Kiran Olynik, Co-op Staff Accountant at Welch LLP, took an interest in accounting in her first semester of grade 11. Everything just seemed to click. She then decided to try the grade 12 course in her second semester of grade 11, and from that point on, it was evident that she should pursue a career in business. Kiran didn’t have any immediate family in accounting, so she wasn’t extremely familiar with the field. However, her aunt and uncle were both Chartered Accountants so she had an idea of what it entailed.
After high school, Kiran enrolled in a Bachelor of Commerce degree at Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia. During her first year, she decided to take as many accounting courses possible, as she realized that this was the direction she definitely wanted to go with her career. While still living in Halifax, Kiran decided to apply to Carleton University and finish her degree back home in Ottawa. When she decided to move back home, she also made the step to apply to the Canadian Armed Forces Reserves.
Growing up, Kiran had always been fascinated by the army. It intrigued her, she loved working amongst a team, and she has always had a strong desire to help and serve the nation. Again, Kiran had no one in her family who had worked in the Canadian Armed Forces. Her friends were the people who had influenced her, as they had joined the reserves during high school.
After she moved home, Kiran thought she might as well apply, as it would be a good time in her life to take this on. She would be able to get some experience, earn a bit of extra money, and try something new, all while completing her degree. It was stressful choosing two completely different careers at the same time because Kiran assumed she would have to choose one path; this wasn’t the case at all.
When Kiran had moved home, she researched all of the reserve units in the National Capital Region. Luckily, she has a bunch of options. Kiran chose the 30th Field Artillery Regiment in Ottawa. After the application process and numerous tests, Kiran was sworn into the Canadian Armed Forces in September 2015. During that next year, Kiran was completing the remainder of her military courses, along with her accounting courses at Carleton. By the end of the year, Kiran was a fully qualified solider and was part way through her degree for accounting.
In the fall of 2016, like most accounting students, Kiran began her search for a co-op placement for her second year at Carleton. Through attending networking events, Kiran met some of the employees from Welch LLP. “They were extremely interested in me as a person rather than just a student. They answered any question I asked and were extremely friendly!” said Kiran. When Kiran applied to Welch, she landed an interview and was thrilled to learn that a week later, she had received an offer to become a Co-op Staff Accountant in the winter of January 2017.
Kiran has now worked a 4-month and an 8-month co-op term at Welch. It hasn’t been the easiest for Kiran to balance and grow both careers, however she feels extremely fortunate that her employers are so flexible and accommodating. “It’s not just a 9-5 job, Welch genuinely wants to see all of their employees grow, strive and succeed. They help you because they want to, it’s a family.”
During Kiran’s co-op terms she has been able to complete additional developmental military courses on the weekends. Kiran is currently attached to the observation post party at the 30th Field. In other words, she watches the artillery rounds land and makes adjustments, so they can hit their targets. Welch is extremely accommodating and allows Kiran the flexibility to attend any training during week days and nights, and also understands that during the busy tax season she may be away at times.
“I would never trade one experience for the other. For me, having such extreme opposite jobs gives me balance and lets me explore different sides of myself!”