In this post, Pravesh shares with us – How he overcame his fear of Mathematics with the support and encouragement of his parents.
Today, Pravesh is a qualified Chartered Accountant from The Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI).
He is also a graduate in BBA (Hons. in Financial Management) from St. Xavier’s College, Kolkata.
Pravesh is also pursuing Actuary from The Institute of Actuaries of India. He has cleared 6 subjects.
Additionally, he has qualified FRM and CFA Level 1 Exam. He is proficient in using SAP, Oracle BI, MS Excel, SQL, and VBA. Currently, he is learning Python and R to improve his Data Analysis skills.
To help our readers address their queries we have an FB group – The CA Story Community where you can ask Pravesh any questions.
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OVERCOMING THE FEAR OF MATHEMATICS
I recently cleared the Financial Risk Manager (FRM) examination in the first attempt and scored really well in 6/9 subjects (with NO coaching!).
Achieving this feat wouldn’t have been possible without having a strong acumen in Mathematics.
I am not someone who is blessed with a ‘Gifted-brain’ nor did I ever have a strong background in Mathematics.
And today, I want to share my story on – How believing in my Parent’s decision has completely transformed my life and made me more equipped to contribute to the world of Finance.
My goal through this story is to inspire the readers in believing that – If you love something and you’re willing to work very hard towards it, It will come to life.
In Class 11, I firmly decided not to take up mathematics as a subject. My plan was to graduate from Delhi Public School, Bhopal as a plain Commerce student.
The reason I decided not to choose Math was that I could barely pass the math exams. Even the thought of this subject would give me goosebumps and scare me.
I was terribly scared, I was losing confidence in myself because of my falling grades in this one subject.
When I decided not to take Mathematics as a subject I told my Mother about my decision. I told her in all honesty that if I continued with Mathematics in class 11 – I would fail for sure.
We debated about this for days together, but she only had one statement everytime we discussed this – I support all your decisions but I will not encourage you on this one. I will not let you give up on Mathematics.
My mother was very adamant that I continue pursuing Mathematics. My father also had the same decision. She continued to push me to practice mathematics more often.
My mom got me enrolled for a one on one personal coaching and kept an eye whether I was practicing Math or not, every single day.
I had no other option – I worked hard and struggled to clear Class 11 with 53% Marks in Mathematics.
My Parents were very happy even with my 53%. Now passing in Mathematics gave me a great boost in confidence!
I held on to my Mother’s decision for me even more strongly.
As the old adage goes – The Harder you work, The Luckier you get.
I distinctly remember scribbling through 18 notebooks of 400 pages each practicing math for Class 12th Exams.
I worked very hard and was rewarded with 95% Marks in Mathematics in the Class 12th Board Exams.
I realized that if you are willing to work religiously towards something, it will give you the fruits of success.
QUALIFYING AS A PROFESSIONAL
In 2012, after passing Class 12, I got through St. Xavier’s College, Kolkata to pursue my Under-Graduation degree.
St. Xavier’s College, Kolkata is the tier-1 college for Under-graduation in Commerce and Management.
And as you can expect – I used to be surrounded by city toppers, state toppers and ‘gifted people’ who could learn things just by listening to the lectures.
I kept wondering every day whether I would be able to survive in such a fiercely competitive environment where everyone around me was a ‘Topper’ of some institution or the other.
But, I kept on struggling, hoping that I will be able to graduate from St. Xavier’s.
My hard-work through the 3 years of Under-graduation was rewarded – I not only earned my UG in Bachelor’s of Business Administration (Hons.) but I was awarded First Rank in the Class of Financial Management in 2015.
I continued to value hard work and had found my home in Finance – I went on to become a Chartered Accountant, Passed 6 Subjects of the Actuarial Science course and the CFA Level 1 Exam to improve my concepts and understanding using the best available resources to do the same.
Nothing mentioned above would have been possible had I not believed in my Parent’s decision and worked hard every day to achieve what I have today.
While I still aspire to complete the Chartered Financial Analyst exams (a gold-standard in the world of Investment Management) and become a Fellow Actuary to contribute to the world of Finance in the best possible manner.
Here are the 5 lessons from my journey to date
1. Tougher things are always better
Do what you find difficult until it becomes your second-nature.
Mathematics was something I used to be terrified of.
Today, I cannot imagine a day without having Math in my life.
2. Comfort zone is poison
Whoever you are, whatever you are doing – If you don’t feel challenged by the things that you do, you are definitely not on the correct path.
Magic happens outside of the comfort zone.
3. Give in your 100% or let it go
Do whatever you do with a commitment to yourself that you won’t give up whatever comes your way.
What you see today is something I have developed from Class 12th (2012) to date (2018).
I’ve had many ups and downs in these 6 years, but I had faith in my goals and remained committed to them no matter how bad things got in my life.
I have learned this with experience – If you love something and you’re willing to work very hard towards it, It will come to life.
4. Stay away from Negativity at all costs
There is no one who can decide your potential except you.
The mind has infinite potential, it is you who sets boundaries and limits your complete development.
Just like you have 24 hours in one day, you have limited ability to absorb negativity and still manage to stay productive.
There are a lot of negative things we come across every single day – watching news (mostly crime, politics, and gossip), hearing “You can’t” / “You shouldn’t” / “It’s too difficult” etc keeps our mind distracted on things that don’t really matter and inhibits it’s natural ability to innovate and create.
5. Trust your Parents. Period.
The only people in the world who always think about your good, your life and your well-being selflessly are your parents.
The ‘free’ advice that you would often find too ‘old-school’ will somewhere in life make you realize that they were the best “priceless” advice anyone could ever give to you.
If I can do all this, you can certainly do better.
I passed CFA Level 1 Exams and FRM Part 1 and Part 2 in 2018 even while working in a full-time Business Finance role at NTT Data Services, Bangalore without the need to enroll for any coaching.
Nothing is Impossible if you believe in yourself.
I would love to help anyone who is seeking guidance in the Chartered Accountancy, Financial Risk Manager, Actuarial Science, and Chartered Financial Analyst exams – he concluded.
Now it’s your turn!!!
I would love to know your comments and views on the same.
Have you been in a similar situation? Or have you ever ignored your parents’ advice and had regrets later?
Waiting for your comments!