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Experiential Learning and Career Development Coach

Department: School of Accounting and Finance, Faculty of Arts Effective Date: January 2013
Grade: Reports to: Business Development Officer

General Accountability


The Experiential Learning and Career Development Coach is a member of the Experiential Learning and Career Development Team within the School of Accounting and Finance (SAF). The Team is responsible for ensuring the full participation of all undergraduate and graduate students in the experiential learning components of their program (co-op or internship) and their prosperous entry into the workforce as accounting and finance professionals upon graduation. The Experiential Learning and Career Development Coach supports the objectives of the Team by developing and managing coaching and awareness programs for undergraduate and graduate students and by contributing to activities related to co-op/internship and full-time job development.





MS Word




Other: Skype/Email/Mobile 






Interpersonal Skills

The Experiential Learning and Career Development Coach uses his/her strong listening and verbal communication skills to uncover students’ needs and professional goals and to engage them in one-on-one consultative service conversations that deliver immediate value according to a prescribed criteria. The incumbent brings a passion for client service and has a natural ability to educate and motivate. He/she brings basic experiential learning and career planning to the role. A supportive, team player, the Experiential Learning and Career Development Coach uses his/her social and business awareness to uncover opportunities to contribute to the work of the Experiential Learning and Career Development Team and to generally support the people at the School and the work they do.


Level of Responsibility

The Experiential Learning and Career Development Coach does not supervise others. The incumbent works independently to serve as a coach for SAF students and a creator/developer of resources, events and activities for students. He/she will manage a schedule of events and manage physical supplies associated with running events. He/she will maintain relationships with external parties such as consultants, motivational speakers and industry professionals. From time to time, he/she may be required to manage volunteers or be asked to participate in working groups or committees within the School.  


Decision-Making Authority

The Experiential Learning and Career Development Coach makes decisions about:


Financial Accountability
No direct financial accountability. Maintains files and provides detailed and accurate budgetary records for related activities. Generates budgetary reports, annual cost comparisons and specific breakdowns for initiatives.


Working Environment
Working Hours: 

A professional office environment. Regular working hours. Some evening/weekend work required.

Physical Sensory Demands/Psychological Risks

This role involves moderate psychological risk resulting from exposure to occasions of disagreeable or uncomfortable environmental conditions. The role may include exposure to emotionally disconcerting experiences and/or interactions with people who are upset or angry (i.e. occasional emotionally charged issues with students), unusual hours or schedules and irregular and/or high volumes and multiple and/or tight deadlines beyond one's control (e.g., January and September are particularly high volume).

Nature and Scope

The School of Accounting and Finance is a professional school within the Faculty of Arts at the University of Waterloo. The School currently offers one specialized undergraduate programs (BAFM), two graduate programs (MAcc, MTax) and one doctoral (PhD) program. The Bachelor of Accounting and Financial Management (BAFM) Honours Co-op program, is that largest co-operative education program of its kind in Canada. The Master of Accounting (MAcc) program is the only professionally accredited program by the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Ontario. The School’s Master of Taxation (MTax) program with internship is unique in Canada. Advanced professional standing and the opportunity for an innovative experiential learning experience make the School a top choice for students seeking to pursue careers as accounting and finance professionals. The School also administers three innovative cross-disciplinary undergraduate programs (BCFM, BMath CA, BSci (Biotech)) CA and one graduate program (MQFin). While the primary focus of the role will be to support BAFM, MAcc, Diploma and MTAx initiatives, students in the BCFM, BMath CA, BSci (Biotech) CA and MQFin programs will benefit directly or indirectly from the work of the Experiential Learning and Career Development Coach.


The SAF faculty is visible and active in the promotion and delivery of an experiential learning model as the cornerstone of its programs. The administration of co-op and paid internships within this School’s programs involves specialized requirements above and beyond those of other programs on campus. A separate co-op recruitment matching cycle exists for BAFM students and accredited employers, and this requires the faculty to work closely with CECA to administer co-op. Co-op jobs are often linked to professional experience requirements for industry credentials, and this requires ongoing tracking and reporting. The School assigns and grades co-op reflection reports (in lieu of the typical co-op work term reports), and this requires staffing. The faculty requires regular updates about needs of employers and the performance of co-op and internship students in order to maintain program quality and industry linkages, and this requires collaboration. The School also manages the entire processes of job development, job posting and rank/matching of MTax students with paid professional internship opportunities.


