Graduand Spotlight: Felista Mutahi- Top ACCA Student Kenya & Position 13 Worldwide
Gods grace, hard work, and determination sum up Felista Wangui Mutahis emerging as the top student in Kenya in the ACCA (P3) papers, gunning position 13 worldwide according to the Business Analysis paper. The 21 year old graduand of a Bachelor of Business Science in Finance Economics (BBS-FE) degree, is a firm believer in always testing her capabilities. This saw her successfully pursue both ACCAs and BBS-FE concurrently while still serving as an active member of the organizing committee in SUFFESA (Strathmore University Finance and Financial Economics Students Association) club.
Felista is currently interning at PricewaterhouseCoopers (PWC) Kenya, one of the leading professional services firms focused on providing Audit & Assurance, Advisory and Tax services.
My family is the lively type, that type of family you can pick in a crowd easily. I am the middle child; I have an older brother and a younger sister. My brother attained his Bachelor in Electrical engineering from University of Nairobi and also completed his ACCAs at Strathmore, while my younger sister joined form one this year.
Both my parents are in the business field, and their achievements are what drive me to follow in their footsteps career wise.
I have only been to two schools since kindergarten; Donholm Catholic School from kindergarten to second term of class six, before joining Consolata school for the rest of my primary and high school life. My strong Christian faith developed while I was in Donholm Catholic School. At Consolata, I was crowned Consolata girl of the year, and in my fourth year I was the schools head girl.
I attained a mean of grade A- in my KCSE national examination.
I joined Strathmore University in January 2011, where I registered for ACCA evening classes and in June of the same year I was admitted for my BBS-FE.
I generally love accounting which is why my first option was to do my ACCAs as I decide on which course to take for my undergraduate degree. My ACCA evening classes were largely attended by working class students who would encourage me to study as much as I can when I am still young, this was because they believed studying while young is easier and one can grasp a lot of things faster. I finished all my papers in June 2014 and graduated in October of the same year, so am now an ACCA affiliate.
I joined the SUFFESA club from first year in an effort to perfect my finance skills. I was the representative to the executive committee in my second year, while in third and fourth year I was in the organizing committee. I learnt how to work under pressure, how to be patient, how to make timely decisions, and how to negotiate while serving in this club.
Balancing the two courses
There was a time I did a CAT and I did not do very well, and I told myself that this situation cannot continue, although it was quite hard to balance the two. It became even harder during exams because I had to forget one course and pay more attention to the other, which of course meant one of the courses would slightly suffer. However with time, experience and exposure, I learnt to balance studying the two courses. The most important thing I learnt was to manage my time and avoid last minute rush. I would use every available opportunity to study, e.g. if I missed the bus at 4; 30pm I would stay in school and read, then I go home with the 7.30pm bus and I would get home much faster and more satisfied. Although Im graduating with a second class upper division, I managed to maintain an average of grade A throughout my tenure, apart from my first year where I was a bit relaxed.
On Being Top in ACCA
When I realized I was number one, I was so overjoyed I went to buy shoes to award myself. Other than that, I realized that I can actually be top in such exams and that all my hard work had paid off. It was so satisfying to the point where I learnt to encourage people to keep pushing on. I really sacrificed while reading for this exams. When I told my parents they were so proud, my dad informed all his friends and within ten minutes I was already receiving congratulatory calls from everyone. It was a life changing moment for my family and I.
I was no longer a statistic for ACCA but Felista, number 1 student in Kenya.
Ms. Isabella Gaha was the lecturer for this unit, and I loved her teaching method. She encouraged us to read the topics before attending class, making it easier to understand the topic during class time. The topic discussions were more practical.
What drives me is my vision to be someone of significance and relevance. To contribute in some way no matter how little impact I will make to the society. Striving to make our society a better place.
Outside of Strathmore
I love reading novels, socializing and staying informed. I also enjoy singing in the choir, although I did not have time to be involved in the university choir because their practice sessions coincided with my ACCA classes.
I also involved myself with our youth group in church. Im their current chairperson till the end of this year. I have learnt to handle the younger crowd with fun activities, team building activities, fundraiser activities etc. Currently we are working on raising money for a world youth forum taking place in Poland, next year.
I see myself working in financial advisory or asset management.
I would love to add some value to my fathers firm and help his business grow.
I also want to be known as Felista, not just my fathers daughter. To be known by my name and not my fathers is a major challenge because we are in the same industry, already people assume I have reached this far because of him, yet I worked hard to be where I am. I will work hard and ensure I stand on my own as Felista.
My dad is my role model, he has achieved so much in such a short span, and is always striving to be better. Hes also managed to balance work and being a father, so hes always available for us when need be. These are attributes worth emulating.
We wish Felista the best in her future endeavors.