In 74 days, 13 hours, 44 minutes, and 14 seconds (when I was writing this), I will be walking on stage in my cap and gown in front of a beaming crowd of MPAs and their celebrating proud families and friends. But before fast forwarding to that day of cameras and diplomas, let me paint a picture of what’s going on in my very last semester of MPA:
It was 5:45 in the morning when I woke up. I was tired, yet I could not stay asleep any longer. I was ready to get it over with. It had been over a month since I started preparing for this test, and I was ready to fight the battle…
These were my thoughts two and a half hours before taking one of the CPA Exam sections. I was extremely nervous, regardless of the amount of time I had put in to study for the exam, I felt that I still was not prepared enough. There will always be a problem left to review or a formula left to memorize. I was panicking, yet I managed to calm myself down after eating a protein-loaded breakfast that would hopefully stimulate my brain.
Preparing for the test involved watching four-hour lectures and answering about 200 homework questions per lecture. There are six to ten lectures, depending on the section of the CPA Exam. It usually takes 20-30 long hours of focus and motivation per week to have a good grasp of the material. It was definitely helpful that the iMPA program is typically designed for students in their fifth year to only take two classes their last semester to have more time studying for the exams.
Right now, I am just waiting to get my score, praying and crossing my fingers that I hopefully passed the first one. Yes, I have three more to go, but at least I am making progress, right?
A few days ago, the fifth years just got e-mails from the MPA academic advisors about applying for graduation. It was a quick process of mostly updating our addresses and profiles on the system and answering a few survey questions.
The survey questions addressed how satisfied we are of the program. I am definitely satisfied and grateful to come out of college with an MPA degree from UT. It was definitely not an easy program, but I did not apply for MPA to get a 4.0 or to take classes that do not involve that much work. I joined the program to learn and to challenge myself. As I look back to the person I was three years ago before MPA, I remember the nervous and awkward student, unsure of what she wants to do in life. MPA has not only taught me business, finance and accounting concepts, but it has also transformed me into a confident, mature individual who is now about to step out in the real world and start on her professional career as a CPA.
I still have two months to collect my tears for graduation. I still have four months to shed tears for the laborious CPA Exam studying. Amidst those tears are laughter to share with my friends as we continue to make the most of our time here at UT. The battle is surely not over yet.