Do you think liking or enjoying what you do influences how you perform? Louis Oduor thinks so. His love for numbers was influenced by instructors who love what they do, and his success was furthered by his hunger to understand the language of numbers. Louis came in top position in Kenya and 19th in the world in the December 2021 Advanced Finance Management ACCA paper. He agrees with Elon Musk that when something is important enough, you do it even if the odds are not in your favour. Acing it is the easy part, but hard work and long hours are behind the scenes.
What was the course all about?
It involved learning how to make financial management decisions that influence how a company performs. As a financial expert, one is expected to scrutinize the firms’ portfolio/ scenarios and guide on the applicable way forward with expected positive outcomes. This calls for one to be vastly knowledgeable with the company’s mission and vision while being aware of the current trends. Another necessary skill is the ability to prioritize needs so as to meet deadlines while delivering results.
You aced the Advanced Finance Management ACCA paper, how did you do it?
It required a lot of hard work and putting in the hours. I had purposed to give it my all. I must admit I enjoyed the content and so far, it has been my favourite course. However, I would not have made it without the great foundation I got from my lecturer – Mr. Lincoln Njiru. He repeatedly told us we needed to challenge ourselves but to also be willing to put in the time. Being number 1 in Kenya and 19th in the world was thus a team effort. With that said, it helps to do what you love because your heart is in it. Hard times come and it is the passion that propels you to keep going.
How do you combine your degree in mechanical engineering with ACCA?
Last year September, I graduated with a degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Nairobi. It is one of the most extensive yet inclusive engineering disciplines. It deals with anything that moves, from components to machines to the human body. I believe every product or service in modern life goes through the hands of a mechanical engineer. Just like in accounting, there is a need to design, develop, build, and test creativity, knowledge and analytical tools to complete the difficult task.
Have you always been competitive?
Funny you ask that. No, but that changed when I got my KCPE results. I still vividly remember my score – 371. In KCSE, I got an A. I believe I earned this grade – this time, I had intentionally put in time and studied. Performing well in academia has helped me to always be at my best because it allows me to continually raise my own bar. In addition, I have a very competitive sister, Elsie – whose relationship with books is worth emulating.
What is your take on freedom and responsibility?
As a student, I am relearning to put myself in my parents’ shoes. They have accorded me an opportunity to study. It is my duty to do so willingly and wholeheartedly, not just to make them happy but for my sake. What I put in now will reflect in the future. Also being young, I choose to further my academia as I navigate the waves of life. Over and above that, I am learning to live by the words of Robert T. Kiyosaki, the author of Rich Dad, Poor Dad who states that we always try to develop our physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual capabilities to be wholesome beings.
In whatever you do, let passion be the wind that propels you to be better each time.
Louis Oduor currently works at Ernst and Young. He is pursuing his ACCA certification at Strathmore Institute of Management and Technology.
This article was written by Annete Karanja.