School of Continuing Studies students win best paper award at global conference

Only six months into their Postgraduate Certificate in Accounting program in York University’s School of Continuing Studies (SCS), students Bavneet Singh Nagpal and Carina Matutina were recognized with a prestigious award.

Together with their instructor Dorjana Nano, the students attended this year’s Global Conference on Business Management and Economics (GCBME) and earned the award for best paper.

Left to right: Accounting students Carina Matutina and Bavneet Singh Nagpal with Jason Dean, who presented the award, and accounting instructor Dorjana Nano

Nano, who teaches the statistics course in the program, encouraged her students to pursue additional research studies. As a result, two groups of nine students in the program examined Canada’s gross domestic product, and the factors influencing savings and investment of Canadian households. Each group then selected a student – Singh Nagpal and Matutina – to prepare an abstract and submit their request to present at GCBME. The students and Nano presented their research at the conference, which attracts business leaders, academics, researchers and policy-makers across the globe, on July 27.

Singh Nagpal, an international student from India who has worked with leading institutions such as KPMG and the Royal Bank of Scotland, was thrilled at this opportunity to contribute to research in Canada.

“We started this (accounting) program aiming to contribute just to our respective companies,” he said. “The knowledge and experience gained through our studies has fuelled and enabled us to do so much more.”

SCS recruits top students from a competitive list of more than 75 countries and is committed to supporting York’s internationalization initiatives. Singh Nagpal and Matutina are examples of the high-performing students who continue their professional education at York University.

According to Nano, the results of the study could help inform policy on savings and investments. Further, Nano said that key findings revealed the following: “Individuals who are single save and invest less than married or divorced groups, confirming that life stage and experience create financial behaviour. The government has already implemented the National Strategy for Financial Literacy in 2015 to help Canadians build financial literacy, but results show that challenges still exist. Hence, we recommended that policy-makers take initiatives to motivate employers, households and financial service providers to drive investment demand.”

The conference opportunity is one approach SCS initiated to support students’ budding careers, providing them with enhanced learning experiences and the chance to develop core career competencies that employers value. Singh Nagpal and Matutina started their full-time accounting certificates in January and will conclude this fall.