John Wark received the highest standing in Canada on the September 2017 Common Final Examination (CFE). He agreed to reveal a few aspects about himself in a short questionnaire. A graduate of McGill University, John currently resides in Yellowknife, NT. He is employed by Crowe Mackay LLP and completed the CPA program in the Northwest Territories through the CPA Western School of Business. At the ‘A Night to Celebrate’ ceremony on January 20, 2018, John will receive his Western Canada gold medal, a CPA Foundation scholarship, and the Governor General’s Gold Medal Award for the highest standing amongst CFE writers in Canada. WHAT HAS YOUR EXPERIENCE IN CANADA’S NORTH TAUGHT YOU? Keep an adaptable mindset and an eagerness to learn. These are the key elements to understanding different cultures and backgrounds; which fosters a deeper understanding of the world. WHAT LED YOU TO CHOOSE THE CPA DESIGNATION? I have always had a talent for accounting. I also wanted to choose a career path that would present endless opportunities and a solid foundation to build future successes. WHAT IS YOUR LONG-TERM CAREER GOAL? I want to experience diverse types of work and engage with different industries to find my true passion. WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE THING TO DO ON A SUNDAY? Cook a hearty meal for the work week and relax on the couch to watch football. Unfortunately, my favorite team is the Buffalo Bills who have the longest playoff drought in NFL history. WHAT DID YOU DO TO RELAX AFTER A LONG STUDY DAY? Hit the golf course with some friends and a few cold beers. WHAT WAS YOUR REACTION WHEN YOU FOUND OUT YOU EARNED THE GOLD MEDAL? Relief, finding out that I passed the CFE and surprise, that I had the best standing in the country. WHAT DO YOU WANT TO SAY TO OTHER FUTURE CPAS? Stay relaxed while preparing for and writing the CFE. Completing your studies is a long grind and it’s necessary to establish and enjoy regular down time. WHAT IS YOUR SURE-FIRE WAY FOR MANAGING STRESS? Track everything on a list, prioritize and cross things off as they are finished. Once the stressful tasks are on paper they are less of a burden on the mind and crossing them off gives a sense of progress which also relieves stress. WHICH ASPECT OF ACCOUNTING ARE YOU MOST PASSIONATE ABOUT? Definitely the people aspect. I enjoy learning about different businesses and industries so I can add a valuable perspective to my clients. WHAT IS SOMETHING OUTSIDE OF WORK THAT YOU HAVE EXPERIENCED WHILE LIVING IN CANADA’S NORTH? Camping on the Yellowknife River during the summer solstice to watch the sunset turn into a sunrise without ever leaving the sky.