Waheeda Shaw, Guyana – Top Paper Award in Systems Management and Internal Financial Controls (self-study)

Waheeda ShawI am the youngest child of an ever expanding family and a full time student living in Guyana, perhaps the most beautiful place on earth. I was exposed to the business environment at a very young age due to the nature of my parents’ professions which allowed me to gain countless experiences and encounters with people of interest in my country. As I came to the completion of my secondary education, I soon realised I had an innate love of economics and financial management when my parents started providing me with numerous business magazines and articles focused on Guyana and around the Caribbean.  Coupled information online, I was able to start developing financial principles of my own and methods of remembering existing ones.

Upon completing my Advanced Level examinations after my secondary education, I was in search of an unconventional, flexible and adequately resourced option for tertiary education and ABE provided just that. I believe that tertiary education should allow one to express themselves within the confines of rationale and allow for reasoned exploration. With resources such as lecture guides, study manuals, study tips and syllabi available, I gained a thorough understanding of each unit I chose to pursue.

Moreover, I chose to self-study most of the units recommended for my path in financial management. This allowed me to easily facilitate numerous activities every day permitting a more balanced approach to studying.

ABE is a relatively new concept in Guyana. However, I have observed an increasing media interest in ABE following numerous conferences and the first ever graduation. 

I intend on furthering my studies through a top up agreement made by ABE with countless universities for distance learning so that I may gain a BSc (Hons) in Financial Management.

It’s difficult to choose what the best thing about ABE is, I am not sure if it is the flexibility or the quantity of resources at one’s disposal, but those certainly are the greatest characteristics of ABE for me.

ABE has taught me the greatest lesson of all: effective communication. With mark schemes and study guides available as well as units such as Human Resource Management, I was able to gain hands-on knowledge of the effective communication necessary to convey my thoughts and opinions. This lesson does not end on the answer sheet, it conveys itself into every aspect of life as it encourages you to reason before you speak and think before you act.

The greatest advice I can give for successful study is to know yourself and your boundaries. Everyone is different and every individual has specific methods by which they learn most effectively. Some of us can hear a lecture and remember it for ever, whilst some of us require repetition. I enjoy visual depiction so this prompted me to construct diagrams and flow charts which allows you to further explore various concepts. Also, do not hesitate to use the online resources at your disposal. Before you lose hope in some aspect of a unit you might not be able to grasp right this moment, I recommend searching for an online video or article and expand your perspective a bit, real world examples are the most practical.

Upon securing my BSc (Hons) in Financial Management, I intend to enter the job market before pursuing a postgraduate degree in Corporate Finance. I hope this knowledge and experience will allow me to make a tangible difference in my country.