Meet CPA Canada member Jennifer Barber, CPA, CA, Torstar Corporation

Learn about the career path of CPA Canada member Jennifer Barber, senior vice-president of finance at Torstar Corporation.

CPA Canada member Jennifer Barber is the senior vice-president of finance at Torstar Corporation. With 13 years of experience in the industry, her previous roles include CFO and corporate secretary at Hydrogenics Corporation, where she was also the vice president of finance and corporate controller. Prior to this, she was the director of corporate finance and controller at Stuart Energy Systems Corporation.

Jennifer received her designation in 2000. She graduated from McMaster University, where she earned an Hons. B. Comm.

How did you get into the profession?

I had a high school accounting teacher who was an accountant, who subsequently returned to teaching. Hearing her speak about her life in public accounting and the breadth of roles in which accountants could specialize, really interested me. Throughout university I pursued my degree with the goal of becoming a CPA.

What is the best part of your job?

The breadth of topics and issues that I get to deal with on a daily basis and the diversity of people I get to work with and learn from.

What is your biggest business or career accomplishment? What are you most proud of?

I am most proud of the management teams that I have had the opportunity to be a part of and the accomplishments of those teams, as well as the challenges and difficulties the teams have overcome.

What advice would you give someone moving into industry?

Identify your interests, and where they intersect with your strengths and areas you would like to develop. Do as much research and preparation as you can to learn about potential roles in industry that appeal to you, and then expect the unexpected.

What surprised you most about moving into industry?

The variety of backgrounds that co-workers brought to the table and how beneficial that can be to a team and organization; how a diverse team of individuals working well together can conquer seemingly impossible challenges, and how much we learn from each other.

What are one or two important concepts or rules that have helped you succeed in your career?

Be flexible, embrace change and see every challenge as an opportunity to learn and improve.

Is there anything you wished you knew before you started your current role?

Not really. Part of the fun is in the journey of discovery.