What strikes me about Mandeep Singh Jassy is his child-like curiosity and boundless imagination. He is fascinated and drawn to creative fictional characters like Tony Stark, who is the creative genius in the Marvel universe. I asked him how he would describe the colour orange to a blind man. His response was, “I would tell them to imagine the warmth of fire and the brightness of the sun.” These little insights show how his mind works. Mandeep was placed 4th worldwide in the December 2021 ACCA exams and, below, he describes his journey to this achievement.
“My friends and family members would probably describe me as a joker or a funny character. However, if you ask me, I see myself as more of a ‘genius, billionaire, and philanthropist.’ I believed Lupita Nyong’o when she put forward that all dreams are valid.
My accounting journey started in September 2020 when I joined the Strathmore Institute of Management and Technology for my ACCA foundation papers. The inspiration to pursue this career path came from my uncle, who is an accomplished accountant. ACCA is a challenging course, and my motivation to persevere is to make my parents proud and to give back to them because they have made tremendous sacrifices for me.
The biggest highlight in my academic development is when I was ranked position 4 worldwide in the most recent Performance Management (PM) paper. The PM paper deals with how an organization is run in a strategic manner. It has two components – theory and calculations. My strength is the calculations section, because it is easier for me to remember formulas rather than financial standards.
The secret to good academic performance is practice, practice, practice. I would rate my memory as pretty good, and I believe anyone can train their memory through deliberate practice. I am glad that our lecturers keep us engaged during lectures, as well as provided short notes after classes that make revising for the examinations much easier. The lecturers also provide us with a comprehensive BPP Exam Kit that has over 500 pages of questions and answers. This Kit is instrumental in practicing for the ACCA papers. Furthermore, God plays a big role since we cannot discount the fact that luck is a key ingredient in success, especially when combined with preparedness.
I am grateful to Strathmore University for providing me with opportunities and resources that are vital to my success. One of the things that has made a difference in my professional life is meeting new people, including certified accountants from well-known firms such as KPMG, courtesy of Strathmore. These interactions shaped how I view my profession and inspired me to have the end in mind.
It is also important to have a school-life balance. In my free time, I work towards building my mind and body. I like acquiring new skills; watching movies and shows such as the Endgame; going to the gym and working out; and occasionally reading books such as Ben Carson’s Think Big.
My role models are Tony Stark (Iron Man), a fictional character, and the late Chadwick Bosman, a real-life inspiration. I want to impact the world by making it sustainable, reducing pollution, greening the environment, and tackling social issues such as gender inequality. I am a firm supporter of SDG 4 (gender equality), SDG 7 (affordable and clean energy) and SDG 11 (sustainable cities and communities).
The two things that I would be happy doing every day in my career are intrapreneurship and internal management, because they involve calculating and taking risks. I hope to improve my management skills, especially prioritizing deadlines, time management, communicating assertively but maintaining mutual respect, and persuading teams.
In conclusion, I am eager to see how the future of the accounting profession unfolds. The profession is very old (since the 1800s); it has survived by being constantly updated and refined, and it will live on. I predict that in 5 or 10 years, it will undergo massive disruptions and changes due to technological advancements.”
This article was written by Kennedy Karanja, a first year Bachelor of Arts in International Studies student.