Courtney Sabanas knows all about the truth of the phrase, “Success is no accident.”
As a fourth-year undergraduate student majoring in accounting and management information systems and minoring in legal studies, Sabanas is no stranger to working hard. Between juggling Honors schoolwork, preprofessional organization meetings, tutoring and teaching assistant responsibilities as well as internships, she’s used to rising to take on challenges.
This past year, Sabanas passed one particularly challenging milestone in her accounting career: the certified management accountant (CMA) exams.
Sabanas recalls how she prepared for the two, four-hour exams—a difficult undertaking.
“The material is well-covered in a variety of classes in the core curriculum of the Fox School as well as the accounting major.” says Sabanas. “It was a matter of relearning the skills that had become a bit rusty with time, but I enjoyed the process, and the payoff is well worth the work.”
The exam is composed of two sections: strategic financial management and financial planning, performance and analytics. Potential employers regard passing the exam and earning the CMA certification as great assets for those who hope to work in corporate financial accounting and strategic management.
“I definitely feel more solid in my capabilities to perform my job as a general accountant,” says Sabanas, reflecting on taking the exam. “I really enjoyed my experience. It refreshed a lot of concepts that needed to be refreshed.”
But Sabanas has another big challenge on the horizon. Soon, she’ll be working toward earning a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) license.
Between now and her first CPA exam in January, Sabanas says she plans to carve out large amounts of study time to prepare.
“I’m going to start studying in the next few weeks to take the CPA exam and will probably spend around 15 hours a week,” explains Sabanas.
She advises other students preparing for exams to reflect on what studying methods work best for them and to actively work to understand the material, rather than simply to memorize.
“You can’t just look at answers and move on—you need to understand how you got there,” elaborates Sabanas. “You need to get involved in the material.”
As Sabanas works toward her last semester as an undergraduate Temple student, she remains heavily involved in on-campus activities. She serves as the vice president of Temple’s chapter of Beta Alpha Psi, an international honor society for accounting, finance and information systems. She also is a violinist and president of OWLchestra, Temple’s on-campus community string orchestra.
Sabanas’ continued involvement and hard work have served her extremely well; after graduation, she will be joining Ernst & Young in July as a Staff I Tax Accountant in the company's Diversified Staff Group.
In her ongoing commitment to hard work and careful preparation, Sabanas demonstrates that success is no accident.