Looks super cult-ish.

So it’s been some months (4 to be specific) since my last blog.

It definitely didn’t feel that long for me, but now that I’m realizing it is already October, I am back in reality.

So what have I been up to since June?

Well, let us find out!

In an anime, this is where the flashback scene would occur. Therefore…

F L A S H B A C K ! ! !

Yes, that was super cheesy and sort of stupid, but considering that I have been away for 4 months, I should be able to do something stupid like this.

My last post was just after Battle of BC 2, which was a few weeks into summer term 1. I finished my CPSC 110 class easily, and made a new friend in my lab.

Sometime in July, I started CPSC 210 in term 2 of summer. I ended up being in the same class as the new friend from lab, so class time wasn’t unbearable. My professor was not making class a fun place because he didn’t really teach – we were expected to self-learn Java – and he was very whatever about all the stuff he was doing. I somehow passed that course, after writing my final 3 hours earlier because I had a plane to catch. Even before I finished my exam, I knew I was going to get a poor mark (<60%~). But I couldn’t care too much, because I had something way more important to focus on (I would later find out I got like 75% in that class… lol) – APPLICATIONS.

Beyond classes that didn’t impact my major or my intended field of employment, my main priority over the summer was finding CPA Pre-Approved work for September 2018. I was already delayed by a year because I was dumb (more on that can be found in some previous blog back in March/April). And even though my mom has said multiple times that 1 extra year is basically no difference in the grand scheme of things, her true thoughts would be revealed whenever she got slightly upset at me and my extra year was the perfect thing to hurt me with.

Which is a bit ironic because the only reason I’m at UBC is because of them.

Which isn’t exactly all true, but I can save that for later.

Back to getting a job!

I had gone to a lot of networking events over the summer (not all of them though, because some of them I just didn’t make the cut for [see: big 4 firms + BDO]). I like to think that I have a decent grasp over the CPA recruit process, and how you should act/who you should talk to at events. First off, I think talking to HR or whoever is doing the hiring process is the MOST IMPORTANT THING! Those are the people that get you into the first round interviews. If you make an impression on them, they’ll remember that, and when you apply, they’ll respond. Talking to Partners, Senior Managers, and other people is important to get to know how the firm works, their culture, their promotions, their customer base, etc. But it doesn’t get you to the interviews. In the end, the Partners (public firms only, of course) are the ones that make the decision whether or not to hire you, but they aren’t the one that get you in the door. It helps to talk to the partners and make them like you before the interview because then they are more likely to hire you, so it’s still good to do that.

And while I’m on the topic of interviews, preparing for them is annoying. Though I guess if all the places that are interviewing you ask similar questions, it becomes very routine to just answer them. I had prepared so many answers and practiced them, but only after answering with them at my first interview did I fully understood what I was saying. After that, it became super easy to just mouth my prepared answers off. Though, transitioning between my Smythe and Telus interviews was difficult. Even though they were both for CPA pre-approved programs, the industry was different, the clients were different, and the expected work was different. For me, that was hard to quickly adapt my answers to. I think if I had 2-3 days then it would have been okay, but I got the call to go in for a Telus interview about 12 hours before it happened, so it wasn’t much time at all. Fun!

Which brings me back to that point I skipped 2 paragraphs before – why I’m at UBC.

During my interviews, there was no way I could answer the question of “Why did you transfer from SFU to UBC?” with “my parents wanted me to”. That is such a bad answer, as it shows that you don’t really make any decisions in your life, and that you are very whimsical about making a large decision. Both are not qualities a company that deals with a lot of outside clients would want from you. So I had prepared to answer the question by also answering 2 more interview questions (answering 3 questions with 1 answer!), my biggest achievement/failure. Getting into UBC was my “redemption” for my failures in IB. I would make it a point to say that SFU was not a bad school, and in fact I really enjoyed it there, so that I could make the “redemption” part stand out.

But it was just a prepared answer right? Something made up and glamoured up to be presented, not the actual truth?

At some point in my life I internalized my answer as my actual reason. It was probably before my interviews, and it was probably not so much “internalizing” it but rather more “understanding” it. Going to UBC had always just been a symbolic thing, rather than a more practical thing. Yes, it is more convenient for me in so many ways (bus, car, office, familiarity), but those were all such small things that they don’t amount to much.

