John Canada grew up in Birmingham longing to one day play shortstop for the Atlanta Braves. “I figured that because I was good enough to play for the Little League team, this career would certainly work out for me.”
Andrelton Simmons has a lock on that job now. Instead, Canada has accepted a full-time offer with PricewaterhouseCoopers in Nashville. The deal is contingent upon Canada earning a Master of Accountancy degree next year then passing the CPA. Canada, a senior in accounting who will receive his undergraduate degree on May 9, was named SGA Outstanding Student for the Harbert College of Business and will be recognized at an April 14 ceremony.
“In whatever career path I choose, I aspire to achieve excellence,” said Canada. “Whether that means striving to become a partner at PricewaterhouseCoopers or branching off on a completely different path. Music has always been a huge part of my life, so working as a musician or in the music business in Nashville is highly attractive to me as well.”
Canada said Harbert College has given him the tools necessary to make it in the business world.
“The classes are difficult enough that every student must practice self-discipline in order to succeed,” said Canada, who served as president of AU Cappella, the university’s all-male a cappella group. “The professors expected a lot of work for an ‘A’. I quickly learned the meaning of hard work and what it would take to be successful. On a practical level, professors would often give a lot of off-book lessons and advice. Each of my professors at Harbert had a very good understanding of the practical skills you need to prepare for your career. In some ways, the pragmatic advice I received from my teachers was just as useful as the actual class material.”
Some classes were more difficult than others. Right, John?
“When they say ‘if you can make it through Intermediate, you can make it through any class’ they weren’t lying,” Canada responded. “I think Dr. (Jeff) Jones was the only reason I was able to do well in the class. He is an incredibly clear and concise professor who was somehow able to keep me focused for an hour and 15 minutes.”
Canada was quick to point out why he would recommend Harbert College to prospective students: resources through the Office of Professional and Career Development, computer TigerLab, and Academic Advising. “In addition to the college’s benefits, I think Auburn sells itself as a university,” he added. “There are so many organizations on campus and different ways to get plugged in that have made for a great overall college experience.
“I have met some life-long friends at this university. Through the accounting program, my fraternity, and various musical groups, I was able to form incredibly strong relationships. Some of my friends are moving to Nashville as well, but a lot of my friends will be going elsewhere, so they are the part of Auburn I will miss the most.”