Sukaina KazimAccounting student Sukaina Kazim discusses her co-op experience with the Canada Revenue Agency during a poster session Wednesday in the Odette Building.

Accounting student tots up advantages of co-operative education

With tax season approaching, it’s time to admit it: not everyone is a fan of the Canada Revenue Agency. Fourth-year accounting student Sukaina Kazim says a co-op work term with the government’s tax collectors changed her opinion.

“I was a little nervous going in, but I quickly learned that the CRA respects its employees,” she said at an event Wednesday showcasing the co-operative education experiences of business majors. “They believe a core role is educating the public and helping them understand the law.”

Kazim worked in the agency’s audit division, reviewing business sales tax returns. An international student born in the Democratic Republic of Congo, she said the experience helped her gain an appreciation for Canadian business practices.

“It was very interesting because I have never done anything with the Excise Tax Act,” she said. “I got to learn how important following legislation is in Canada.”

Kazim was one of five students presenting posters about their work terms in the lobby of the Odette Building. Another six classmates will present today — Thursday, March 1 — from 1:15 to 2:15 p.m.

Romina Oulevey, co-ordinator of co-op programs for business, kinesiology, and science, said that work placements help students prepare for professional life.

“It supplements their learning through hands-on experience,” Oulevey said. “Students have a chance to try out different industries and network with prospective employers.”

It worked out that way for Kazim, who believes her participation helped her land a full-time position with Union Gas, which she will begin after she graduates this spring.

“I had actual accounting experience I could draw on in my job interviews,” she said. “The three terms I worked in co-op helped me develop skills I otherwise wouldn’t have.”

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