Posted by: SeeEhh | August 28, 2010

The concept of debreifing…

Its beautiful – I love it. When I first started studying, I didn’t understand why all the “gurus” and teachers loved it so much, I mean, it made sense and all – but did they really have to make love to it verbally everytime they talked about it?

Having gone through the SOA process and now going through the UFE, I would proudly like to say that I would love to join their verbal love making session with debriefing. It is by far, the most effective way to learn – anything. As weird as it sounds, I’ve started applying the concept to my daily life. Now, you are thinking one of 2 things:

1) This guy has lost it
2) Big deal, we all learn from our mistakes

Agreed on both points. However, our learning from mistakes is usually based on bigger events, or mistakes we think are meant to be lessons – it is NOT a daily routine. Think about everything you do in a day, and how many things you could improve – well, lets get started. debrief your daily life – have a disciplined, conscious approach to the concept and I really think it can make a big difference.

Don’t believe me? Read this article. Yeah I know, its in PDF format..I’m sorry

Making of an Expert

An excellent article in the Harvard Business Journal – it talks about the fact that experts are made, and not born. As you go through it, you will notice that the secret to becoming an expert according to them, is debriefing.

To people who have never reached a national or international level of competition, it may appear that excellence is simply the result of practicing daily for years or even decades. However, living in a cave does not make you a geologist. Not all practice makes perfect. You need a particular kind of practice—deliberate practice—to develop expertise. When most people practice, they focus on the things they already know how to do. Deliberate practice is different. It entails considerable, specific, and sustained efforts to do something you can’t do well—or even at all.

Question to all past UFE writers – have you applied the concept of debriefing more frequently after having gone through the UFE process?
Question to all current writers – do you think I’ve lost it?

Posted by: SeeEhh | August 19, 2010

I’m already sick of studying…help?

When the SOA started, I was in Alexander the Great’s state of mind…conquer whatever I see, rape whatever it contains and loot it so that it can never stand up again. Well, maybe not that drastic but you get the idea. I was efficient in my studying – SOA classes in the day, one case written/marked/debriefed every night. It worked well for me, 1st decile in all the practice exams. The last week, I purposely took it easy – I did not want to get sick of studying and I felt I was in a good spot. I figured, dropping a decile or two wouldnt kill me. I ended up in the 2nd decile, didn’t really care as much and moved on.

Here’s the issue. This is the first week of me doing cases with my group – and its not the same as it was for the SOA. I’m almost ashamed to say this considering my competitive nature in everything I’ve done, but I just hate sitting down and looking at another case knowing the kind of crap I will encounter and finish losing more confidence than I had in the first place. The entire concept sickens me. And here I am, still moving along…2 cases a day. I even took Monday off, which is pretty bad considering it was the first day of our “self study” after the UFE course finished.

Today I took the morning off. So as you can tell, there is a problem. I need to bounce back – I need to refocus, and I need to build up my drive to kick the **** out of this exam. But I’m not sure where to start…BLAH

This process is so mentally exhausting, its frustrating. And i know, its made to weed out the week, blah blah blah, etc. I’m sure I’ll come out of it a better person and all that jazz, but dammit, it sucks to go through it.

Am I the only one feeling this, or are there more like me?

I leave all of you with this quote of Muhammad Ali…

Posted by: SeeEhh | July 30, 2010

2 down 1 to go…

I passsssseddddd OMFGWTFBBQ!!!!!111111!

At the risk of sounding like a complete douchebag, I would like to say that right before the exam, I was not too worried. Not because I think I’m the next gold medalist, but primarily because…well I am a douchebag, and also the fact that I did well on the practice exams.

The practice exams had given me a sh*tload of confidence as in the first 2 I placed in the 1st decile, when I thought I had utterly messed up both times. The third practice exam I was in the 2nd. So to be very honest, my studying declined steadily leading to the actual exam. I figured, that I was in the top 2 deciles, and even if I let go a bit (so that I did not start hating the fact I was studying accounting), I would maybe drop a couple of deciles and still pass. That is exactly what happened and I am happy it turned out this way.

That being said, WOOHHHOOOOOO to everyone who passed, but we still have that damn UFE left. The next few weeks won’t be fun, but you know what, this is it. As one of my friends said, the UFE process turns boys into men, and I guess girls into women (some really fine ones at that – I had to carefully select my seat so that I would not get too distracted during the exam 😉 ).  A few more weeks of hard work, and thats it…for now.

