Former Student Assistant Tells Her Tale of Sacrifices and Triumphs on Her Way to Reaping the 9th Place in the Certified Public Accountant (CPA) Licensure Exam
by Jane C. Mangalus
Being a high school salutatorian, a President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo Academic Excellence awardee, a member of the group that won the 1st Corporate Social Responsibility Plan Competition, and a Magna Cum Laude could have been one red carpet that led to the 9th Place in the recent CPA Licensure Examination but this was not so. For Jessica Madriaga de los Reyes—who had to work her way through college as a Student Assistant—the road to that spot was paved with difficulties. Relentless in pursuing her dreams, Jessica Madriaga de los Reyes traversed the road towards excellence anyway, with a lot of sacrifices, hard work and trade-offs in between. A 21-year-old native of Cavite, Jessica proves to us that Adamsonians are made of the same stern stuff as those coming from the top universities of the country. In an e-mailed interview with her, The Adamson News was able to have a glimpse of what this young achiever went through.
The Adamson News: What were the preparations you did for the exam?
Jessica: I enrolled in a morning class at CPAR (CPA Review School of the Philippines). I bought textbooks and review materials so that after our review class, I could do a thorough study of the subjects covered by the licensure examination. It was sometimes quite tiring and boring, but I managed to survive by keeping in mind my goal of becoming a CPA. I’m so glad that our reviewers at CPAR are really good—and funny, too (laughs). Their expertise was a big factor of my success.
The Adamson News: How did your college/department/university support you in this endeavor?
Jessica: The College of Business Administration and the Accountancy Department showed their support to us by monitoring us during the review period. The Accountancy Department actually planned to give us another review class, in addition to the review class given by the review school, to help us in studying those subjects that we find difficult to understand. Unfortunately, it didn’t prosper due to lack of time. AdU is one my inspirations. It was my dream to become a topnotcher since I was in my 3rd year in college. I dreamt of it because I wanted to bring honor to the University and to prove to others that students from Adamson are just as good as the students from other universities.
The Adamson News: Your life as a Student Assistant?
Jessica: I consider my life as a student assistant as a treasure—something like a precious gift. Being a student assistant taught me many things and helped me to discover some things about myself. I learned the true meaning of friendship, camaraderie, and brotherhood. I also learned how to mingle well with different people—students, co-student assistants, employees, administrators. And to some extent, I was also prepared to face the real world outside the University because of the responsibilities I handled in Information Technology Center (ITC).
The Adamson News: Your sacrifices during college?
Jessica: I obviously do not come from a well-off family that was why I availed of the Ozanam Scholarship Grant to be able to support my undergraduate studies. Just like other student assistants, I oftentimes experienced financial problems which made my college life more difficult. Another thing, because of my busy schedule, I sometimes sacrificed barkada gimiks and other events (laughs). I had lesser time for myself because whenever I wasn’t studying, I was in the ITC office doing my job as a student assistant. And whenever I was off duty, I was busy doing other things like preparing for org activities and competitions.
One of the biggest sorrows I had during college was the death of my father. I was informed a little late that my father was terribly sick; I wasn’t living with my family during college. I regretted not being with my father when he was still able to talk (he was already in coma when I finally came to the hospital). This very unfortunate event awakened me to the fact that because of my being so busy in school, I sometimes forget my family.
The Adamson News: How hard was it to be juggling school and work at the same time?
Jessica: Studying was already difficult; having to work as a student assistant made it harder. I experienced those times when I didn’t know what to do first—my duty or my assignments and projects. Yes, I experienced sacrificing one for the other. But through working and studying at the same time, I learned how to manage my time well. The secret is this: discipline and knowing your priorities.
The Adamson News: Anything you'd like to add?
Jessica: I feel fulfilled for being able to bring honor to Adamson University. I’m looking forward to more Adamsonian topnotchers, not only in the CPA Licensure Examination but also in other fields.
Never believe your doubt and never doubt your belief. That’s the key. Yes, it was my dream to become a topnotcher. But during the review, I had so many doubts that I even doubted my ability to pass the licensure exam. I’m deeply grateful to those people who helped me make it through. Not having a steady source of money to finance my review and exam fees was not an enough excuse for me to achieve something great. Actually, I almost decided not to take the exam because I really didn’t know where to get financial support. I almost gave up not only because of financial problems but also because of family problems. Before and during the first few weeks of our review, I experienced the greatest family problems I ever had. Gladly, my professors and true friends showed me so much support that I was able to carry on. (Thank you so much to AdUF-Coop for helping me. I will be forever thankful because of what you did to help me). Added to that, I worked as an accounting tutor to two accountancy students (one from UP Diliman and another from FEU) to help augment my pocket money. I’m very thankful to our Lord because I was able to end the challenges that I’ve encountered all the way victoriously. Nothing is impossible with God. In the end, it is still Him who will find the way.