Which brings me to a total aside, but those were Acky’s reasons for transferring – shorter bus times.

But then he still complains about busing to school (even though he lives IN FRONT OF A BUS STOP AND IT TAKES HIM 30 MINUTES MAX), because even though it has become so convenient for him, there are still “long waits of 10 minutes” and he has to “walk to another bus stop to avoid people”.

Which kind of triggers me, because those are such small and pointless and drivel problems. He also doesn’t even like it at UBC (supposedly), but also hates SFU. I have my own theory on all of that, but I digress.

So to finish everything, I got a job. I start at Smythe LLP in September 2018. Cool! And super stress relieving. There is much less of a worry about my future right now. Although, there is a 6 month probationary period, so I hope I don’t mess anything up during that time to get fired…


Now for the reason I initially started typing on this…

I was kind of in a situation where I had to pick between 2 companies to work for. So I made my decision, and then moved on with my life.

Or so I thought.

Then some days later, curiosity got the better of me and I went on Glassdoor to see the reviews. Turns out the place I had accepted had much worse reviews than the other firm! It made me seriously doubt why I was going to work for Smythe. I then began to look at all the other firms I was interested in. Most of the mid-sized firms had middling reviews, and the big 4 had some higher ones. It scared me. Scared me to think that I had made the wrong choice, and was going to be stuck with it for 4 years of my life.

But then I realized something.

Why do I care about what someone else feels about the firm?

Yes, people use reviews for everything, and with good reason – they are useful. But reviews are just a tool. They aren’t the be-all-end-all. There is a cake/tea shop that I thought was interesting beside a bank that I frequent. After looking at the store too many times, I decided to look it up on Google to see what people thought of it. Turns out, the place had 1 out of 5 star ratings. Most people said it was overpriced, pretentious, small servings, and poor service. That turned me off from the place right away, and instead I internally labeled the shop as a farce. Yet when I think about what I knew/assumed about the shop already, the reviews don’t seem to matter. These kind of higher-class dessert shops are usually pricey and have smaller servings. Service in those places are kind of rare, and I can see how someone could assume the place to be pretentious. So I didn’t learn anything really new from the reviews, but instead just confirmed most of the things I had already though. Yet I didn’t want to go to the store anymore.

Which is kind of what happened with those Glassdoor reviews. It really dawned on me when I was reading the reviews for Manning Elliot. For a firm that places a high focus on team bonding, being friends, and having a unique company culture, there was a surprising amount of reviews that said they hated the company culture, or that there was no real bonding. Remembering back on the whole concept of finding a firm who “fits” you, I realized that all these reviews were by people who didn’t understand the culture of the company before accepting the offer. Manning Elliot makes it very obvious what kind of culture they have. They enjoy each others company a lot more than other firms, and they jeer each other during their presentations. If you see this happening, yet still join the company, then your dislike of the firm culture is totally on your lack of research.

Realizing that a lot of poor reviews were because of a difference in expectation vs reality, I calmed down a lot. No longer did I feel like I made the wrong decision. I went back to read some more of the reviews and saw it a lot clearer. Some of the things confirmed what I had thought, and some of the things seemed wrong given what I knew.

It’s like I had an over reliance on reviews. At some point, instead of treating reviews as a way to get information, I treated reviews as a guide on what to do. If the review said A, then A it was. It if said B, then B it was. I didn’t even bother to add my own opinion to it. Reviews are just a tool to gleam more information about something. It comes from someone else’s perspective, and that has some inherent bias, as well as it coming from a different context. There is no way I can treat a review’s conclusion as a decision I should make.

Anyways, now it’s winter term 1, and I’m taking some easy going courses. I hope to use my last year of my undergrad to do some more club things that I hadn’t done the previous years.

Oh and, this was a good warm up for my upcoming photography blog post! I had been aiming for 1/month, but after completely missing both August and September, there’s not much I can do except make a post for October!

Anyways, I’m out.

There’s only 1 photo for this blog because I’m lazy.