The way I am thinking about it, a little melodramatic to some, but I worked my ass off the past few years to get to this point, and I am not going to let 3 days ruin all that work for me. I will work harder than I ever have, I will give it all I got, and hopefully, totally dominate the exam. I want to be able to say that I really freaking wanted this, I went to get it, and now I have it. C’mon UFE examiners board, give it your best shot…I will be ready. BRING IT ON!

Posted by: SeeEhh | March 21, 2010

A whole new world

The title of this post was inspired by the following video.

Sue me.

Everyone tells you ‘Work is so different from school’, but you don’t really understand what they mean till you are put in that situation. It is very, very different.

I’ll keep writing about the differences I see, but let me start off with one I noticed right away.

No instant gratification – In university, you work hard on an assignment, couple of weeks later you get it back and you know how you did. You study hard for an exam, you soon find out how you performed. You work hard in a course, and at the end of the year it was all worth it because you were able to get that A. Its not the same at work.

You work your ass off, but you don’t ever get a complete understanding of how you did. It is not as simple as knowing you got an A. Plus, it is not limited to just 1 year as most courses. It is an ongoing battle of sorts. I see people who are more senior than me work their ass off every day not knowing when they will see a result for it. They might come up with an excellent method of improving a current process, and they might get a pat on the back for it, but that is about it. Once a more senior position opens up in a few years, there is no guarantee that the person who worked the hardest, will be the one moving on. Sure, there are small HR endeavors and your performance evaluations, but are they really the same? At school, you successfully complete all courses, and you are “promoted” to the next year. Not so at work. You work and you work, hoping that when time comes, you have done enough to become the one considered for the new position.

Or, you switch companies.

What do you guys think? How do you guys keep yourself motivated? What are some of the major differences you noticed when you started working?

Posted by: SeeEhh | March 18, 2010

Blog name/username change

Considering that I am not “Big 4 Bound” anymore, I decided to change things up a bit. My new identity is “See Ehh”. The blog address has changed to (, and the blog name/my user name have been changed to See Ehh. Sort of a new birth, or some crap like that.

Hopefully it wont take you too long to figure out why I chose See Ehh.

PLEASE update your RSS feeds/Email subscriptions. If you haven’t subscribed already, please do so using the links on the right. Please and thank you

Posted by: SeeEhh | March 18, 2010

I'm on to the next one, on to the next – Jay-Z

So I have been MIA for a while but I am happy to report that everything is a-ok, I’ve just been busy with work, life and most importantly, I’ve been lazy as hell lately in terms of writing a new post.

As I mentioned earlier, I passed the CKE…wooooooooooohooo. Funny thing is, I was shit scared about passing and somehow ended up in the 3rd decile. Not excellent by any means, but a lot better than I expected.

During the mock exams, my strongest subject was assurance and weakest was finance. I get my results back and I was in the first decile for finance and tax, and did poorly on assurance and PM. This worries me because it is said that these areas are extremely important when it comes time to the SOA or UFE. But, I was fairly comfortable with the material going into the exam, so I am going to blame my performance, or lack of, on the frigid conditions of the arctic test writing center.

Now, I’m on to the next one. SOA training sessions have already started. This is going to be a completely different animal. I have heard all sorts of stories, so I am hoping their experiences and my studying combine to form some sort of superhero ala Capital Planet, and I can successfully pass the exam.

As you can tell, this post added absolutely zero value to you. You are welcome. Don’t worry, I’m just getting warmed up – more good things to come soon, I promise hope.

Posted by: SeeEhh | January 8, 2010

A look back at the CKE


Considering it is a “non-disclosed” exam, I will have to respect the agreement I signed and not get into specifics.

As I said on the boards at My CA Site, when leaving the exam I felt as if I had been pushed off a cliff and was hanging off a slim branch with vultures circling above my head. No better way to say it.

Let me add, I put in my time when it came to studying. A lot of people said Densmore/PASS/Dunlop were representative – mostly Dunlop, while Norgrove was “too hard”. Bull***t. It was nothing like Dunlop, not in my opinion anyway. It was more towards the Norgorve side if anything. However, I must say that maybe its because I just wrote the exam that I have such negative views towards it. A lot of people told me that after you write it, you will feel terrible, but that is normal.

