Home Articles SPECIAL FEATURE: APC HONOURS ROLL

SPECIAL FEATURE: APC HONOURS ROLL

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MICHELE COPPOLA

How did you prepare for your exams?

My approach to the exam centred on lots of research and in-depth discussions with my study group. My motto for the exam was to ‘Do less and think more’. This allowed me to try and see potential problems from all angles.

Did you ever feel like giving up? What motivated you to?

There have been times when I felt like giving up. When this happened, I would always just remind myself of how far I’d come and the fact that I only had a bit further to go. Also, my friends and family would always be there to encourage me to just keep doing my best.

Is there anyone you look to as a role model and why?

To me, my mom is my biggest role model. She always reminds me that there is nothing that hard work cannot achieve and that I can’t do anything but my best. I’m incredibly lucky to have her.

What are your future aspirations?

I plan on furthering my studies and focusing on CFA and possibly economics. I’d also like to travel more and to be able to see as much of the world as possible.

What are some of your hobbies?

I really believe in trying to lead a balanced life and try to learn as much as possible. I love cooking, playing cricket, spending time with friends and family and just generally being active.

What did you do to celebrate this great achievement?

We had a fantastic breakfast and lunch with our division. I spent the rest of the weekend celebrating with friends and family.

JASHINE DHEDA

What/who inspired you to become a CA(SA)?

My dad has always been my source of inspiration. He is an entrepreneur, risk taker and self-motivator with an exceptional work ethic. He encouraged me to follow the CA route as it would equip me with invaluable business skills and open doors around the world.

How did you prepare for your exams?

I worked mostly by myself and applied the steps that I learnt from APT to approach the case study. I also made sure I had a good night’s sleep the night before the exam!

Did you ever feel like giving up? What motivated you?

Yes! CTA was the most difficult part of the journey, especially as I was balancing my studies with work. But once that hurdle was crossed, knowing there were only two exams left was motivation enough to stick it out.

What do you do to celebrate this great achievement?

I celebrated with family and friends who spoilt me. The lovely staff of APT also hosted an honours roll dinner to celebrate with us and our families.

What is the best piece of advice you have ever received?

The harder you work, the luckier you get!

What are your future aspirations?

I would like to obtain as much hands-on experience as I can and develop my competencies in a challenging work environment. Ultimately, I would like to open my own business.

DARRYL MARGOLIS

What inspired you to become a CA(SA)?

The potential opportunities that can be accessed globally by having the highly valued and reputable CA(SA) qualification.

How did you prepare for your exams?

The application of knowledge and guidance passed on by the excellent APT board course provided me with the perfect foundation for success. The lecturers were able to provide us with a level of comfort going into the APC exam, knowing that we were more than adequately prepared during the APT course.

Is there anyone you look to as a role model and why?

My parents. They have always given me great advice and supported me during my studies. They have sacrificed a lot of time, effort and money to ensure that I complete the qualification and for that I am forever thankful.

What did you do to celebrate this great achievement?

I celebrated over two long weekends by celebrating with family and friends. This involved a substantial amount of food and drinks.

What are your future aspirations?

I would like to become a life-long learner by continuously pursuing new goals and objectives, hopefully within the corporate world. I would also like to coach future CAs(SA) by providing them with advice and mentoring.

What are some of your hobbies?

I like to keep healthy and active. I enjoy playing cricket, golf and soccer on a regular basis. I also enjoy lecturing strategy and risk management part-time.

MARCO PINHEIRO

What/who inspired you to become a CA(SA)?

A few years ago I was going through the annual report of a few listed companies and couldn’t help but notice how many of the board members were CAs(SA). This opened my eyes to the benefits that a strong financial background has for strategic roles such as executives.

How did you prepare for your exams?

The most important aspect for me in the preparation of my exams was attitude and mind-set. I worked on ensuring my mind-set shifted from answering technical questions to responding to practical issues as if it was my own business.

Did you ever feel like giving up? What motivated you?

I have never considered giving up. With the end goal always in mind and being brought up to see everything through to the end, I’m not stopping short of achieving what I am capable of.

Is there anyone you look to as a role model and why?

I look to Christo Wiese as a role model because of his strong leadership ability, the fact that he remains humble and down to earth in light of his success, and his ability to disrupt the markets identify opportunity where no flashlight has ever even shined before.

What is the best piece of advice you have ever received?

My mother always told me if I wanted something I needed to go out and get it. This is so ingrained in me that I’m sure she’s been telling me this since the moment I was born. It’s worked for almost 25 years so far.

