Interview with Nishit Vyas from Anand, Gujarat . He works as Deputy Manager at Axis Bank currently involved in Counterparty and Country Risk Analysis
1) Among the manifold career choices, what made you opt for CA at that point of time? In retrospect, how would you reflect on your decision?
I had scored a little less than expected in my Class 12th Board examination- 94.8% which was not good enough to get admission into the top 5 colleges in India. Therefore I had to shift to Mumbai and pursued my graduation from H.R College of Commerce and Economics. Had I got admission into DU, I wouldn’t have done CA. It is a normal trend in Mumbai to do CA alongside graduation and hence I embarked upon this journey. So pursuing CA was my plan B as my plan A didn’t work. But in retrospect I think Plan B was better than Plan A. I was City first in class 12th and city 3rd in CA final. After failing in CA Final I understood that this is more of a psychological battle than anything else.
2) What were the key aspects of your CA exam preparation strategy, both for the written test as well as the personal interviews that follow?
It is imp to treat CA final just as an exam and not as a larger than life event. Being a school topper and having passed CPT and IPCC in first attempt I was under pressure to perform in May 17 (in which I failed) because I had lost the psychological battle before I lost the academic battle. Once I had failed I didnt have to now maintain the 100% track record and it just seemed to have taken off all the pressure that had piled up. But definitely, I did not repeat the mistakes that I made in may 17. When I did not clear, people gave me suggestions that I take 1 group at a time. But my May 17 marks were 189 and 190 in both groups which were close to 200, so that thought I will attempt all 8 papers in one go.
And as far as interview is concerned i was very well conversant with the latest developments in the field of Finance and Economics through print, Television media and nonfiction books on the subject. So I was in a position to ask for a job profile that I wanted rather than being thrust upon with conventional job roles that are given to CA’s. So better equip yourself so that u can be confident enough to ask what you want on the interview table. I got placed in Axis Bank through campus recruitment programme.
I was preparing for CFA at the time of interview which helped me in gaining detailed knowledge on various aspects of finance. My interview went so well that I was in a position to ask for a profile I wanted not in terms of package but the work profile – Market risk assessment.
3) How does the CA course life transform an individual?
The fact that I passed after failing has enhanced my self confidence tremendously because I now believe that I possess the resilience to bounce back from tough times and so I believe failing in first attempt was the best thing to have happened to me.
4) In your view, what are factors a student must carefully consider before deciding to embark on the CA journey? (Aptitude, career aspirations etc.)
My mother is also a CA working as a Professor and so is my aunt who is a practicing CA in Mumbai. We have around 8-10 CA’s in our family and so I was well conversant with what lies within and ahead of the course. One thing which was absolutely clear from the beginning was that you need to slog and slog hard to get this degree. It is imperative to cut down on time wasting activities like IPL, surfing and Watsapp etc otherwise one spoils 5 years of his/her youth without a degree. By no means am I telling anyone to stop any co-curricular activity which helps one rejuvenate and start afresh. I myself played Badminton daily (including during exam days) for an hour because it helped me focus more when the situation so demanded.
5) In a nutshell, what would be your advice to future CA aspirants?
If you are interested in the Corporate world and want to learn the theoretical aspects of the practical world, CA definitely helps. During my +2 I was quite fascinated by how the stock prices fluctuate and the rationale behind it which was why I wanted to learn Finance in depth- an opportunity that CA final provides. Do not do CA because it offers attractive remuneration or because of peer pressure. Think and decide what is in your best interest because you know yourself better than anyone else.
You can connect with me at https://www.linkedin.com/in/canishitvyas/