How Did I Decide to Become a CA?
“Amidst deciding to be a computer engineer, a doctor, a psychiatrist, I thought of finally settling down on Chartered Accountancy (CA) and following my sister’s footsteps (No, she doesn’t hate me- In fact, she warned me against it!),” says CA Linet D’souza from Mumbai (India).
She is currently at Citi Bank, Mumbai.
“With CA, I decided to pick the CA Factory – Narsee Monjee College of Commerce and Economics (NM College), Mumbai to pursue my graduation.
Juggling the strict attendance rules and the hectic work life of a Big 4 (EY) felt impossible in the beginning but it only ended up shaping my personality and making me a stronger and a confident person.
My Articleship Journey
Articleship in Big 4 turned out to be a huge learning experience. It taught me a lot of things.
To look at the positives in life:
- Articleship has taught me to concentrate on the positive parts of life and situations.
- There were times when I hated what I was doing but every time that happened, I realized that whatever I was doing was for my own good.
- Complaining about everything you do never helps – You are only going to make things more difficult for yourself.
Learn to speak up
- Never simply accept things as they are. Always be assertive and curious. This quality of being curious helped me learn something new every day.
Understand the scope of opportunities for CA
- What is important before you start your articleship in a Big 4 or anywhere is that you figure out which arena you want to enter in your future. I say this because it helps you pick your job post qualifying as a CA.
- If you do not know which area you want to enter before starting your articleship for the first 1.5 years you experiment and explore and then decide which area you want to specialize in once you get the right exposure.
- You could also opt for Industrial Training but here study leave can be an issue, so decided wisely.
- It’s not easy deciding what you want at the age of 18-19, but you have to realize how to live with your decision, how to accept your mistakes and work towards a solution.
- If you don’t like what you pick/what you are doing, figure out what is going wrong for you and work towards what it is that you want to do.
Articleship at a Big 4 Accounting Firm – EY
Everybody is going to tell you that working in a Big 4 is hectic and I am going to say that too. But it helps you get used to the corporate life and opens doors when you clear.
Leaves are rarely an issue in a Big 4 because of a well defined – Intern Policy. Hence if you feel you won’t get study leave when in Big 4 then that is not correct.
My study leave started in Dec’16 for May’17 attempt, that is good enough!
Yes, if one is taking too many attempts to clear and going on leave every second month then that could be an issue in some situations.
The only problem one can face in a Big 4 is – Getting stuck in the same role. If you’re lucky you do get to move around a little but you have to be assertive and ask, so please learn to speak up and ask if you want to move internally.
Also, you have to be a good performer and prove to the company your worth!
My CA Final Study Leave Journey
- Articleship drama, college life, everything falls into place, one thing at a time but the most difficult journey is the one you go through during your study leave.
- The transit from attending articleship daily to suddenly studying the entire day could be tough, but one has to learn to deal with it and get into the study mood (if that’s what you call it!).
- One way could be – To start studying regularly at least 5 to 6 months before your proper study leave this will help you get into the flow of things when your leave starts.
- The study leave is the one time you feel absolutely alone and stressed out to the point where you simply stop caring or you just want to pull out your hair.
- I went on leave from Dec’16 for my May’17 attempt and that very day I went on study leave – I decided that I am doing this just once, so I had to give it my all.
- I shut myself from everything around me. I would study in a library, not talk to a lot of people, not touch my phone (yes, NO WhatsApp, NO Facebook, NO Instagram) and only study all the time.
- Must Read: How CA Umesh (CA Final Ranker) prepared during his study leave?
- I often told myself – Don’t care about the result. You can’t change what is meant to be but if the screen reads FAIL, it shouldn’t be because you didn’t study enough. Period. This was my sole motto of studying.
- The day of your result makes everything worth it – All the lack of sleep, all the missed opportunities and sacrificing social lives feels like nothing when your screen reads PASS and you know you never have to go through all this again.
- There is something this course (CA) teaches you – It teaches you to work hard. It makes you realize that all good things in life take time and that you have to be determined to achieve it.
- There will be multiple times when you will think of giving up, of packing your bags and just doing an MBA instead. I know the feeling as I did the same but the one thing that kept me going was realizing – How bad I wanted this.
- I wasn’t studying to prove anything to anyone.
- I wasn’t studying to make my parents proud – they are proud of me no matter what. I was doing it only for MYSELF, to push myself to an extreme and be rewarded for it.
- And this selfish desire kept me going and helped me study for 15-16 hours a day.
- Today, having achieved this milestone in my life, I believe I can achieve a lot more and will not stop until I succeed at the next big step
- And yes apart from the crazy study and work days – I made some amazing friends on the way, had some great learning and have amazing memories for a lifetime,“ she concluded.
Now It’s Your Turn To Ask Questions?
What is your articleship experience?
How much of study leave did you get?
Would you advice doing articleship at a Big 4?
Connect to Linet on Linkedin – Linet D’souza.