Be inspired with the inspirational story of Marianato Jesus B. Del Rio from University of San Carlos (USC) in Cebu, one of the examinees who clinched the top spot in May 2017 Certified Public Accountant (CPA) board exam.
Here is his story.
I am Marianito Jesus B. Del Rio from the University of San Carlos. I am the youngest among the five children of Mr. Mariano Del Rio, a businessman, and Mrs. Zenaida Del Rio, a full-time housewife. My love for Mathematics had me torn in choosing whether or not I should take up Engineering or Accountancy for my college degree. In the end, I chose the latter because of my father’s advice that finishing a degree in Accountancy has more job opportunities. Engineering may have involved more math, but I enjoyed the different types of analysis Accountancy required, albeit sometimes, they can be frustrating.
When I entered college, I have no expectations or whatsoever that I would soar as high as I did. During my first few years in the university, I was just one of the students who kept hearing about the stories of my seniors’ achievements from both local and national academic competitions. Stories that eventually led to them bringing pride to USC by placing in the top of the CPA Board Exams. Ever since then, I dreamed and aspired to be like my seniors – to be one of the students who will bring pride to my school. Everything was just a distant dream until I was given the opportunity to represent USC in one of the upcoming quiz bowls right before my third year in the university started. That was it. I knew then and there that it was a ticket for me to finally turn my dream into reality.
Being a quiz bowler opened a lot of doors for me. It trained me to be more disciplined and more goal-oriented. Quiz Bowl competitions were never easy. The experiences were full of doubts, fears, and anxiety. It would make you question yourself and your abilities countless of times: “Why am I here? Why am I doing this to myself? What if I’m not good enough?” But looking back at all those times when I doubted myself, I realized that they can never measure up to the rewarding feeling of being able to represent and bring pride to my school.
I guess being an active quiz bowler is just one of the many reasons why I was able to land a place in the CPA Board Exams. The experience helped me to become a better version of myself while conditioning my mind to be able to think differently outside the box.
Perhaps another reason is the never-ending love and support that I got from different people who have always believed in me. I know that there will always be times when we feel like we’re alone, but always remember that there will always be people who will believe in you. Find them. Be with them. Grow with them. They are your family, your friends, your professors, and of course, the Lord God Almighty. And I have always believed in the quote by Edmund Lee which says: “Surround yourself with the dreamers and the doers, the believers and thinkers, but most of all, surround yourself with those who see greatness within you, even when you don’t see it yourself.”
Never letting my failures define me is definitely another reason that contributed to my success. Let me just share a few of the many frustrations I had as a struggling Accountancy student. Do you ever had that feeling of giving something your all and yet it still wasn’t good enough? I felt that countless of times. I had my fair share of failing examinations and failing my own expectations. I experienced a below cut-off midterm grade in TAX 501 in addition to getting a very low score in an oral examination finals. Those experiences were just depressing and I didn’t know how to handle my frustrations. I needed a miracle. I kept thinking that the situation was hopeless and I was ready to accept my fate of failing the subject. But then it hit me. Sulking over what happened isn’t going to help me. I need to do something about it. I need to turn things around. Failing isn’t the end of the world. Why should I give up? I know I can do better. With my determination and faith in the Lord, I studied really hard for the final examinations – the determinant if I would have to retake the subject or not. And to my surprise, the final exam didn’t go as difficult as I imagined it to be. I ended up passing the subject. I couldn’t help but feel blessed. I thought I already moved on from the horror of taxation, but during our review in our second set of pre-boards, I got a score of 64% in the said subject. I was broken for a few days. It was only four months before the Board Exam. I was panicking. I wasn’t meeting the standards I set for myself. What if I fail the actual Board Exam? Endless thoughts ran through my head. But amidst my failures, I learned to work around my weaknesses and turn them into strengths. I promised myself that I will embrace all my failures and learn from them. I comforted myself with the thought that examinations only represent a few questions out of all the materials I have studied. My score doesn’t define the entirety of my learning, understanding, and effort I exerted in preparing for the exams. And that’s why I learned that experience is the best teacher. So now, I always strived for continuous growth and excellence to make my schools, Saint Dominic Savio International School and University of San Carlos, proud of me.
My journey to where I am now was never an easy one. It was full of hardships, blood, sweat, and tears. The most draining one was my last semester in college. The semester which we had to review 9 semesters worth of topics in one semester. It was difficult. There were times when I felt like giving up. Countless realizations were made. There were times when I felt like I was running out of time. I never really appreciated the importance of time management until my final semester. I told myself endless lies like “Skip ko muna ang topic na ‘to, promise. I-mamaster ko nalang sa review namin” which was a dead giveaway. It was impossible to cover everything in such a short amount of time.
My suggestion for future takers is this: Study wisely and choose the best reviewers. Find the time to master the basics as early as possible. Delaying will only cause you panic and headaches. And most importantly, in times of pressure, pray. It is the most effective way to calm your mind and soul.
Remember that great things don’t come from comfort zones so don’t be afraid to try new things. Learn to take risks. Grasp the unknown and eventually you’ll find yourself embracing all the uncertainties. All things are difficult before they are easy. No one starts off being an expert. Everyone had to hustle their way up to the top. We all need to start somewhere and what better time to start than now? Don’t be afraid of being different. Be afraid of being ordinary. The world needs more room for people who are true to themselves. People who are passionate about what they do. People who don’t always get it right but never give up.
The road ahead might be full of uncertainties but we must keep driving through it. Let’s do our best in everything we do and eventually we’ll get there. Because the secret to getting ahead is getting started.
Thank you and God bless!