Written by Bronwyn Cramer, PGDA 2023 Alumna
As the year draws to a close, I would like to express my gratitude to the entire CA Connect team. The PGDA journey was profound for me but at the same time one of the toughest years of my life. I had to do the work to get through it but, when I needed support, it was never in short supply.
Someone once said to me that accountants are boring with no people skills. The CA Connect team is the complete opposite of this statement! Caring, vibrant, down to earth and knowledgeable are just a few words I’d use to describe the team. And, despite the course being fully online, not once did I ever feel alone – I was part of a wonderful community.
When I changed to writing final exams at a venue (instead of online), the whole process was smooth. You dealt with a highly stressed and anxious student in a calm and reassuring manner, and answered my hundreds of questions with no complaints.
I can only begin to imagine the amount of work that goes on in the background to make our experience so smooth and, everything, from simple messages of encouragement after tests to releasing test results as soon as possible, never went unnoticed.
Student Development team
The weekly drop-in sessions were motivating and inspiring. I often had check-in sessions with advisors before tests and these really assisted with calming my nerves.
I found it so refreshing that mental health was just as important as academic performance. I learnt about having a growth mindset; this helped me get through the year and I will continue to apply it in my life – this as well as other techniques I learned.
I will never forget the last online session held after the final exams. It was so emotional, as I knew it was the end of my journey with Milpark, and special, as the majority of the lecturing team joined in to share the great moment with us.
This subject scared me the most, which is why I engaged with this team the most. The team always provided comprehensive and detailed responses to all my questions over email. This must be one of the most difficult subjects to teach, but you all made it seem effortless.
Yael – I knew you were my person when I saw you in the first introduction session and you mentioned that you are a dog person (sorry Zoe). Our online consults really helped, and you have an innate ability explain complex concepts in an understandable manner. Please keep using this gift.
Zoe – You understood my need for perfection and tried to help me move past it with invaluable advice and guidance.
Lindie – I remember being so stuck with SBP. I rewatched your live session and everything just clicked into place for me. I appreciate your detailed explanations and thoroughness.
Chrystal – Your positivity and kindness did not go unnoticed.
Tracy – I know that you are not part of the FREP team, but I couldn’t not mention how brilliantly you taught groups. It was the first time I have ever understood intragroup transactions before and what a starting point is.
Tumi – Your live sessions were brilliant and you managed to summarise sections, enabling a good overall understanding.
Tax turned into my favourite subject this year and it is thanks to brilliant teachers. The weekly motivational posts when new material was released really helped me realise that balance was as important as academic progress.
Riyaan – I have to commend you on the structure of the course, moving Corporate Tax forward and exposing us to intense integration from test 2 really helped in preparation for final exams.
Elna – I thoroughly enjoyed your lessons, as they made tax relatable with practical examples that assisted with remembering principles. I will also never forget the consultation you had; you were so encouraging and kind.
Kim – Your live sessions were brilliant, and you even went over the allocated time to ensure that all the work was covered. You also encouraged us to rest when you could tell we were tired. Your lesson videos for natural persons were excellent, and I think these were the turning point for me – when I realised that I actually knew how to read and interpret the ITA.
Widaad – our consults were so helpful, and I appreciate the support and encouragement you gave in each of them.
Management Accounting and Finance
I don’t actually know what to say, as there is so much. The number of resources provided was phenomenal. Having all of the MAF team attending one of the last revision sessions was so touching and special. The highlights of the course were as follows for me:
JD – The bridging course really set me up for success, which resulted in fewer interactions during PGDA. I remember you telling us to “Move, move, move!” This stuck with me throughout the course and for all the subjects. People who haven’t done PGDA won’t understand the intensity and speed at which you have to go into tests/exams; having something as simple as this going through my head when I was writing really helped. Your live sessions were brilliant and you have an innate ability to talk through the noise and focus on a core understanding of fundamental principles.
When I was tired, MAF was always my go-to subject, as I enjoyed it so much.
The rest of the team made the course fun and so enjoyable.
Corporate Governance and Auditing
Teaching Auditing to students who have had no work experience (articles) must be tough, but the team always finds new and creative ways to teach. Moving Corporate Governance to the beginning of the course was an excellent idea, as this gave us enough time to practice in the sections which are topical in ITC.
I will be eternally grateful to the entire team for the impact that you had on my life these last 2 years.
Lastly, thank you to all of the students I bonded with during this course (you know who you are). I wish you all the best in your future endeavours. I hope that we all will go forth and make a difference in this profession – and change lives like ours have been.