How did the company support you in this journey?

The company has supported me right from the university and provides a training programme exposing me to practical challenges across all facets of the business. This exposure, coupled with tailored training sessions and the fierce competitive nature of the business continue to provide a strong foundation for future success.

What are your future aspirations?

In the not too distant future I intend to be adding strategic value in developing a sustainable and responsible business.

JUSTIN SHEIN

What/who inspired you to become a CA(SA)?

I have been interested in the financial world since a young age, and was influenced by my parents who helped me to see that money is something that should work for me and not vice versa.

How did you prepare for your exams?

I prepared for my exams by working closely with the members of my APC group where we exchanged information and used the best of one another’s skills to go into the exam with the best possible information. I took a few days off before the five-day exam pre-release period to relax and clear my mind for the exam. I also went to gym regularly to help me stay on top of my game.

Did you ever feel like giving up? What motivated you?

No, although there were difficult times along my path to where I am today, I never felt like giving up. I was motivated by what those who had supported me had put in, in order to get me to where I am, and by the fact, that at the end of it all, a CA(SA) designation would help me give back.

What did you do to celebrate this great achievement?

I took my parents, brother and girlfriend out for dinner to celebrate and to say thank you to them for all the support and encouragement that they gave me from the very start of this journey. After that, my friends and I also went out to celebrate.

What is the best piece of advice you have ever received?

There are two quotes that have always stuck with me: ‘Life isn’t meant to be easy, it’s meant to be lived’ and ‘Stay hungry. Stay foolish.’ Those two quotes have always inspired me to never give up and always take on a challenge as it’s the best way to improve yourself.

What are your future aspirations?

I would like to learn as much as I can and in time run a successful business that can make a difference in the lives of those around me.

GRAHAM STARKEY

What/who inspired you to become a CA(SA)?

My brother inspired me to become a CA(SA). He is five years older than I am, also a CA(SA), and was always there to guide me with any big decisions that came my way.

How did you prepare for your exams?

Fortunately my girlfriend studied for her APC exams at the same time as I did and she was to a large extent responsible for keeping me in line during the exam period. I must make a special mention to my parents for supporting me during these stressful times.

Did you ever feel like giving up? What motivated you?

It is a tough journey, but I thoroughly enjoy what I do and therefore I’ve never really considered giving up. Chartered accountancy is all about people and I enjoy working with people and building relationships, and that is naturally what encouraged me to work hard.

What is the best piece of advice you have ever received?

Always make the most of each opportunity that life presents and try to see the positive side of any situation.

How did the company support you in this journey?

EY provided the foundation for my learning and were very flexible when it came to my article career. The culture provides an incredible opportunity to encourage employees to diversify their portfolios and experiences. The knowledge that I have gained will form the backbone of my career.

What are your future aspirations?

After studying for four years, and completing my training contract for three years, it is quite refreshing not to have a set plan for 2017. At this stage I am in the ‘ideas’ phase and I am looking forward to my next challenge, whatever it may be.

What are some of your hobbies?

I have a wide range of hobbies that include running, mountain biking and anything outdoors. I love spending time in the bush.

MEGAN THOMAS

What/who inspired you to become a CA(SA)?

I had originally applied to study medicine after completing matric, although, I had my doubts. In order to try and better understand my potential career paths, I completed a winter school programme with Wits and PwC, where I met my now very good friend Dino Zuccollo, who it turned out had been in much the same position as myself and had similar aspirations in life. Dino managed to convince me that the chartered accountant route might suite me better than medicine.

How did you prepare for your exams?

While preparing for the APC exam, I had the good fortune of an amazing group that I prepared with. We all studied together at the University of Pretoria and each brought different strengths to the table. This, coupled with the trust that we had in each other, made all the difference.

Did you ever feel like giving up? What motivated you?

I have felt like quitting several times, the worst time of which took place in my second year of university where I failed an important test and, after receiving the result, I went to my first-year lecturer Thinus Gerber and I told him that I didn’t think I was cut-out for the CA path. Thinus’ response was to laugh at me and say, ‘you are not quitting’. To this day I think back to his belief in me when I feel like quitting.

What is the best piece of advice you have ever received?

Someone told me that I am the kind of person that people will either love or hate and there is no in-between, but I must never change this because the opposite of love is not hate but rather indifference and you never want people to feel indifferent about you.

What are your future aspirations?

When I complete my articles, I plan to move to the UK and work more on the operations side of business and eventually own my own start-up.

 

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