Hello, fellow NJSCPA Exam Cram Followers:
To start off, I would like to extend a warm welcome to all of the bloggers who have joined within the past few months! It's a long journey to becoming a CPA, and it's great to have support or at least an outlet for our rants and triumphs. Speaking of which, I have a multitude of successes, and a few struggles, to share with you since my last post. Please forgive me for the time lag.
In December I shared that I passed all 4 parts of the exam - so, you might think that life just got a lot easier, right? Well, in one respect, a huge burden was lifted, however; life-events coupled with work (i.e. busy season) replaced any relief that I was feeling. I unexpectedly found myself in the midst of purchasing a house! I wasn't actively searching for a house, but an opportunity arose that I couldn't let pass by. I was surprisingly approved for a mortgage and I closed on the house on January 17, 2012.
Wanting to enjoy every part of being a new home-owner was met with an equally opposing force: busy season. Going into my first busy season, I had some preconceived idea of the hours that I would be working and the deadlines that would be set, but never did I envision working 80+ hours per week with barely any time for friends, family or even sleep. Luckily, I can equate my busy season to a sprint, rather than a marathon. Although I faced some long hours, and weekend work, it was only for 4 weeks, as my client pushed to file their 10K in mid-February. To the PwC engagement team, this meant a week of r&r was to follow; and trust me, it was absolutely necessary!
Looking back on my experiences during busy season, I can whole-heartily say that I learned a tremendous amount; more than I ever thought possible. I learned the importance of teamwork, effective communication, and most importantly work-life balance. I was exposed to a number of audit areas and many different people. I am fully convinced that busy season has taught me more than any college course or CPA exam ever could; HOWEVER, having a strong foundation and background knowledge immensely helped me excel in the work that I performed.
Before I say my final goodbye, I would like to leave a few words of advice to those in the midst of studying or launching a career in accounting:
- Make the most out of every opportunity you are given; whether it be placing dinner order for the team or tying out the 10K; every experience has the potential to be a learning experience. The relationships you establish throughout your career, even in your first year, will be a critical factor in your succession through work and through life.
- As challenging as the CPA is, remember that it is vital in establishing a strong accounting background. It will set you apart from your peers and open many doors. Spend every free minute embracing your review material and set the exam as a high priority. It is easier to complete the exam early in your career, even if it means forgoing a weekend with friends in Atlantic City.
- Find what studying routine works best for you and stick to it. I studied best in the morning, so I would force myself to wake up 2 or 3 hours before work and study. I also learned that I needed to listen to the Becker lecture first, read the chapter on my own second, and practice with the multiple choice questions last. I also learned that the simulations did not help me in preparing for the exam, so instead of wasting time working through them, I would re-read the chapter or re-work the multiple choice questions.
- Remember to keep your head up and if you don't succeed at first, try, try again. I know that this may sound silly, but it is the truth; especially for this exam.
With that said, I would like to say farewell to the NJSCPA Exam Cram Blog, good luck to those of you still on the CPA exam path, congratulations to those of you who have accomplished your goals, and thank you for allowing me to be a blogger for the past 8 months. This is a rather bitter-sweet feeling.
"Nothing worth gaining was ever gained without effort." -Theodore Roosevelt