He’s savvy, smart, young and ambitious.
Some jokingly refer to him as Alex P. Keaton, the conservative television character from the 80s sitcom Family Ties made famous by actor Michael J. Fox.
And Andrew Jones likes the comparison.
In the series, Keaton was impassioned about economics and wealth. Like the TV personality, Jones too is obsessed with the business world. And, he also has a passion for politics, having worked in the constituency office of Sarnia-Lambton Conservative MP Pat Davidson.
The similarities started young. In kindergarten, Jones had an office set up in the corner of the room where he would sit and jot notes on a pad of paper. Home movies show him at age six walking around the house wearing a tie.
“I’ve watched the old episodes of Family Ties. I am Alex Keaton,” Jones says with a laugh; sporting a charcoal suit, light purple dress shirt, blue and silver cuff links and a pair of brown-rimmed glasses that complement his professional appearance.
The 25-year-old even owns the tweed elbow pad blazers.
He is currently seeking a Masters of Accounting from the University of Waterloo, holds a Bachelor of Accounting and Financial Management degree and in 2008 graduated from Lambton College’s Business Administration – Accounting program.
While at Lambton Jones kept busy, serving as the student council’s finance director and in his final year as a member of Lambton College’s Board of Governors. As a lifetime resident of the Sarnia community, he returned to complete his university co-op placements with Hazlitt Steeves Harris.
Jones says he fully supports the college to university route.
“College gave me a great technical foundation,” adding college is a great pathway to university.
“I don’t think a lot of people are ready at the age of 18 to jump into a hefty university program.”
His college experience gave him a leg up in his first year at university, he says, as the transition was easier and he was already familiar with practical accounting applications.
“At Lambton, all the professors had practical experience. They know their stuff.”
He has a love affair with public accounting, and in particular taxation.
The Income War Tax Act was just 12 pages long when written in 1917. Today, it’s evolved to nearly 3,000 pages, Jones says.
“I enjoy the challenge, but I’m not a numbers person. Few people realize that accounting isn’t all about numbers, it’s about looking at business opportunities and helping your clients make sound business decisions.”
In September, Jones will write the UFE to become a Chartered Accountant and will take his talents full time to Hazlitt Steeves Harris.
His educational path exemplifies today’s evolving educational system, says Lambton College President and CEO Judith Morris.
“We’re seeing more students customizing their education, designing his or her own education pathway. That’s the way education is moving.”
That’s why Lambton offers more choices to students — be it full- or part-time studies, diploma and hybrid courses and degree programs in partnership with universities.
Morris says some students prefer to gain the practical knowledge that an institution like Lambton College can provide before heading off to university.
“Andrew is a good example of that type of student.”