SI Graduate Spotlight: ACCA qualification and an Oxford Brookes Degree at 20 years!


Abigail Kinyanjui’s journey is nothing short of remarkable. She has had a lifelong affair with  mathematics , a subject that’s a breeze for her. After high school, she seized an opportunity to work as a mathematics assistant teacher at a primary school in Ongata Rongai, which happened to be her family’s enterprise . This opportunity enabled her to do what she loves by engaging with young minds and empowering them with knowledge and guidance. 

With the passage of time, her fascination with the financial world, especially the accounting aspect of it, began to spark. This curiosity became the driving force that led her to embark on her ACCA journey at Strathmore University in 2021.

The journey

“The educational journey was a fulfilling one for me. Exploring new concepts was a joy, and certain units, such as Taxation, Financial Reporting, and Advanced Performance Management, among others, held a special place in my heart. I genuinely looked forward to each class, eager to delve into the material. Ahh, credit is due to Mr. Roger Gitonga, who was my mentor, as well as Mr. Simon Musyoki, and Mr. Anthony Maina, for their exceptional teaching. They made these complex units surprisingly easy to grasp and understand. Their guidance was invaluable in shaping my academic path.

In September 2021, my friends and I decided to participate in the Strategic Business Challenge where ACCA students get an opportunity to put into practice the skills acquired during the academic journey, applying them to solve real-life issues encountered in the workplace. We had a case study where we were tasked to analyze complex issues facing a given company over a four-month period. The experience was enriching! There was so much to learn beyond the classroom. Through this competition, I had the opportunity to forge new connections and friendships with my  fellow students. It also gave us a platform to harness the collective strengths and address individual weaknesses, fostering the development of effective teamwork and leadership skills. Our dedication and  efforts paid off, as our performance earned us a well-deserved place in the 75th percentile. This achievement was made possible with the guidance of mentors Mr. Bob Ochieng’ and Mr. Roger Gitonga, who stood by us every step of the way.

Getting my degree from Oxford Brookes

While going through my emails, I stumbled upon a fascinating message from our faculty regarding an exciting partnership between ACCA and Oxford Brookes University. This unique collaboration offers students the chance to obtain a degree while working towards the ACCA professional qualification by completing a combination of nine papers and a research project. The degree integrates students’ professional accounting studies into an academic program. The knowledge and skills acquired through professional exams are further enhanced and extended through a Research and Analysis Project. It struck me as a remarkable opportunity, and without hesitation, I embarked on this educational journey to secure both qualifications simultaneously.

Juggling the demands of both of these demanding programs was not an easy feat. It necessitated commitment and time management. ACCA, in particular, is known for its rigor, and many individuals find it tough, leading to dropouts. But I was determined to finish strong. I was fortunate to have Mr. Roger Gitonga  as my mentor, to whom I am grateful to as he supported and encouraged me through it all.

From August 2022 to November 2022, I did my project that delved into Equity Bank’s performance over the past three years, conducting a thorough analysis and comparison with the HF Group. During this period, I had the privilege of working closely with two exceptional mentors, Mr. Karan Gupta, my primary mentor, and Mr. Roger Gitonga, my secondary mentor. This project allowed me to hone and apply essential skills, including IT proficiency, a keen attention to detail, effective communication, and time management.

Throughout this journey, I encountered numerous challenges that tested my resilience, but I managed to overcome each one. The culmination of this effort was the email notification I received in March 2023, confirming my success and officially conferring upon me the status of a degree holder. A month later, I received my well-earned degree certificate by mail. Looking forward, I am set to celebrate my graduation in February 2024, a momentous occasion that will take place in either Dubai or the UK.

What next?

Currently, I serve as the school’s accountant at my family enterprise, overseeing all financial aspects, and I find immense joy and satisfaction in applying what I’ve learned. As for the future, I’m set to pursue a masters degree in Business Analytics at the University of Western Australia from February 2024. However, for now, I am overwhelmed with gratitude for how far I’ve come and the forthcoming graduation.” 


Article written by Jemmy Kamau

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