Inspiring Success - NIEEF - Chase Soosay

Soosay’s scholarship to help fund his master’s degree in accounting

By Sam Laskaris
Cando Contributor

Chase Soosay

Chase Soosay, a member of Samson Cree Nation in Alberta, is in his fourth year of commerce studies at Edmonton's MacEwan University.

Like countless other post-secondary students, Chase Soosay is now working on completely his undergrad degree remotely.

Because of the pandemic, Soosay, a member of Samson Cree Nation in Alberta, is taking all of his classes in his Bachelor of Commerce program at Edmonton’s MacEwan University online.

The majority of universities across the country kicked off their 2020-21 academic years by offer online classes only, following health authority safety suggestions and government restrictions in their region.

Soosay, 28, is in his fourth and final year of studies in the program.

But he admits he is not thrilled with the fact he cannot visit the campus and takes his courses in person.

“I’m now in more advanced classes,” he said. “I’m finding it a little more difficult just because there’s more information and new material.”

Soosay said MacEwan University announced its fall semester would commence with online classes.

Soosay said he opted to stay in Edmonton, instead of returning to his home in his First Nation, located in Maskwacis, Alta., about an hour’s drive away, just in case the school was able to return to classes on campus.

Soosay added he will leave the city if MacEwan’s winter semester is also only presented remotely.
“There’s no point in me staying (in Edmonton) if it’s just all going to be online,” he said.

Soosay said he did seriously consider taking the entire school off and then return to his studies when classes resumed in person.

“I love in-class learning,” said Soosay, who is majoring in Accounting. “It’s the best way I love to learn.”

But he decided to forge ahead with his online courses this semester since he is eager to complete all of his program requirements this school year in order to graduate, as scheduled, next April. That’s because he’s already been accepted in the master’s of accounting program through the University of Alberta.

That two-year program is scheduled to commence next May.

“It’s going to be another big financial venture,” Soosay said.

And that’s why he was thrilled to receive recent news that he is one of the recipients of a $2,000 National Indigenous Economic Education Foundation (NIEFF) scholarship for 2020.

NIEEF is the charitable organization of Cando, which promotes economic development in Indigenous communities across Canada.

While his NIEEF scholarship will cover just a portion of his schooling expenses while he works towards his master’s degree, Soosay said the amount is still appreciated.

“Any support helps,” he said. “It was perfect timing since I was accepted into the master’s of accounting program two months ago.”

If Soosay does indeed earn his master’s degree, his plan afterwards is to write the Common Final Examination. Success with this exam will enable him to earn his Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA) designation.

He’s then hoping his CPA status will lead to bigger and better things.

“My vision is to work within a corporate setting, to have the ability to work with a variety of clientele, and to have the opportunity of working internationally,” he said.

We thank Plains Midstream Canada for their generous contribution to this NIEEF Award.