A mature student from Tipperary has been named the overall winner in the CPA Ireland Student Development Award 2014 and will now receive €5,000 towards achieving her goal of becoming a professional accountant. Shortlisted from hundreds of entries, Martina Woodlock from Thurles impressed the judges with her commitment to pursuing a career in accountancy after working as a dental nurse for more than 20 years.
Martina is currently studying for a degree in Accountancy and Finance from LIT Tipperary and on completion will progress to studying the CPA qualification following her success in this competition.
Speaking about her decision to make a career change she explains, “When my boss retired I turned my attention to what I wanted to do and decided to pursue my original dream, which was to study accountancy. I contacted LIT to explore options, and luckily they were able to offer me a place immediately due to a deferral. I finished work as a dental nurse on a Friday and began my career in accountancy the following Monday!”
On qualification, Martina hopes to pursue a career in financial risk analysis in industry. “The best thing about accountancy is that there is such a broad spectrum, there’s so much to learn and there is the opportunity to go down a few different avenues.”
Martina was announced as winner by CPA Ireland President, Mr Cormac Fitzgerald, and will receive €5000 to be used to fund her CPA accountancy education. Aleksandra Bobro, originally from Poland and now living in Arklow, Co. Wicklow received a runner up prize of €1000 bursary.
Other finalists in the competition included Aoife Byrnes of Strandhill, Sligo; Olga Pyrka of Kinsale, Co Cork and Milosz Brozek, Balbriggan, Co Dublin.
This the 4th year of the Student Development Award, and entrants were initially asked to submit a written application via the Institute’s Facebook page, www.facebook.com/cpaireland. Finalists were then required to make a presentation to a panel of judges, including CPA Ireland President, Cormac Fitzgerald, Marc O’Dwyer, Managing Director, Big Red Cloud and Alex Fisher, Head of Skills & Training State Street .
The CPA designation is the most commonly used designation worldwide for professional accountants and the Institute’s qualification enjoys wide international recognition. A CPA qualification offers students the unique flexibility to study at their own pace and allows students choose how and when they move through the qualification.
Unlike other professional bodies, when studying for a CPA qualification, a student can choose how many exams they would like to take at a time and when they want to take them so that every student progresses at their own pace. To find out more about CPA Ireland please visit www.cpaireland.ie or the Institute’s Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/cpaireland.