All SAF students have come to expect that the School will offer a variety of services to educate them about co-op and internship opportunities, professional accreditation processes, co-op pathway planning and career entry strategies. These services complement but do not duplicate traditional modes and approaches of co-op/career advising and professional development used on campus through CECA and the WatPD Office. SAF students want to explore co-op, internship and graduating opportunities in accounting and finance and they expect coaching that informs them about specific opportunities that meet their particular interest within the sector and that can lead them toward the achievement of longer term employment goals and objectives relating to accreditation as a CPA, CA, CMA, CIA, CFA etc. Students expect to have access to industry associations, mentoring relationships, extracurricular learning and practical skills training through the School and the departments on campus that share in the management of external relationships


Program enhancements, enrolment growth and external factors require the School to update and modify the nature and scope of the services it delivers to students in the areas of experiential learning and career development on an ongoing basis. For example, the ways that the School collaborates with CECA are expected to evolve over time given the changes currently impacting the accounting and finance professions in Ontario and Canada. The Experiential Learning and Career Development Team, consisting of the Business Development Officer and the Experiential Learning and Career Development Coach, was first initiated to consolidate the delivery of services to students in the BAFM, MAcc and MTax programs, which is presently delivered by three program units (including use of faculty time). This move will leverage synergies, creates efficiencies, and ultimately, generates the ability to do more for our students and the stakeholders of experiential learning. The Team has a vast mandate to “know” students, inform students, and link students with opportunities to grow and develop. It will collaborate with CECA to administer co-op and ensure a sufficient supply of co-op jobs, paid internships and graduating opportunities is available for SAF students. The Team will also report to faculty and students on experiential learning outcomes.


The Experiential Learning and Career Development Team is overseen by the Director of the School of Accounting and Finance and has dual reporting relationships to the Director/Associate Director(s) of the BAFM, MAcc and MTax programs. The Team is led by the School’s Business Development Officer. The Experiential Learning and Career Development Coach reports to the Business Development Officer. The Coach will report to the Administrative Officer of the School of Accounting and Finance regarding sickness, vacation, time-off and other administrative matters, in coordination with the Manager. The Coach works mainly with the Business Development Officer, the BAFM, MAcc and MTax leadership and support teams. This work involves collaboration with other units and groups on campus, such as CECA, the Student Success Office, Living Learning Community and the Accounting and Finance Student Association. The Coach liaises with external parties such as the CPA Canada, Institute of Chartered Accountants of Ontario (ICAO), CA School of Business (CASB), Society of Management Accountants of Ontario (SMAO), Toronto CFA Society, Canadian Institute of Internal Auditors (CIIA), Canadian Institute of Chartered Business Valuators (CICBV), CGA Ontario, CSI Global, Toronto Financial Services Alliance (TFSA).       

Statistical Data

BAFM Co-op Admissions F12

303 (83 – AFM-CA Match Co-op, 210 – AFM-B&F Co-op Match

BAFM Co-op Admissions Target F14 – under new co-op streaming

300 (One co-op stream eligible for CPA and Main Match Co-op Jobs)

Total BAFM Honours Co-op Enrolment F12


BMath CA Co-op Admissions F12


Total BMath CA Co-op Enrolment F12


BSci (Biotech) CA Co-op Admissions F12


Total BSci (Biotech) CA Co-op Enrolment F12


CFM Co-op Admissions F12


Total CFM Co-op Enrolment F12


Co-op Terms in the BAFM, BMath CA, BSci (Biotech) CA Degree

4 x 4-month or 2x 4-month + 1 x 8-month

MAcc (8 month) Admissions W13


Post Baccalaureate Diploma (4 month) W13 Admissions


MTAx Admissions F12

26 (24 full-time internship, 2 part-time)

Total MTax Enrolment F12

64 (51 full-time internship, 13 part-time)

Internship Terms in the MTax Degree

2 x 4-month

Specific Accountabilities


Encourages the development of skills, knowledge, values and professional attributes within undergraduate and graduate students according to the School’s learning models. 


Develops systems to learn about the professional goals of undergraduate/graduate students and to inspire their engagement in a process of self-discovery and professional development:

  • Develops and maintains a coaching system based upon a proven coaching model that integrates with approaches used by other student advisors.
  • Initiates plans and schedules to meet with undergraduate and graduate students during study terms to document their experimental learning, career entry and credentialing goals.Develops professional development action plans with students.Monitors students’ progress through their undergraduate co-op, MTax internship and full-time job searches and offers proactive coaching and assistance.
  • Offers case management to student files in collaboration with faculty and CECA staff.


Initiates programing to inform and educate SAF students in the areas of professional credentialing, experiential learning and career pathway planning:

  • Serves as a subject matter expert in the area of accounting and finance co-op/internship and career progression.
  • Directs undergraduate/graduate students toward appropriate opportunities for professional development such as extracurricular learning, co-op jobs or paid internships, CECA resources mentorship opportunities, alumni connections, industry associations, conferences, competitions, scholarship applications etc.
  • Contributes to the preparation, readiness and engagement levels of undergraduate co-op and graduate internship students:
    • Organizes and delivers employer/student networking events, employer information sessions, career/designation related talks, workshops or conferences such as the annual Professional Futures Conference and MTax Best Foot Forward.
    • Maintains and delivers industry-specific resources for students that compliments and builds upon students’ learning through courses delivered by the WatPD Office.
    • Informs students about trends in the accounting/finance employment market and professional development opportunities through regular media channels (for example, dedicated Learn site modules, email, twitter, SAF website etc.)


Supports efforts made by the SAF and CECA to maintain a sufficient supply of high quality accounting and finance co-op/internship and graduating employment opportunities and assists with student/employer matching by identifying recruitment best practices for employers.


Supports and promotes the processes, procedures and programs offered by Co-operative Education and Career Action and the WatPD Office in order to facilitate the hiring of SAF students/graduates.    

Working Conditions