Rotman Commerce, specialising in Accounting and minoring in French as a Second Language. I attended DECA U’s 2015-16 Provincials Conference at the Sheraton Hotel. For this event—the largest undergraduate conference in Ontario—more than 200,000 students from 19 universities and colleges from across Ontario united to participate and compete in business case study competitions. The categories of these case studies range from food marketing to business law. Personally, I focused on accounting this year.
I have been part of DECA ever since high school, and I was excited to learn that I could continue in university. DECA has allowed me to experience the business world on a first-hand basis. It was through DECA that I learned how to present myself, dress professionally and give a great interview. The competition quickly sharpened my time management and problem-solving skills as I only had fifteen minutes to analyze the case study, create a solution and decide how to present that solution. This opportunity helped me become a reliable team member and a strong individual worker. Personally, it was DECA that helped me find my passion and my career. It provided me with a glimpse of my possible future—a fast-paced world of constant interaction—and I loved it. I had the opportunity to discover my talents, develop my strengths, and improve my weaknesses with DECA. This conference was a platform to networking with professionals and other students in my field.
The IIGrant relieved the financial burden of this conference and allowed me to focus all my attention on preparing for the competition. I am very grateful to have received this grant because it definitely helped me take part in an exceptional opportunity to further my career.
IIG Recipient Fall 2015 – Kevin Bublitz
Hi! I am currently in my fourth and final year of my Undergraduate degree at U of T in the actuarial science major program, with minors in statistics and psychology. Although I’m a current residence don at Knox College, I lived in the Woodsworth residence in my first year, and have remained closely connected to the Woodsworth community throughout my degree. Currently, I am one of the two office staff working with WCSA, and you can find me in the WCSA office during our office hours!
I used the IIG to attend the Actuarial Students National Association (ASNA) annual conference, which was held in Niagara Falls this year from January 8th-10th. This conference is the largest gathering of actuarial students in North America, with over 600 students and 26 companies in attendance. At the conference, I was able to meet with representatives from various companies through a career fair strictly for actuarial students, as well as many other students from across Canada in the same field. I was also able to attend seminars led by industry professionals, which included information about the future of the actuarial industry (towards predictive modeling and big data), gained information about the agricultural insurance industry in Canada, and also learned valuable skills on how to succeed in the workplace after graduation.
Without the IIG, I would have been unable to afford this unique opportunity to learn more about the industry that I have been studying at University, and to connect directly with recruiters from various companies. I strongly recommend students to apply for the IIG to attend similar conferences in their areas of interest if they are unable to afford the fees themselves.