We are extremely proud to share that our BSc Accounting & Finance student, Muhammad Abdullah, is ACCA's global prize winner for scoring the highest marks among all ACCA students in the Strategic Business Reporting (SBR) paper in September 2020. The ACCA embedded programme at SDSB-LUMS offers BSc Accounting and Finance students the opportunity to complete the ACCA exams during the course of their undergraduate degree.
Read on to learn more about Muhammad Abdullah's experiences and strategies that helped him succeed.
Q. Tell us a bit about yourself and your educational background?
I am currently in my senior year, pursuing a Bachelors in Accounting and Finance with a minor in Computational Finance from Suleman Dawood School of Business - LUMS. I matriculated from St. Anthony’s High School in Lahore and completed my Intermediate (pre-engineering) from Government College University, Lahore. I have a keen interest in the political and social issues of our country, and also delve into poetry, philosophy, politics, and religion.
Q. You have made LUMS and SDSB proud by scoring the highest marks globally in ACCA's Strategic Business Reporting (SBR) paper. What would you attribute to be the reason for your success?
There are a few reasons: first, I was able to capitalise on the quarantine period and focused all of my energies in achieving this success. I had a lot of time on my hands, and I was able to utilise it in my favour. Third, and most important, I had a very competitive study partner (my batch mate and national position holder in ACCA’s P7 exam). We were able to develop a healthy competition between ourselves which motivated us to do well.
Q. What was your study routine like?
Since I had a lot of time due to quarantine, I kept my study routine relaxed. I made sure that I did not compromise on my sleep, and did not let myself get exhausted. I used to study for around 5 to 6 hours daily, while spending the rest of the time in activities that helped maintain a positive state of mind. I kept weekly targets for myself that helped ensure I was on track.
Q. You are a BSc (ACF) student. How does the programme help ACCA aspirants?
The ACF programme at Suleman Dawood School of Business does add a lot of value for ACCA aspirants. Although the courses at SDSB-LUMS are not completely identical to the ACCA exams, there are a lot of similarities. These courses help develop a good understanding of the subject which is very helpful in preparing for the ACCA exams. Secondly, the competitive environment at SDSB always encourages you to go the extra mile which pays off in any exam.
Q. What do you foresee for yourself in the next five years?
I want to see myself emerge as a business and social leader. Wherever I go, and whatever I do, I want to see myself having a positive impact on society. Being a chartered accountant will open up paths for entrepreneurship, and I eventually see myself working on my own ventures after five years.
Q. What is the one piece of advice you would give to students aspiring to appear in the ACCA exams?
It is not that easy, nor that difficult. I would say this much – only appear in the ACCA exams if you are genuinely interested. Once you decide to appear, give it a hundred and ten percent, and you will be able to do quite well. ACCA is an excellent way to enhance your skill set and knowledge, and stand out amongst the crowd. You just need to manage the ACCA exams smartly along with your studies. Taking courses similar to the exams you plan to appear in makes things more manageable.
Q. And finally, how have you handled the transition to online learning? Any tips for your juniors?
To be honest, the transition to online learning hasn’t been easy. It is not easy to “attend” classes without having your peers around, nor is the learning experience the same. But the way things are, we have to go through this. I would not say that I have transitioned perfectly to online learning; but the one thing that keeps me going is hope for the future. I know that this difficult phase shall also pass, and everything will return to normal soon.
If you want to do well in online learning, always complete tasks as they arrive. I understand that there is little motivation to do so, but again remember that this shall also pass. Take frequent breaks between your study sessions, watch a motivational video or some comedy, talk with friends, and above all, take care of your mental well-being. If you keep yourself physically and mentally at peace, you will be able to do well with minimal effort. Try to alternate activities between what you need to do on a computer, and what you need to do away from it, so that you don’t end spending long hours staring at a screen.