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NIC internship leads to career for Nigerian student

Mentorship program connects NIC’s top business students with working professionals
Gbemi Falade’s (left) internship supervisor Karen Stewart was so impressed with her work

Hard work and an NIC internship launched a new career for a Nigerian business student this summer.

Gbemi Falade’s internship supervisor Karen Stewart was so impressed with her work, she offered her full-time employment.

“My internship changed my goals,” she said. “I thought accounting might be lonely and boring when I was in Nigeria but now I love what I’m doing. I’m looking at taking a CPA to become a chartered accountant in Canada.”

Falade’s work at Chan Nowosad Boates Chartered Accountants in Campbell River was so impressive, the firm offered her full-time employment before her internship was complete.

“During tax season Gbemi helped with the T1 administration of our files. We do about 2,700 tax returns in a season so there is a whole lot to get through,” said Falade’s supervisor, Karen Stewart. “She’s a good thinker, and very on point with her questions. We were happy to offer her a job.”

Falade was thrilled to work with the firm’s diverse client base, where she has ample opportunity to apply classroom theory to real-world audits, consulting, personal tax, corporate tax, estate planning, First Nations, and non-profit accounting solutions.

“When you are listening to it and don’t have the practical experience, it’s just theory. Here, I’m able to really understand what that means.”

The first-born daughter of a Nigerian family considers her strong work ethic a way of life.

“I work hard. I don’t take chances, I grab opportunities and put in my best at everything I do. Being the first child of a family in Nigeria means I have so many responsibilities. Your parents are invested in your education. It’s something you carry everywhere. You have to be able to make something out of life.”

In her second year of study, Falade also participated in NIC’s Global Leaders of Tomorrow mentorship program, a partnership between NIC and the Comox Valley Chamber of Commerce which connects NIC’s top business students with working professionals.

She jumped at the chance to participate, meeting with her mentor, Linda Graceffo of Sparkling Graphics in the Comox Valley, once a month to discuss new business trends and her career goals.

“If there’s any opportunity to do anything, to learn or to improve myself, I don’t say no. I’ve come a long way so I have to try as much as possible,” said Falade, who is determined to keep challenging herself to reach the top of her profession.

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