CPA Story: Out of the Comfort Zone

Challenging oneself always leads to personal growth. Getting out of my comfort zone is one good thing that happened to me during my CPA journey, as it led me to exploring myself more of my capabilities and skills and of what I can achieve and reach in life. It was difficult to do these things at first, but I learned to go through them and become better and stronger because of my (CPA)2 reminder.

(C.P.A.)2 stands for Confidence with Courage, Passion with Perseverance, and Aspiration towards Achievement.

Confidence with Courage

Our high school English teacher once said, “In everything we do, having confidence is the key.” I carried it with me throughout college and during the review. Back in college, I had to adapt to a new environment, people, and culture. I would always remind myself to look confident kahit mahiyain talaga ako, and it helped me get through every day, every semester, every academic year. Nabawasan ang hiya ko sa pakikipag-usap sa school admin officials, sa ibang students and student-leaders within and outside the university, at sa mga taong kakikilala ko lang. I learned to get out of my comfort zone as an introvert and  continuously tried to bring out the extrovert in me. Lumakas  din ang loob ko na mag-lead ng organization dahil sa friends and classmates who boosted my confidence to try it and believed in what I can do. During review naman, I constantly set my mind that I will pass the exam. Kahit kulang na sa oras at lakas, I took every chance to be ready for it. Therefore to have confidence, you must have the courage first. Courage to be challenged, to try something new and to make mistakes and learn from it. Dala dala ko ‘yon at dumagdag pa ang realizations ko na the requirements, deadlines, examinations and other schoolworks and duties that we have sa school, church at org, are preparations for us after college. Tama nga na after college, ikaw lang ang sasalo sa sarili mo. Ikaw ang gagawa ng landas mo. At dapat, ikaw sa sarili mo, malakas ang loob.

Passion with Perseverance

In my CPA journey, I had experienced breakdowns due to the conflict in academics and duty in the organization because I learned to become passionate on both sides. Nevertheless, I paved my way to balance both with determination and perseverance.

Academically, I discovered how to love and be passionate about what I do to lessen and to not see the pressure it would give me. Nakaka-stress talagang aralin ang mga makakapal na libro, reviewers at handouts. But, never give up. Don’t waste the efforts you initially exerted and the lessons learned from your mistakes. Eventually, you’ll notice that it has become your passion than an interest. The tip here is that you should not feel pressure even if it is evidently present. I read and reviewed the handouts, learned to enjoy solving AudProb and MAS questions, and have mastery of the concepts. Have patience and discipline. Alamin mo sa sarili mo kung paano maging effective ang pagre-review mo, dahil lahat tayo may kanya-kanyang estilo ng pag-aaral. Like my habit whenever I study, I make sure I have set my mood first before I start to read by eating what I am craving at the moment and/or having enough sleep kasi walang tumatatak sa isip ko kapag inaantok ako habang nag-aaral. I also set my study time during midday as I know that my brain and body functions at those times.

As a student-leader back in senior year of college, I discovered what I am passionate about and have shared what I love doing – organizing events, designing the venue, going to different places (attending regional and national JPIA events), caring for and supporting JPIAns academically, socially and spiritually. I am thankful for this experience as it tested my patience and strength, improved my social skills and mental capabilities, and boosted my morale that I could influence positivity in any aspect in life.

Most people say that it is hard to be a student-leader and they often ask me how I did it. It really is difficult to divide your time every day to perform both duties, especially that both consume much time – I have to read and master lessons for the recitation and quizzes while I must also be on-the-move most of the time for the processing of the requirements and other tasks related to JPIA. But, those everyday struggles didn’t stop me to perform my duties well and I won’t let myself sacrifice one of them. Instead, ginawa ko na lang lahat ng paraan para ma-fulfill ko silang pareho, kahit pagsabayin ko pa silang ginagawa kapag kaya. May naaalala nga ako noon, habang papunta kami ng ibang officers sa Divisoria para bumili ng materials for an event, pinilit kong mag-review habang nasa biyahe; sa dorm, habang nagre-review para sa quiz kinabukasan, inaasikaso rin ang forms para sa sasalihang quiz bee or nag-iisip/design ng concept for our next event. Pumupunta pa nga ako sa UP Fair every year noong college because it also helps me to refresh myself and relieve all the stress in my body, para handa ulit sa bakbakan sa academics and org duties. There was no easy way to overcome it triumphantly, but did it step-by-step. It took constant patience, strength, and hardwork.

Aspiration towards Achievement

From the two points earlier, it all started with a goal or desire and boiled down to achieving it.

Before, I had a goal of just graduating college, passing the board exam, landing on a decent job and gaining meaningful experience, travelling to places, and living a normal life while giving my parents a good retirement. This is a long and exhausting process, sa undergrad and review pa lang. But I am more than thankful that I always find guidance and support from my family, friends, and especially from our Almighty God. I inspire myself every time I gain self-improvement, make my family happy and proud, and think of the better life I could give them someday. I finished my bachelor’s degree with honors and passed the CPA licensure exam, and now I am practicing the profession in a Big 4 professional services firm.

This also goes with my duty to my JPIA local chapter then. I desired of uniting the JPIA and COA and of giving the members something they could be proud of for themselves, the organization and the college. And I felt that we all did a good job through everyone’s support and love for the JPIA and the college all throughout – our school gained recognition because of our amazing quizzers and active participation of the members in the NFJPIA events and our college being overly competitive that we were hailed the over-all champion in the university fair (and over-all champion again this 2019).

All these inspirations made me stronger and the better version of me today and guided me to achieving my aspirations in life. I thank God for these achievements and the challenges, problems and sacrifices behind these.

We may have different paths and timeline in life, but we all have one goal. It begins with our faith and passion, with the learning and experiences along the way, and towards the life we desire for ourselves, our family and even our society.

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About the Author

Karlo Maniego
Karlo Maniego
Karlo passed the CPA Licensure Examination last October 2018. He graduated from New Era University and served as the Local Chapter President of the Junior Philippine Institute of Accountants (JPIA) in the Academic Year 2017-2018.