Decisions, Decisions…

Posted By: DanaDiRenzo
Posted On: September 28th, 2019
Attending: Letterkenny Institute of Technology

I am now 2-weeks into school at LYIT. When people find out that I already have both my Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in accounting, they look at me like I’m crazy when I tell them I’m going for another Master’s degree here in Ireland. Now I know you may be thinking, “Why in the world would she want to do MORE school??” You see, I like to consider myself a “cool nerd” because yes, I actually do enjoy school and learning new things, BUT I still know how to have fun at the same time! And continuing my education has allowed me to come here through Sport Changes Life, which has been such an amazing experience so far! (Throwback to my graduation at SFC below!)

Continuing on the academic theme of this blog…back in July, my mom convinced me to try and take the FAR (Financial Accounting & Reporting) section of the CPA exam before I left for Ireland. Dr. Nogara’s graduate seminar class at SFC reviewed a lot of the exam topics, so I figured I would try and study off of our notes from class and the multiple choice practice quizzes online. Well, I didn’t really start to study until early August and tried to cram as much in as I could before my scheduled exam date on August 17th. I really wasn’t expecting to do that well and wouldn’t have been surprised if I failed to be honest. However, on September 10th I checked my CPA candidate account to see if they had our scores up yet and sure enough, there it was. I PASSED!! I honestly was shocked when I saw my score, but obviously was pretty excited about it! However, it put me in a bit of a dilemma. Because once you pass the first part of the CPA exam, you have 18 months to pass the other 3 parts. If you don’t pass them within that time frame, your scores expire and you have to retake those sections again. Now, I did look into international testing sites before taking FAR and knew that Ireland had a site for international testing candidates. What I DIDN’T know was that they charge an extra $356.55 on TOP of the regular $284.99 exam fees! Crazy, right?! So at the moment, I’m not sure whether to continue studying for the next exam part and take it here in Ireland, or wait till I am back in the States to finish the final 3 sections and avoid that additional charge. (Any suggestions or advice would be greatly appreciated by the way!)

I have also decided to change my program of study here at LYIT to the M.A. in Governance, Compliance & Data Protection in Financial Services. The program seems really interesting and I think it will be more beneficial to me in the long run! (Plus, I don’t have to do a 10,000-word dissertation – woohoo!!) On Friday, we were invited to the ISACA North West Conference which was being held at the movie theater in town. We listened to different speakers and learned about various topics such as third party risk, cloud security, and the Brexit. They also had tea/coffee, scones, and lunch for us throughout the day! But, I have to say the best part of the day was at the very end when they raffled off different prizes. Somehow, I ended up being picked for the final GRAND prize and won a Google Chromebook! Talk about the Luck of the Irish! 😉


So, after a few weeks of getting adjusted here in Ireland and going on adventures, reality has definitely settled in! It’s time to buckle down a bit and start making some decisions for myself. (Of course, while still having a good bit of craic along the way!)

Traveler Tip #9:

Don’t be offended if someone refers to you as a “Yank”…it’s just another way of calling you an American!

For example, you might hear someone say, “I’m on my way to pick up the Yanks” or “Just dropped the Yanks off and heading home now”

Signing off for now!👋🏼

-Dana D.

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