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GoodStudents: Zach Gordon

Meet: Zach Gordon – 2022 Summer Student

Current Rotation: Tax

Zach is entering his final semester at Queen’s Law JD/MBA program. Prior to law school, Zach attended Western University, where he majored in Biochemistry and obtained his Bachelor of Medical Sciences. During his free time, Zach enjoys working out, hiking, camping, skiing, travelling and cooking.

Why did you choose to work at Goodmans?

As most people know, OCIs can be a very stressful and hectic time. However, of all the places I interviewed at, Goodmans made the strongest effort to make the process as seamless and comfortable as possible. My host was an excellent touch point, communicating clear expectations and directions, and offering tips and support throughout the whole process. Michel and Ali also helped make what is otherwise a stressful experience into one that was actually fun and enjoyable. It became clear to me that Goodmans is a firm that really cares about its people, and this impression has only gotten stronger since I’ve started my summer.

What is one tip you have for students undergoing the recruitment process?

Don’t be afraid to reach out to people at the firms you are interested in. The vast majority of them will be very happy to speak with you about their experiences and help give you tips for the process, and you may even secure yourself an excellent mentor.

What does a typical day look like for you?

As a summer student in Tax, my days vary drastically from one to the next. For days when I come into the office I arrive around 9 am, grab a coffee, and sit in my office to check my emails. If I have an assignment on the go I’ll usually get to it quickly – for billable client matters, it’s usually best to get them completed as soon as possible. These assignments often include doing research to answer a tax-related question and then compiling a response in either an email or memo. Longer term, non-billable projects are also common in tax, and they often involve summarizing recent or prospective changes to tax law or answering more general tax questions to store in the firm’s knowledge repository. Depending on the day there are also a variety of student programs that help keep things fun in the firm, including lunches, student breakfasts, or other activities planned by Michel and Ali.

What have been your favorite social events thus far?

I’ve really enjoyed the group outing to Hemmingway’s in Yorkville after work earlier this summer as well as the scavenger hunt. Both events were an excellent way to wind down after work and get to know the other summer students better. I also very much enjoyed spending a day at the cottage with the summer student cohort and a pool party I got to host for Summer Student Appreciation Day!

What has been your proudest moment during the summer?

My proudest moment is when I was asked a research question that the assigning partner was expecting there may not be a favourable answer for, but I was able to find some strong support for our position. When I summarized my research, the assigning partner was very happy and replied with: “Thanks Zach, this is just what I need.” It made me feel valued, and that my work was useful and important.

Who do you go to when you encounter a challenge during your day-to-day?

There are many different places that I can and often do go to for support when I run into challenges. My assistant is readily available to answer many of the questions I may have about using the firm’s resources (both physical and digital). My mentors are also there to help give me tips about how to approach an assignment or even more generally about firm information or dynamics. Michel and Ali are also always available for support if need be, and I reach out to them when I have any questions related to the summer program. Finally, the summer students are always happy to help one another, and we constantly use group chats to ask general questions or request help from our peers!

Author: Zach Gordon, Queen's Law 2023


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