Our biggest concern is what our future holds. Whether it be academically, career wise or on a personal level, we are constantly worried about how the decisions we make today, will affect our future.
For me and my fellow CA students peers, our near future is graduating with honours, successfully completing Articles and passing all of our board exams. The next phase into our future is finally qualifying as CAs and building a solid career from then onwards. With the uncertainty of the future comes hope, students are hopeful to achieve a lot of things after the duration of their studies and Articles training. This includes having acquired certain skills for some, before jumping into the work environment.
What do students want to achieve after 5 years of being qualified CA? Most of my fellow CA students’ peers have aspirations of starting their own businesses, be it, Auditing firms or something outside the Accounting field, something they are passionate about. Some have dreams of joining a family business and applying their acquired knowledge to introduce systems to improve and grow the business.
A smaller number has hopes of joining the firm of their dreams - this is usually one of the big firms, or a firm that has a family member in it or a firm that they have been following for years and they share similar values. Some, like myself, have dreams of travelling the world after the 5 years to have international exposure and or at least work abroad for a few years. A very few would like to stay within one firm and work their way up.
The future carries a lot of uncertainty which creates fear for most people. I have also gathered my peers’ fears about life as a CA. I enjoyed talking to students about this as it was the most relatable of the topics. Having people share their fears with me created a sense of safeness, it reminded me that it is okay to be fearful of the unknown and that I am not alone. These are some of the things that my peers shared with me:
- Being worried about the long hours and the effect they will have on their daily schedule.
- The workload: Whether they will be able to cope.
- Being able to juggle work, family, social, hobbies-basically everything. Most students expressed the fear of being lonely because they have been too focused on the career.
- The corporate world, office drama and scandals: LOL! I really think that this is caused by watching too much TV.
- Health: Mental health especially. I, for one, am worried about my physical health as I am already struggling with neck and back pains due to sitting for long hours studying.
- Responsibility: One student mentioned that you are not forced to go to class, you can miss a class and you won’t have to explain yourself to anyone but when working you need to go to work every day and report, have a pretty great excuse should you miss.
- Future of the world economy - for instance, having a pandemic such as the Corona virus and the implications it has.
- Failure: Board exams seem to be difficult and most students are extremely worried about having to make multiple attempts at passing them.
- Getting into a good firm for Articles: There’s lots of advice available out there, to choose a midsize for the best exposure or a big firm just because there’s no better firm. Students are worried about making a bad decision.
- Being able to retain knowledge gained during studies.
Stellenbosch University offers a range of societies and clubs; the students I interacted with believe that all of them prepare them well for the workplace as they involve working with people and respecting everyone’s time.
DISCLAIMER: The material and information contained in this article is for general information purposes only. You should not rely upon the material or information in this article as the basis for making any business, legal or other decisions.