“As a young Muslim woman, I did not see myself represented in the accounting world and I took part in extracurriculars such as the Case Competition to be a symbol for other young girls,” says Wajeeha Rahman, who is now pursuing an MA in Professional Accounting.

“As a young Muslim woman, I did not see myself represented in the accounting world and I took part in extracurriculars such as the Case Competition to be a symbol for other young girls,” says Wajeeha Rahman, who is now pursuing an MA in Professional Accounting.

Keeping it in the family: Surrey students share successes

For many students coming out of high school, finding the right path in life can be daunting — how do you know what you want to do?

Surrey’s Wajeeha Rahman always had an affinity for numbers, and found mathematics soothingly ordered. While in high school, she had her sights set on a career in engineering — or so she thought. As soon as she took her first accounting course, she knew this was the beginning of the right path for her.

In the fall of 2016, Wajeeha began pursuing a Bachelor of Business Administration and Accounting degree at Kwantlen Polytechnic University’s School of Business — and it seems her passion for accounting runs deep! Her father, Muhammad, had also nearly completed his BA in accounting and the two decided it would be fun to be at school together, a father-daughter team!

Teamwork and bonding

Like any team, they worked together and encouraged each other, and discovered they had the same questions for their professors! Muhammad was instrumental in encouraging Wajeeha to be a part of the Case Competitions in which participants in teams are pitted against each other to present the best solution to a business-related case study. She excelled, much to her father’s delight.

“It was a great bonding experience,” Wajeeha says. “Being at school together opened up a side of my dad that I hadn’t seen before! It took our relationship to a different level.”

Wajeeha remembers a bit of confusion over the relationship between them. “My dad looks so young,” she laughs, “he could be my brother! He brought so much real-life experience to the table in our classes.”

Over the course of her degree, Wajeeha took the time to help her siblings with their math homework too. She has five younger siblings so there were certainly lots of opportunities for mentorship! A love of numbers does seem to run in the family, as one of Wajeeha’s sisters also spent some time at school with her big sister pursuing an accounting degree! “It’s like we are starting a family dynasty!” she jokes.

Muhammad graduated in spring 2020, and Wajeeha in spring 2021. The initial plan had been to graduate together, but Wajeeha wanted to slow things down a bit and take one more year so she could be a team leader in the following year’s Case Competition, a role she relished.

Muhammad and Wajeeha Rahman, a father-daughter team. Jay Shaw photo.

Muhammad and Wajeeha Rahman, a father-daughter team. Jay Shaw photo.

The future is bright

Now pursuing her Master’s of Professional Accounting at Edwards School of Business, Wajeeha will be eligible to take the Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA) exam next year and already has a job offer at KPMG —one of the top four accounting firms in Canada. Muhammad has similar aspirations, but is taking a different route to the CPA designation, choosing to work to reach his goal.

Wajeeha is modest when talking about her own success, thanking her faith, and notes that “a big part of my success is because of my teachers at KPU and the KPU community too.”

Her list of accolades and achievements is long, and not only includes representing KPU in international Case Competitions, but also a personal virtual meeting with Prime Minister Trudeau, several news interviews, starting up the KPU CAN club to promote more diverse student participation in Case Competitions, and receiving the prestigious Lieutenant Governor General Award in Fall, 2021.

She notes that “As a young Muslim woman, I did not see myself represented in the accounting world and I took part in extracurriculars such as the Case Competition to be a symbol for other young girls.” Her determination and dedication is admirable.

For Wajeeha, the future certainly looks bright!

To find out more about KPU and its programs, check out the link here. Find them on Facebook here.

Adult EducationAdvanced Education