Talk the Talk & Walk the Walk

September 10, 2012 Leave a comment

People talk the talk about giving back to society. I’m walking the walk to show that people care.

I registered for the Komen Race for the Cure because I want to give back. Specifically, I want to help in the fight against breast cancer. Your tax-deductible contribution will move us closer to a world without breast cancer.

75 percent of the money raised through the Race stays in Northern Nevada to fund local breast cancer education, screening and treatment programs. The remaining 25 percent supports groundbreaking breast cancer research.

We’re fueling the fight against breast cancer by funding the best that science can offer.  We will not stop until breast cancer is a distant memory in medical history. Will you please join me in this fight by making a donation today?

http://northnv.info-komen.org/goto/farahidajamaluddin

Dear Prometric

Dear Prometric,

While your staff is friendly, the quality of technology available to test takers is not as high as it should be. Please, let me explain. I arrived 45 minutes early at the Prometric center, for my AUD test (CPA exam) at 9am. The CPA exam is notoriously difficult, with an average 50% pass rate, so I wanted to be calm and not feel rushed as I checked into the exam. I patiently went through the procedures, and sat at my allocated computer to start the test at 9am.

9am came and went. 10am came and went.  No test appeared on the computer screen and your techs continued to work on it. Another  1+ hour passed as the issue was escalated to Level 2. Finally, I was able to take my 4-hour exam more than 2 hours later. There goes the rest of my day – I thought I had done well, scheduling it for 9am so that I could go to work in the afternoon.

I was informed that if I left, I could not reschedule for the next day, because the issue could take more than 24 hours to resolve. I was informed that rescheduling next week would be difficult because it is near the end of the month and students procrastinate when taking tests, i.e. the Prometric center would be very busy. I could try, but there were no guarantees that I could take the exam next week, before the end of the test window.

Alas, I did not procrastinate when scheduling AUD, but it did me little good. So to make it in this test window, I took the exam today, mentally and emotionally exhausted. As I mentioned earlier, the pass rate is around 50% for the CPA exam. Which way do you think you contributed towards? Pass or Fail?

I am not the only one to have had such a dismal experience. There was another poor fellow whose computer did not work, and he was fortunate that he was not taking the CPA exam. I have read that Prometric test center experiences can be less than stellar. What would it take to make you care a little bit about upgrading your technology or service? Tweets? Blogosphere fury? Emails from other people who have had less than stellar experiences?

I look forward to your response.

Regards,

Farah

P.S. The only positive thing was that the employee was very friendly and tried her best to resolve it. I hope that she gets a bonus.

Categories: Education Tags: , ,

Investments in Your Life

Investment: “An asset or item that is purchased with the hope that it will generate income or appreciate in the future. In an economic sense, an investment is the purchase of goods that are not consumed today but are used in the future to create wealth. In finance, an investment is a monetary asset purchased with the idea that the asset will provide income in the future or appreciate and be sold at a higher price.”[1] 

Stocks or bonds usually come to mind when people refer to ‘investments’. However, there are other investments that you have made or will make which are more important than money. Time is something we can never get back, so we need to choose our investments wisely.

There’s the saying “Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.” Education is how you get fed for a lifetime. Formal education, such as attending university, is the best path for some. Obtaining professional licenses like the Certified Public Accountant (CPA), Professional Engineer (PE), Doctor of Medicine (MD), and so forth, are also investments that people make for their future. For others, an informal path via experience is the best way to learn. Then, there is the melding of the two and getting both experience and a formal education. I’ve been working since high school, obtained a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering with a Management minor, and am planning to graduate with a Masters of Accountancy (MAcc) at the end of 2012. Though the cost can be high, we make an investment in education because we expect there to be a return in the future. I am patiently awaiting to see the fruits of my labor. =)

Are you of the mind that you should live to work or work to live? Having a work-life balance is very important, and requires effort to achieve. Investing in your passions such as spending time with family and/or friends, athletics, learning new languages, or travel will enrich your life. Who you select as your partner/spouse is also important because they are part of the strong foundation upon which your life is built. There will be times when you need to invest in working more now (such as studying 20 hours a week for six months for the CPA exam) in order to generate a higher return in the future. By ensuring you don’t operate in a silo, you will have a strong support network to help you negotiate the highs and lows.

There are also financial investments, such as stocks, bonds, etc. Financial investments are not made just so that you can say “I have $xxx,xxx” in the bank. Their significance lies behind what they represent, which could be security, retirement, freedom of choice, and so forth. When you choose to invest money instead of spending it now, you are investing in your financial future for the sake of what is significant to you, such as a secure retirement.

When considering some of the investments you have made in your life, what are they and have they paid off?