A record was created when at only 20 years old, Paul Hyman received the Sushil Jain Award at the ICAJ/ACCA Graduation Ceremony which was held on October 28, 2017 at the Knutsford Court Hotel in Kingston. This makes him the youngest graduate in the history of the Award to receive this honour.
The Sushil Jain Award is presented annually to the youngest ACCA graduate who successfully completes the final stage of the examinations on the first attempt. Paul is employed to KPMG in Jamaica as an Accountant in the Audit Practice. He started his ACCA journey after completing Fifth Form at Calabar High School in 2014, and is an outstanding ACCA Affiliate.
Here Paul shares his personal story….
My name is Paul Hyman and I was born in Kingston, Jamaica to very strong and supportive parents, who encouraged me to strive for excellence in every way possible. In all I do, I do my best to involve God at the forefront, without whom, I would not be present today.
My parents worked extremely hard to give both themselves and their children a better life. I grew up with my younger sister, who is also currently pursuing the ACCA qualification
I graduated from the Calabar High School after five years of struggle, but struggles worth experiencing. I left the institution with seven (7) ones and two (2) twos from the CSEC examinations. My heart was, however, not towards sixth form, as I felt I needed a change and a different atmosphere.
At only 17 years old, I decided to take on what many considered to be “a bit too much for my little size”. I began studying at the Global Accountancy Institute on September 15, 2014. For the first three months the full time class had a substantial amount of students, however, after three months, the numbers dwindled extensively and the few that remained had to shift to a part time online basis.
It was not easy at all with discouragement coming from both the difficulty sometimes associated with the course work and, not to mention, the pessimistic influences we tend to encounter on a daily basis from persons who should be helping to empower you. However, despite the negatives, I overcame the challenges, fully completing the examinations at the age of 19 years old.
“David and Goliath”
Dr. Glen Brown, my main lecturer and coach, President and CEO of Global Accountancy Institute, always flooded me with work. Exams with 500 up to as many as 1,000 questions were initially perceived as horrific, but it all helped to build my mental stamina and endurance when dealing with “Goliath” as he would usually term the exams. Not to mention at times late night classes stretching as long as 3 to 4 hours in the night. Indeed, the little David did conquer.
Extreme nervousness is ever so common when sitting any exam. I remember when I used to sit the Level 1 CBE’s (computer based exams) and when the result was about to be released by the computer I would run out of the room, only to be greeted with satisfying scores. The more I prayed and the results got better, I learned to trust God and my preparation methods even more.
I completed Level 1 with an average of 80.3%. One month after completion, I attacked the CBE for F4- Corporate and Business Law exam acquiring a score of 91%. From there, the woes began as I found myself working twice as hard to ensure I knew everything I needed to know due to the fact that the worst pass rates were associated with some of these papers I was about to face.
Dr. Brown insisted that I do three papers at one go, with just four months to study them all. I don’t know anyone that prayed like I did. I couldn’t say no, because I was on a mission to prove myself and prove God and the strength He says He gives me. I passed all three at the December 2015 exam sitting. The air condition and my nerves had me shaking for three days straight in the exam hall, but it did not faze me.
Victory on the Horizon
I went on to do another three papers in two months in time for the March 2016 exam sitting and was successful. It was madness, but the victory always seems sweeter when the journey is rough. Somehow, I began to become distracted by personal issues and feeling ill for a few months, mysteriously. I became worried and depressed. I became discouraged from studying, especially after getting the idea that I was being pushed too hard.
My greatest Healer is the Spirit of God and He was my shoulder to lean on. I sat two papers in June 2016 and failed one. Failure changed my perspective. Knowing at this point I was almost finished, I was determined to finish regardless of what I was going through.
My last three papers were spread between the September and December 2016 exam sessions and I passed them comfortably, ending the qualification with an overall average of 71.21%. It was a sigh of relief knowing I was finally finished.
Hard Work and Dedication
I had all the struggles ordinary exam candidates have. Nothing in life that is truly precious comes easy, and it takes hard work and dedication for success. I thank my parents, the Lord Jesus and my mentor, Dr. Glen Brown, who saw to it that I stayed on a path that eventually got very dark and lonely, but the light of God saved the day.