“Everything happens for a reason”

We’ve all heard this statement, at one point or another, in our life and have most of the times brushed it away as a cliched and useless one. Seldom do we realize that however cliched it might be, life often presents us with situations which make us believe in it. How? Here is such an incident.

“Mom, I am not going to a regular college and my decision is final.” The only argument which I had with my mom after the school ended. No, it was not just because I am a lazy, sleep loving person. I had another reason for making this statement-CA. I was a CA aspirant who had a steadfast determination for the course. Nothing in the world could have deterred me from pursuing my dream, and I didn’t want any kind of distractions or hurdles in my way, not even if the “distraction” was the most coveted college of Delhi University.

But my mom wanted me to be in the league of regular college students. So, in a state of sheer confusion, I decided to consult some people around me.

The first person on my list was my CPT teacher. He stated 2 chief reasons not to for a regular college.

  1. The IPCC and B.Com(H) curriculum is primarily the same. So, the opportunity to learn something new is not there.
  2. After 3 years of graduation, a regular college student would have no advantage over a distance learning  student as both would have the same degree in their hands with “Passed from Delhi University” written on it. My confusion reached a new level and I decided to consult a few more people.

The next person on my list was a cousin who had cleared his IPCC in 3 attempts. He again advised me not to go for regular college citing the reason that IPCC was in itself a very difficult exam. After that, I went to one of my school teachers. He asked me to be focused on only my studies and warned me that the distractions of a college life would lead me awry. So after talking to all these people, my clouds of confusion could see their bright sunny morning and my final decision was not to go for it.

But the fate and my mom had different plans. My mom, against my will, got me into one of the most renowned colleges of Delhi University. And with that began a terrifyingly awesome journey of studies and fun, focus and distractions with lots of deadlines to meet and pressures to handle!! And it has been one exhilarating journey so far!

Finally being in the final year of graduation, taken away by a sweeping wave of nostalgia and bitter sweet journey of three years of college, I sit down wondering if these 3 years have actually made any impact in my life – I’ll say yes!!

Although I got the same degree which I would have got had I pursued graduation through distance learning – but there are certain other tanglible and other intanglible benefits which I earned by joining a good Regular College.

How I benefited by joining a good Regular College

Although, I cleared my IPCC Exams while in the 2nd year of College and had to wait for more than 1 year for completion of my graduation to start articleship, I still feel that this wait of more than 1 year was certainly worth it. If I had pursued graduation through distance learning – I would have certainly saved 1 year as in that case, my articleship would have started while I was in the 2nd year of Graduation itself.

ICAI allows people pursuing graduation through Distance Learning to start articleship alongwith Graduation but does not allow students pursuing graduation through Regular College to opt for Articleship along with Regular College.

So, although I could have saved 1 year in my career, but I firmly believe that a good regular college has certainly groomed me for long term growth.

The following are the benefits which I derived by joining a good regular college:-

1. The Resume

Imagine having a resume with just “IPCC cleared” written on it and no other achievements. When you are up against thousands of other resumes, this resume increases your chances of making it to “Trash” with other shunned resumes.

You surely don’t want to top this list of resumes, do you? It is very crucial to have a resume that doesn’t jeopardize your chances of making it to the first round. Making a resume that gives an insight into your personality, shows your work experiences and highlights your achievements is utterly important. The exposure provided by regular college can aid you build up a resume that can make an impact on the recruiter.

In the first 2 years, even I had nothing to mention on my resume.  These years seemed to be a waste, since my main focus was on studies. It was that last one-waste-year which made me explore all the areas. I joined a couple organizations, did a few internships and was associated with CSR activities. I was not a debate champ, a singer, a dancer or an all rounder in school to get into one of the college societies. But I did try my hands on the few experiences I could get. In the end, I have a lot to mention on my CV which can give me an edge over any non regular student.

2. Overall Personality Development
How often do we hear our mentors, teachers, parents telling us about personality development? Do all of us have such an Impressive and intimidating personality to get us into our dream firm?

Well I was one of those studious bookworms who found it hard to break the ice and talk. Interacting with new people was one big problem for me, let alone impressing them. I knew I could not get anywhere with such a drab persona. I had to do something about it and fast! My college provided me with tremendous opportunities and I started enrolling myself for every society , event or competition I came to know about.

Most of the things I got involved in were not even related to my field and hence did not make a place in my CV. But I do see myself as a changed personality with more confidence and better communication skills. Regular college provides you an exposure which a non regular student would hardly get.

I got to see a world outside of my books and coachings, and I was surprised to find it very different from the bookish one!! Dealing with all kinds of people and pressures, all on my own, was a very different and enlightening experience for me.  And as I realize now, an experience which I would have missed out on if I had not joined a regular college.

3. Campus placements
Something which we can never ignore. Yes, good colleges do have placements for articleship. Atleast I got one!! Some firms do prefer to recruit directly from colleges to hire potentially good candidates with less efforts.

And even if the placement cell does not provide you campus articleship placements, even in the non campus placements, your personality makes the interviewer select you over others. You will always have an advantageous edge over students who haven’t seen as much of the world as you have! You’ll be able to face the many challenges of articleship recruitment process with a confidence unlike others.

I had a word with the HR of a big organisation and she indirectly told me that – Yes, they do give some brownie points to students who have completed their graduation through Regular College.

4. Friends

Over the course of my college life, in the worst circumstances, I met the best people of my life so far. People from all walks of life! Each one of my many friends have added something vital to my personality and helped me bloom to my full potential. They have given me memories that I am going to cherish all my life!  And as Chetan Bhagat has famously said “nobody remembers power point presentations on their final day”. I have realized I need to work hard and focus but I also need to make hundreds of friends and millions of memories on the way.

Yes! Doing regular college with CA is tough. Managing the endless classes, attendance, assignments and exams in college with CA is definitely a challenging and a burdensome task. But those willing to go an extra mile for the sake of a better career and life would not find it as much of a herculean task as it seems to be! These 3 years have the potential to chisel out the best in us and when that happens, it will reap endless benefits for a lifetime.

  • Recommended Read: CA Course is Difficult: Biggest Misconception of Unaware People

Disclamer: The above article has been authored by Hency Batheja. These are the benefits which I derived by joining a good regular college but had to wait for more than 1 more year to start my articleship. Although, I personally recommend joining a good college – you should always consult with seniors of the college which you intent to join if that college will provide you such added benefits.