The Best Laid Plans...

As I entered university, I never thought that I would find myself interested in entrepreneurship. While I found business to be the subject that was the most intriguing for me, I did not have a strong idea of what I wanted to study during university, but decided on accounting because of its practical use for future endeavours. My goal was similar to many: obtain my CPA and work in public accounting. Luckily, I did find accounting to be something I really enjoyed - the ability to effectively portray financial information and communicate it to those who needed it was what I wanted to pursue beyond graduation from my undergraduate degree, but, as it turns out not quite in the field of public accounting.

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I had never seen myself pursue anything related to agriculture or entrepreneurship, but what made me interested in pursuing this endeavour was the ability to create a difference and put my skills to good use. While different from my original plan of public accounting, this has been, and still is, an amazing learning experience with different challenges where I am able to pull from my accounting studies to manage our logistics and finance operations. There are still many things that don't go quite as planned, but they are interesting challenges to problem solve. We've had to learn about international tax implications, the differences between Canadian and US building code and almost too much about the difficulties of trying to ship fertilizer across the border!

I’ve always believed in education as a tool to support development as an individual and the opportunity to complement that with the RBC Entrepreneurship CO-OP program is something I'm excited about for the summer.

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With this opportunity, I have been able to focus on expanding the current work I am doing, while also working towards my goal of obtaining my CPA designation. While accounting and entrepreneurship may be a bit of an unusual pairing for some, it has provided me an interesting perspective in creating my own company with a skill set that has proven to be very useful.

I'm looking forward to the summer in managing our operations in Ottawa, expanding to further Indigenous and remote communities across Canada and being able to focus on what interests me the most – business with a social focus.

Alida Burke