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InterActive ACCA student Sanjiva Ganesh-Glynn speaks to us from Costa Rica

Could you tell us a little bit about your professional background, and the reasons why you are studying ACCA?

I started working at the age of 18 for a local construction company, within the finance department. I then moved on to financial accounting at a British American Tobacco subsidiary in Trinidad & Tobago, called Carisma Marketing Services. My studies in accounting began with the CAT (Certified Accounting Technician) qualification. It made the most sense to me to continue on to ACCA as it is an internationally recognised professional qualification. It arms you with the skills and competencies that are required of a finance professional, allowing you to work within different roles and industries.

Which ACCA papers have you been studying most recently?

I wrote and passed my final paper, P4 (Advanced Financial Management) in December 2014. It is an extremely challenging paper, and to be honest, I have struggled with it. I feel such an immense sense of accomplishment now that I have completed my ACCA studies and I am now working on becoming an ACCA member.

And how do you feel about the level of support you’ve received during your studies so far?

The support has been exceptional. From any issues I’ve had with a particular area of my studies, to any problems with using the platform, the response time was quick and dealt with promptly. It made studying remotely in different countries easier, as I knew I could rely on the online support.

Do you find it easy to study from home? Could you tell us about some of the advantages of an online study programme?

Studying from home requires a great deal of self-discipline as being at home presents a lot of distractions. In order to be successful, you have to be motivated, committed to making time as well as creating the best environment for studying. That being said, studying online has a lot of benefits. It is both convenient and flexible, and you can study at your own pace. It also allows you to balance your work and family commitments. The lectures and study materials are available to you at any time you may need them.

What was the biggest challenge you’ve faced while you’ve been studying?

So far, I have lived in four different countries, and each place comes with its own difficulties: whether it be settling in, dealing with language barriers, learning new customs, or adapting to daily life. It has been very challenging for me to study with these changes.

Do you have any study tips for other students who are studying ACCA online right now?

Master the basics and practice, practice, practice! The exams are timed, so it is important to have good time management skills and a proper exam technique. Attempt as many past paper questions as you can. Read the technical articles in the ACCA student accountant magazine, oh and did I mention practice?!

And what are your future ambitions Sanjiva? How do you intend to put your professional qualifications to use?

I decided to pursue my ACCA in order to be more productive within the business environment. Whether it be in a multinational company, or in my own business, I am confident that I have the necessary tools to make a valuable contribution. I am confident that I will succeed. The areas covered are wide, yet focused on moving a business forward, and I look forward to using the skills that I have gained in my work. The best is yet to come.

Do you have a final message for your fellow ACCA Online students?

ACCA is no ‘walk in the park,’ as it is a challenging journey but it is worth it! Be positive, determined, work hard, and make sure to use the techniques and tips given to you by your tutors. Know that although things may not go as planned, it is key to always believe in yourself. You can achieve your goals, no matter what the obstacles may be.