A conversation with
3rd Rank Holder, CA Final Course
(Member of CAclubindia)
CA exam results are just out and we had the opportunity to interact with the toppers and bring to you their success stories and close sneak peek into their motivating secrets.
Let us find out what was their strategy and what helped them bust the stress. These are not just some motivational exam success stories, but the real essence and meaning of life is hidden somewhere in their words.
Shruti, is All India 3rd ranker of the CA final May 2012 exams ,she is from Banglore and have scored 587 marks. Very energetic and dynamic personality with vast area of interest other than CA like swimming, novel reading and music. She shared her experience on her roller coaster ride of this CA journey with CAclubindia, and let us find out what she has to say -
Shruti, first of all congratulations
So Shruti, how are you feeling now?
I am feeling ecstatic. In fact, the feeling is yet to sink in. It has been only 32 hours since my results are out and I am sure it would take me sometime to realize that I am finally a CA.
Not only CA, you are 3rd topper
What was your first reaction when
you saw your scores?
Well, I never see my results first. Frankly, I don’t really have the courage to type in my roll no. and click that submit button. So, this work is done by my mom always. I was at a client’s office when my mom saw the results and called me. That all-important call lasted for almost 10 seconds when she told me my score and my rank. After that I literally felt on top of the world. All the tension and stress literally came to a standstill there. The feeling is inexplicable!
And what was your mom’s reaction
after seeing it?
She was in tears when she was talking to me. She was elated!
Nice, so how big is this achievement
It's a tremendous one - indeed a dream come true! This is by far one of my biggest achievements so far. It came in when I least expected it.
Yes, Life is long and you have to
achieve many milestones.
Right. Doing well in an exam is not an end in itself but is a good beginning for that matter. It is both an opportunity and a challenge.
So, when did you decide that CA is
My dad is a CA. From my school days, his work - number crunching and analytics intrigued me. That was the trigger. That’s when I decided to take up this course.
So, you belong to a CA family.
So, apart from dad and sister who
guided you, if any person you wanted to mention?
Apart from my dad and my sister (who is also a CA), it was my mom who made me strong enough to be able to take up all the challenges coming my way and support me in all my endeavors.
Great, So how have you achieved this,
what was your time-table, your strategy?
Strategy was simple. I had 8 subjects in line which I had to finish during my study leave including revision time. I was mentally prepared for it. I knew from the very start what my aim is and hence, I had scheduled my studies keeping in mind the limited timeframe. So, basically it was a backward calculation that I did - Monthly schedules decomposed into weekly, daily and hourly targets. That way, I never lost sight of my goal right from the start.
And during the exam any particular
strategy you followed like, to relieve stress etc.
Yes, of course, in fact there were times I used to feel really low, I used to get depressed that at certain times I was not remembering certain things. My confidence at times, used to get hit rock bottom. But then I made sure I kept my spirits high. So, I had my own share of recreational activities like I used to do – I would listen to music, go for swimming or just chat with my mom about topics other than studies. So, that’s how I used to do manage stress. Also, my friends and seniors helped reduce my anxieties and fears about the exams then.
So in a day how many hours you used
There were no specific time targets with which I used to study - I had quantum targets. Making and executing the timetables is the key. Thus, the number of hours would range from 5 to 13 hrs depending on my mood and need.
And during the whole journey, what
are the challenges, hurdles that u have faced?
I have had problems in sleeping. So, yes, sleep was a huge pullback for me. So I tried overcoming this by practicing a couple of yoga asanas and I made sure that I am basically trying to tire myself so I would work out or just go walking. Moreover, I had secured the first rank in PCC and the pressure to repeat such a performance was tremendous. So it had become stressful after some point of time. But my family was very supportive. My parents have been my support system and my sister was my stress buster. They played a cushion against all such external pressures.
So, there was a great support from
Oh totally! Yes, there was not even an ounce of pressure from their side.
What are your hobbies other than
reading novels, listening to music. I go for swimming as well.
Ok great, are you a member of CCI?
of course I am.
So, what help have you got from CCI?
CCI was of great help! CCI was the first point of contact for me and my friends when we had doubts. The questions and answers posted by fellow students and experienced CAs would come handy in resolving our queries. And obviously, we have the news portal. So, any update, any new notification would instantly be put up on the site and that helped me. I also got guidance in deciding on the books I should refer.
How was your overall journey till
It has been a wonderful experience - challenges, stress, accomplishment, happiness, fun and satisfaction. I started off my CPT sometime in 2008 and cleared it. I had written my 12 exams as well. So, those two things were going on together so obviously the stress for at least that level was quite a lot. Then began my articleship. Managing studies together with work was a task in itself. CA as a course, doesn’t only test us on the knowledge front. It tests us on various other parameters like patience, confidence, perseverance etc so. CA has made me improve on these qualities. I would say it has helped me rediscover myself and to evolve as a professional.
And after the results what next?
I am currently working in the firm I did my articleship with. There are opportunities in the industry too. Also, my family wants me to study further in my field of interest. With these options open, I am yet to decide what the best career move would be for me. I am yet to give this a serious thought.
So, you are looking forward to a career with MNCs?
Yes. I am working with a MNC as of now.
So, what is the importance of articleship, one can learn a lot from articleship.
Of course, articleship has taught me a lot, literally. There were quite a few subjects in PCC as well as CA Final that become easier because we get a lot of hands-on experience while during articleship. The amount of exposure and finesse, a student receives during this period is incomparable. Articleship teaches us the practical aspect of our syllabus. The exams test our conceptual clarity of the topics by posing such questions that require us to extrapolate our analytical understanding. This can be best learnt during our articleship. And handling work pressure as well is taught in our articleship. In fact, it is one of the things that distinguishes CA course from the rest.
Since there are so many topics to cover while preparing for CA, so what is the one thing that one should concentrate on.
Topics to be covered specifically would be amendments and notifications. We as professionals are required to keep ourselves abreast about what is happening across the world in our professional capacity. So, that has always helped, especially in taxes like DT and IDT it is very important to keep yourselves up to date.
Do you have any message for the members of CCI and the aspiring CA’s.
I would like to tell the students that the entire course is not as tough as it is perceived to be. But yes, a lot of strategy goes into clearing CA. Also, to succeed at every step of this course requires hard work and self-motivation. There is no substitute for this. Strategise well, plan your entire course. I have always believed in this quote – “Do the best that you can and then pray to God to fill in the blank”.
So, what are you planning for celebrations finally?
I have already started getting calls for treats and parties. Wishes and proud smiles flowing from everywhere. I think the celebrations are on the way. May be, they will kick-start this weekend.
Ok great. But you were saying that you were caught up with work. So, how difficult it was to manage with work and studies together?
It wasn’t easy. The initial period was difficult, when you are learning how to cope up with both. But eventually you learn when to prioritize what. The reason behind articleship being included in our curriculum is to provide us an insight into the professional world and to gain a better understanding of the subjects included in our syllabus. During peak season it so happens that studies are pushed to the background. So, at times, it is important to prioritize work, at times it is important to prioritize your studies. We then learn how to strike the correct balance by understanding the significance of both.
Great Shruti, It was really nice talking to you and I would like to congratulate you once again. Thanks from CCI and all the best for your future.
Thank you so much, CAclubindia!!