- My name is Kari Rao-Kamboj – a CPA, CA, and entrepreneur in Canada.
- After working for almost 6 years at various organizations such as KPMG and PepsiCo, I decided to tutor CPA students to make some extra cash.
- In the process, I realized that there was a huge demand for CPA candidates that were interested in 1-on-1 coaching.
- In 2020, when I was 6 months pregnant and while working full-time, I decided to grow and expand my tutoring business into an online platform where CPA candidates can book 1-on-1 virtual sessions with qualified tutors.
- Since launching our new website and expanding our team in July 2020, Maxe Class has already worked with over 200 CPA candidates.
- Here is my journey.
Unconventional Path to CPA Canada
My passion for business led me to business school at Wilfrid Laurier University.
In fact, from a very young age, I started dabbling in entrepreneurship by selling homemade jewelry and other arts and crafts to my neighbors and friends.
My intention was actually to pursue marketing and work for a large CPG company like Procter & Gamble or Unilever.
During my first year of University, so many of my friends and classmates wanted to work for one of the Big 4 Accounting Firms.
I too decided to apply to Pricewaterhouse Coopers and KPMG LLP.
I made up my mind that if I get into one of these two firms, I’ll consider a career as a Chartered Accountant and if I didn’t then I would still be on my path to pursuing a career in Marketing.
(I had never intended to become a Chartered Accountant. In fact, my parents even discouraged it and warned me it may be too boring for me!)
I ended up getting a job at KPMG LLP as a co-op student when I was 20 years old and the rest, as they say, is history!
I earned my CPA designation in 2014 while working at KPMG LLP in Toronto, Canada.
Forging my career path & tutoring virtually while working full time
At KPMG I was able to work with entrepreneurs and business owners and got to witness their evolving businesses and growth.
It was extremely rewarding and helped me remain connected to my passion for entrepreneurship.
I knew that I still wanted to experience working for a CPG company so I decided to apply to PepsiCo several months after earning my CPA, CA designation.
In 2016, while still at PepsiCo I started tutoring CPA students because I wanted some extra cash to help pay for my big fat Indian wedding!
All of my classes were on skype (virtually).
It was such a rewarding experience working with students and seeing them succeed.
I knew I could do a lot more for the student community and in 2017, I launched ‘Maxe Class – a virtual CPA Prep Program’.
Of course, I continued with my corporate career at PepsiCo.
In 2019, I joined SAP Canada as the Commercial Finance Director for the country.
Life was great.
Taking my side hustle to the next level during a global pandemic
In March 2020, while I was 6 months pregnant, we were hit by a global pandemic!
I figured there is no time like the present to take chances and pursue my entrepreneurial dream with rigor and I decided to take MaxeClass to the next level.
I decided to launch an online platform where CPA candidates could book 1-on-1 virtual sessions with qualified passionate tutors to help them on their path to CPA Success.
(I’ve been tutoring CPA candidates virtually since 2016 and with the current circumstances, I was confident that more students would be willing to try online learning.)
Building the business and challenges on the way!
Now the next step – building an online platform and getting the right tutors on board…sounds easy but it wasn’t!
I invested in developers to create an online platform.
However, the biggest challenge was hiring the right team and finding the right tutors that believed in the mission of Maxe Class and were just as dedicated to students’ success as I am.
Fortunately, all went off well and we hired a great team.
We soon expanded to other markets – including CFA candidates and university students pursuing their BBA / BComm degrees in Universities across Canada.
Since launching our new website and expanding our team in July 2020, Maxe Class has already worked with over 200 CPA candidates.
What started off as a side hustle turned into something greater when I realized there was a real need for CPA candidates to have access to qualified and passionate tutors that were 100% dedicated to their success and growth.
Maxe Class offers 1-on-1 coaching, as well as group coaching and content (such as practice exams and study notes). All of our coachings is done virtually to help CPA candidates save time and money!
Our focus is to work with CPA candidates who are preparing for the CPA exams including PREP courses, the PEP exams such as Core 1, Core 2 and the Electives, and ultimately, the CFE (Common Final Exam).
We’re also expanding heavily to reach University students.
Our team also works closely with Internationally Trained Accountants to ensure they have access to the right information to make informed decisions while signing up for courses in Canada to earn their Canadian CPA designation.
An amazing team of dedicated tutors is really what sets Maxe Class apart from so many other test prep companies.
You can learn more about Maxe Class by visiting www.maxeclass.com!
Having a baby hasn’t slowed me down! In fact, I’m more motivated now to make an impact!
I hope that my baby boy learns from example to pursue his passion and chase his dreams.
My advice to moms-to-be is to remember to also focus on yourself while you’re expecting or are caring for a newborn. Remember to be kind to yourself.
Also, mothers are super tough – after all, you’re responsible for bringing a human into this world and that’s no easy feat.
So if you can get through that, chances are you’ll be tough enough to take the leap of faith into entrepreneurship too!
Now It’s Your Turn…
Do you have a business idea but waiting for the right time to act on it? Comment below and let us know.
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