I’m not sure how it is every year, but this year a lot of people have said that time management was an issue. Personally, I went through the questions, skipping the ones I had absolutely no idea about (approximately 4 or 5). This left me with 40ish minutes for tax, after which I was able to come back and randomly fill in those answers, picking the choice that made my answer sheet look the most pretty. A lot of other “best guesses” happened as well.

Will I pass? I hope so. I mean its weird, because for so many answers you come down to 2 choices, and at that point its 50-50. Definitely will not be getting a lot of sleep on the 21st.

Posted by: SeeEhh | January 1, 2010

Happy New Year and some good news…

Just a quick note that I wanted to share with all of you. The last time I posted I was pretty “depressed” and all that jazz, but I am happy to say that everything has worked out. Can’t say much though as it will make it quite apparent who I am to the people who know me, and considering the supreme quality/content of my posts, I would rather keep that a secret.

My life in a nutshell

So thank you all for your support! Stefano from has been amazing throughout the process. Everyone else who commented on my posts and kept me encouraged, thank you!

So now, on to the bigger and better life…starting from the CKE

Posted by: SeeEhh | October 21, 2009

What next?

So it has not worked out. Couple of interviews with the Big 4 that I left thinking I did well on, but apparently I did not. So many questions, so many what ifs, so many “shoulda coulda woulda”s. Sad, disheartening and downright depressing.

This was it – one of my final chances. The closest I ever got. It seemed within my grasp and I somehow let it go. The past few days have been difficult. Very difficult, very hard. Its taken a toll on me for sure. The motivation for school, the way I am around people definitely changed. I have worked so hard for so many years to get in, and now its gone.

Not only that, so are the mid-sized…and apparently the good small firms as well. Shitty feeling. Every few days I have this internal fire light up that tells me to push forward, better and harder than before. But then, no results…another step back.

I know I have what it takes. I would not have made it to the interviews otherwise – and I am really happy for the opportunity I had. But man, why did I mess up?

So what next? Just keep at it…hopefully get into a small firm and make my way from there.

Sorry for such a shitty post, just needed to vent some more….

Posted by: SeeEhh | September 16, 2009

Too much information is bad information

So this has the potential of being one of those controversial posts which might irk a few, but that is what I do best 🙂

I know this is a very intimidating time for a lot of us and I know because I’m in the same shoes. Here is what I have found though, a lot of people are searching for the “perfect questions” to ask and end up regurgitating them at events. That is NOT what you are supposed to do.

With all of us bloggers around and great websites everywhere, there is a LOT of information that can be used in a very positive manner. But more than giving you food to spit out when you get there, they are giving you food for thought. Rather than memorizing these questions, UNDERSTAND why they are good questions. It is absolutely ridiculous man, I have seen people at events ask one of these “perfect” questions and then have absolutely no way of keeping the conversation going because they did not plan that far.

One question will NOT make you memorable. A ton of unrelated questions will also not make you memorable in my opinion. The whole point is to have a good CONVERSATION, i.e. a two way flow of words. You ask a question, you listen to the answer and then you follow up with another question or some insight of yours.

What we are lacking severely is self-analysis. Most of us show up at these events with a bunch of predetermined questions in mind that we are ready to spew in to the face of the first person we see. We have no idea what our strengths or weaknesses are, we ourselves have no idea why we are so interested in becoming a CA or work for a specific firm and we have absolutely no idea how the world looks at us when we are talking. All this leads to us having no insightful questions of our own that we TRULY care about. Most of us have never sat down and taken a few minutes, hours, whatever to understand ourselves, our goals or our aspirations. No wonder we trip and fall all over the place.

We have been given ample opportunity to learn how to fish, but we spend so much time collecting fish from others that we have forgotten the need to learn.

Sit down, analyze yourself, assess yourself – see what you look like in the mirror when you talk, look at your actions, hear the words you use, feel your confidence! FIX THIS! Then go out and see what you need to do. The questions will come.

Don’t get me wrong, good advice can be amazing. I have used a ton of websites to get some crucial information but I have realized that all I am doing is creating a building over a weak foundation. If you are better at this than me, then all the power to you. But I urge all of you to take a long hard look at yourself and fix yourselves. It will all go much smoother.

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