A mature student from Thurles has been named the overall winner in the CPA Ireland Student Development Award 2014 and will now receive €5000 towards achieving her goal of becoming a professional accountant.
Shortlisted from hundreds of entries, Martina Woodlock from Thurles impressed the judges with her commitment to pursuing a career in accountancy after working as a dental nurse for more than 20 years.
Martina is currently studying for a degree in Accountancy and Finance from LIT Tipperary and on completion will progress to studying the CPA qualification following her success in this competition.
Speaking about her decision to make a career change she explains, “When my boss retired I turned my attention to what I wanted to do and decided to pursue my original dream, which was to study accountancy. I contacted LIT to explore options, and luckily they were able to offer me a place immediately due to a deferral. I finished work as a dental nurse on a Friday and began my career in accountancy the following Monday!” On winning the competition Martina says she is “thrilled. It is an opportunity that I never expected to have. Just being a finalist was such a confidence boost. Winning this competition gives me a better focus and more importantly, it gives me a plan for the future.”
On qualification, Martina hopes to pursue a career in financial risk analysis in industry. “The best thing about accountancy is that there is such a broad spectrum, there’s so much to learn and there is the opportunity to go down a few different avenues.” Martina was announced as winner by CPA Ireland President, Mr Cormac Fitzgerald, and will receive €5000 to be used to fund her CPA accountancy education.Speaking about the competition, Ciara Murphy, Marketing Executive with CPA Ireland explains: “People can often be held back from studying CPA because of the unfounded belief that they need an accountancy background, however our students include school leavers, undergraduate, post graduate, mature students and those seeking a change in career, like our worthy winner Martina. At CPA Ireland, we developed this competition to help people realise their ambition of pursuing a career in accountancy, which can be challenging and rewarding and offers great opportunities for professionals to advance to leadership roles in organisations. This prize fund is an opportunity for someone to make a life changing career move, and we congratulate Martina on successfully achieving the next step of her journey to becoming a CPA accountant.”