Christina Yam is a Specialist in Fuller Landau’s Tax group. We sat down with her to learn more about why she chose a career in tax, her childhood in Barbados, and her biggest piece of advice for people starting off in the industry.
Q: Why Fuller Landau?
After graduating, I worked in industry and personally found that it was not as challenging as audit and tax, so I switched back to public accounting. I’m still pretty new at Fuller Landau, having only started in September 2016. This sounds cliché, but it’s all about the culture and the team, here. It’s a very supportive and encouraging group of people, at all levels. Everyone at Fuller Landau is willing to help me learn and grow. And there’s a good balance between teamwork and independent learning. I get to work directly with clients and I’m encouraged to recommend solutions to managers and partners, which is great for my career development. I love the variety and getting involved in everything from corporate, to trusts, to personal, and excise tax. I’m always learning.
Q: What do you value most about the training you receive at Fuller Landau?
One of the things I really like is the technical tax sessions, here at Fuller Landau. Every two weeks, a different topic is featured, such as U.S. Tax or Non-Resident Taxation. We team up with managers to research the topic and prepare a seminar, and then we present to the whole Tax team. It broadens our knowledge on a range of tax issues and strengthens our overall foundation. It’s a great opportunity to get up close and personal with managers and partners, and has really helped me improve my research and presentation skills.
Q: Why did you choose to specialize in Tax?
It was partly due to University. I always liked tax and found it the most interesting. But until I started working full-time, I didn’t realize how much there is to learn. There’s a lot of room for growth in this field, and I don’t think it could ever become boring! I was also drawn to tax because of how practical and transferrable it is. I am the go-to person when my friends and family need help with their taxes. I love being able to apply what I’ve learned, outside of the office.
Q: What is the best career advice you could give to someone starting out in the accounting industry?
Get out there and network! It can be scary and challenging, but it will open the door to more opportunities for you. It’s important to show your face and let people in the industry see you for the person that you are, both personally and professionally.
Q: What do you get up to, outside of the office?
Cooking has become one of my new hobbies. It all started when I took a cooking class at George Brown College and loved it. Three times a week, I try to cook something I haven’t tried before. Next, I’m hoping to take a bubble tea course. I’ll let you know how it goes!
I also love spending time outdoors and exploring new places. I’m lucky to live in downtown Toronto, as there is always something going on in the city.
Q: What is something we may not know about you?
I was born in Vancouver, but after a few months, my family moved back to Barbados. All my childhood memories are of growing up on the island. At 18, I moved to Toronto for school and it was a complete culture shock because I had spent the last 18 years hearing Creole on a daily basis and living the island life in year-long summer weather. In Barbados, life is very simple and peaceful. People are happy with much less, and appreciate the little things like taking a walk on the beach and watching the sunset. The first thing I noticed about Toronto was how fast people walk – everyone seems rushed to get somewhere! It’s been a big adjustment to city life.
Embarrassingly enough, I also can’t do a few basic things that most people consider “easy,” like snapping my fingers, whistling, or blowing a bubble with gum. Trust me, I’ve tried!
Q: Where do you see yourself, in ten years’ time?
Hopefully I’ll still be at Fuller Landau. I’ve really enjoyed my time here so far, and it’s exactly what I’ve been looking for.
Thanks for the sneak peak into the world of tax, Christina! We wish you great success with your new cooking endeavors, and of course, with your career at Fuller Landau!
Interested in joining the Fuller Family? Learn more about how Experienced Professionals and Students/Recent Graduates can benefit from a career at Fuller Landau. Be sure to check out our Current Openings, and submit your application. We’re always looking for exceptional talent to join the team!