What I would like to do and why

By Tendai Masaya, Auditor, Ernst & Young LLP, New York City

"We open the time vault and take you back in time as one of our students proves how it is possible to achieve your dreams."

I grew up in a small, remote rural village in the Eastern part of Zimbabwe. My world was very small and I only knew a few professions and as I started my first grade in primary school, the only profession that I knew was teaching. And so at that time, being a teacher was my ambition. A few years later, a certain young man from my village who had been in college graduated and became a medical doctor. It is important for me to confess at this point that I admired his lifestyle, especially because of his job and his income. I was therefore inspired by his achievements, and he momentarily became my role model. This is the reason why when I started high school, all I now wanted to do was to be a medical doctor. I hoped to take mostly science subjects in high school and then to proceed to university to study medicine and to obtain a medical degree eventually.

Once again, things did not go the way I expected. As my horizons broadened, I began to realize that there are a lot of the careers that I can pursue in life, and that I could possibly pursue them even without considering the income and benefits that I would earn. When I could not do science subjects because they were not offered at my high school, at first I thought that my dreams had been shattered once again, but a little while later, I realized that this was a blessing in disguise; I had been allowed a chance to explore my options a little bit further than that; it was only the beginning of self-discovery inasmuch as careers were concerned. Things that I really wanted to do, willingly, with mind over matter, and that I think I am capable of doing became more important to me as I chose what I wanted to do in life. The greatest lesson that I learned from this experience is that self- actualization in a career is much more important than the amount of money or income that I would possibly get.

My greatest attention was focused on Accounting as I completed high school and as I was preparing to go to college. I discovered that I liked the subject and that I understood and enjoyed most of the topics that were in our high school accounting syllabus. Naturally, the subject became my best in high school. The concepts and conversions underlying the subject and the principles for collecting, analysis, representing and interpreting accounting information were some of the things that I admired most about the subject and it is not surprising that at this point I have decided to pursue the Accounting profession after college. I am currently an Accounting major but I wish to declare Finance a major also and I hope that I will be able to do well in both, as this is the foundation of my career life.

I value the importance of business in the society very much for example, providing taxes to the government, creating employment, providing goods and services and providing a chance for interaction and understanding among different groups. To show my appreciation, I would also like to take part in a business organization and one way I would like to do that is by being an accountant and financial officer/controller/advisor. Now that I have been given the chance to study in college, I would like to further build on knowledge, as I aspire to be a vital member not only of the organization that I will be working for, but also of the community in which I will live.

Finance is considered by many people as the lifeblood of any business. Without finance, or without effective control of finance, the business is most likely to be insolvent, and consequently short-lived. I would like to ensure that the organization will have reliable sources of both long and short-term financing, and to ensure that the business will be solvent and be able to honor its financial obligations as they fall due. Business is a risk in the sense that the owners are investing their money in what they are not assured of success. It calls for informed decisions for businesses to always prosper and I would like to advise the leaders of the business especially on projects that requires substantial capital expenditure. I feel that the combination of being Accountant and Financial controller will go a long way in ensuring that the operations of the business are accurately disclosed in the financial statements and that decisions made are based on the accurate information available. Basically, an Accountant prepares the financial statement, and financier interprets them and draws conclusion on the financial status of the business.

While I wish to achieve this and hope to be a Chartered Accountant and financial manager as of today, I agree that there is a room for me to explore other opportunities and other things that I could possibly do for a career, too. However, I hope that it will still be in the area of business and as of now, I hope I will be able to achieve my ambition. Our ambitions always change with new circumstances, new environments and as we get to know how big the world really is.

Story written on 12/1/2003

UPDATE: Tendai is now an auditor with Ernst & Young LLP, New York City

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