Before you complete that journey for a CA qualification, there comes a stage of practical learning. This is all about your articleship period. Just before you appear for the CA Final exams, you are required to put in a minimum of 30 months of articleship at an established CA firm. This is very similar to a mandatory internship that any other professional course requires you to complete. Though it may not be for such a long duration, its intentions remain similar. Namely, hands-on leaning, on-field experience, and so on.
A lot of now-established CAs have many stories to share about the mistakes they made when they were articles at a CA firm. Take a look at these and make sure you don’t end up doing the same things.
- Not applying in time: Once your CA Intermediate is done, don’t wait for the results to be announced and then make your C.V. Start applying for the articleship well in advance. There is always a huge supply of articles gunning for major CA firms so you do want to cut yourself out of the clutter. The early bird gets the worm, simple.
- Not defining working hours: Long working hours are directly proportional to practical experience. Many past aspirants have experience of being made to slave for hours as articles, which has eaten into their study time. Anything between 35 to 40 hours a week is good enough for you. Try to find a way around that ensures to clock-in sufficient time as an article, gain knowledge and experience, and also ample study time. This is not your full-time job. You’re still a student so studying comes first.
- Not Willing to Learn the “Small” Lessons: Apart from the major learning of taxation, auditing, M&As and the like, it is also important to keep a keen eye out for the other aspects of the job. Drafting letters, filing, taking prints, using office scanners, attending meetings and taking notes, general professional behavior, and etiquette – all these are the learnings that a lot of articles tend to think as irrelevant and skim over. Consider these as valuable lessons that give you an added edge over others, at the final job stage.
- Avoiding Company-Organised Events: As a CA student, you have deliberately kept out of social events for lack of time. However, attending some company events that you are invited to or are supposed to attend, is a good idea. It helps you network and engage with seniors in a different ambiance. You get to show another side of you, that adds value to your professional character. Moreover, these are opportunities for networking, which are always good for the future.
Take note of these points as you prepare for your CA articleship period. Make it beneficial and fruitful for you as well as the firm you are working for.