From gamer to accountant 

By Ashlyn Zhao

Staff Accountant | Audit & Advisory

“So, what is your dream job?” A first-year student asked me.

I was back at my alma mater, the University of Toronto, this time, as a visitor.

It’s amazing how fast things change. Just a couple of years ago, I was a student worrying about where my next class was. Now I was representing Deloitte at a networking event.

“I’d love to work in the video game industry,” I replied with a smile.

Around me, I saw eyebrows raising left and right. Alright, so I don’t look the part – I was dressed in business formal, complete with my laptop bag and a Deloitte-branded name tag.

In fact, many people were surprised by my answer. How does public accounting at Deloitte help me break into the gaming industry? Here are some reasons.

1. Deloitte is a leader in tech

Deloitte is very involved with Canada’s emerging tech companies. The Fast50 program helps start-up tech companies build recognition and gives Deloitte insight into innovation trends.

Deloitte is also transitioning all offices to a workplace of the future, creating collaboration centers designed to inspire creativity, innovation, collaboration and productivity in the workplace. This new approach fosters more socializing, allows you to exercise while you work (think desks with walking treadmills), and they are sleek modern spaces!

2. Deloitte is dedicated to personal development

During recruitment at university, Deloitte stood out to me because it was invested in developing its people. I learned a lot about leadership and communication skills by attending Deloitte’s version of The Apprentice (just as exciting as seen on TV).

Now that I am at the firm, I’ve found many more learning opportunities. Our industry learning sessions have opened my eyes to exciting transformations across different areas of business. In addition, my day-to-day learning at client sites has given me a great deal of perspective on how businesses work.

3. Deloitte expands your network and enhances your profile

One of the highlights of my job experience was joining Deloitte Amplify. Through this organization, we connect with local start-up companies in the tech industry and help them grow. I met with entrepreneurs from many exciting fields of tech, and the best part is, they value an accountant’s opinion (no pun intended).

It seems like a stretch, but the expertise of an accountant is what many tech start-ups are looking for. Our business know-how and insights make us versatile and a necessity for all businesses, and the multi-billion video game industry is no exception. When you think about it, an accountant aspiring to work in gaming, or any other industry, isn’t a big stretch after all. 

Ashlyn Zhao graduated from the University of Toronto Rotman School of Business with a Bachelor of Commerce. She is currently a staff accountant in our Audit & Advisory practice.

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