MFin 360 – What’s it like to work for a Master of Finance student?

Interview with Diana Shynkarenko, CGA, CPA

With a robust program structure and curriculum, the Master of Finance (MFin) is designed to help finance professionals not only become technical experts, but also inspiring leaders.

Jose Rivas, MFin 2017

This week we spoke to Diana Shynkarenko, CPA, CGA a Financial Analyst at the Canadian Diabetes Association. Her supervisor is MFin candidate Jose Rivas, MFin’17, CPA, CGA. Read below to get her take on the benefits of the MFin program.

We are excited to hear about your perspective on the value of the MFin and your experience working with one of our students. Could you tell us a little bit about your work with Jose?

Jose was recently promoted, actually. But, up until a few months ago, he was my manager at the Canadian Diabetes Association where I am a Financial Analyst, working under the accounting umbrella. I reported directly to him for over a year and worked on several initiatives that he implemented for our team since he started the MFin program.

Have you noticed any difference since he joined the MFin program?

Definitely. I’ve seen him implement quite a few changes that have made a positive impact on the way our team works, and ultimately on our organization. There is no question that Jose’s leadership has helped build a more collaborate and professional team. In fact, soon after he joined the program, he introduced new team huddles where we discuss our work and figure out how we can work better as a team.

As a bonus, in every meeting we get to choose a professional topic for discussion, and one lucky person gets to present on the topic for professional development purposes. To choose a topic of discussion we would all take a vote. I found these professional development sessions so valuable that I actually lobbied for topics that I’m extremely interested in. Fortunately, I was successful and got the team to learn about the Beneish manipulation index—a concept Jose explored deeply during the MFin program.

In your day-to-day have you experienced any moment when the knowledge and skills that Jose has acquired through the MFin program impacted the work of your team?

The MFin has made Jose much more aware of every-day inefficiencies at work and the ways he could turn them into opportunities for improvement. He got our team to implement procedural and technical changes that enhanced our reporting database to the point that our month-end became more efficient and accurate. This is a very exciting fact in the world of accounting!

Have you seen your work improve through mentorship you’ve received from Jose since he joined the program?

Yes, absolutely! Jose really likes to challenge his team. There’s never a dull moment when you are part of his team. For example, I was working on a complex project for cash forecasting. It was exciting and challenging at the same time. In order to support me in the project development, Jose took the time to look at my progress and pointed to areas where I could find answers to successfully complete the project. Instead of just giving me the answers, Jose taught me ways to think about the problem and its solution.

As a manager, he is aware of what his employees know and how they work, and that’s important. He knows what it takes to do our jobs and how to support us when in need. At the same time, though, if we came up with a better way to do something, he would listen and would encourage us to take the lead.

Through the MFin program students often get to expand their network inside and outside their workplace, have you seen an example of this in your work with Jose?

At work we definitely work more closely with HR and IT since Jose joined the program. I think his experience with the MFin has allowed him to see the key benefits of working across teams to implement sustainable change. In finance, much of the change will ultimately impact other teams and require the support of subject-matter experts within the company. For example, when making changes to payroll systems you need to collaborate with both IT and HR.

Outside of our company, we noticed that Jose made quite a few connections with consultants who he then brought along to evaluate some of our processes at work to find ways to improve them.

 

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