First married couple recognised in ICAS Top 100 Young CAs
Marta and Wojciech Kuzma, who met while studying at Aberystwyth University, have moved through their big life and career moments together – including being named on ICAS’ 2020 Top 100 Young CAs list.
After graduating with a Business and Management with Law degree (Marta) and Business and Management degree (Wojciech) at Aberystwyth, they moved to St Andrews where they earned master’s degrees in International Business.
Due to a lack of experience, both struggled securing a graduate position after gaining their master’s. Marta eventually secured a one-month internship in Kuala Lumpur, working in marketing, sales and business development, before accepting a finance graduate position at Berwickshire Housing Association.
“This was my first experience of working as part of a finance team and I liked it so much that I completed Level 2 Certificate in Accounting with the Association of Accounting Technicians on my own initiative. I later worked as a finance assistant for two other organisations and I knew I wanted to become qualified to take on more responsibilities and develop my career.”
Like Marta, Wojciech found it challenging to secure a graduate job and worked in junior roles in retail for a few years, but knew he wanted a career in finance and accounting: “As I could not find relevant experience, I decided to invest in further study and signed up to the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants as a student. I worked full time for a local food retailer and studied in my free time, so it was a slow process, but I completed one exam (Business Law) before securing a graduate position with Audit Scotland the same year as Marta.”
After joining Audit Scotland, the couple completed their CA qualification with ICAS and passed all exams together. Since then they have continued building on their career and been promoted to Senior Auditors.
Being included in the Top 100 Young CAs list fills me with pride and motivation to give my best every day.
Marta and Wojciech, who married in a small countryside church in Poland in 2010, are amazed every time they experience big career moments together: “We met at university in Wales and completed similar degrees. Then we applied for our master’s degrees at St Andrews University and were both offered a place on the same course. Later we applied for the graduate scheme with Audit Scotland and were successful the same year.
We studied and sat exams at ICAS together and now are recognised for our efforts together. It reminds us that although we have our individual journeys, they are intertwined, and we are grateful we can support each other along the way”.
It is amazing that I can use my CA skills to contribute to society and that my efforts are appreciated!
Both Marta and Wojciech were recognised in the Trust category for their passion to give back to the community, exceptional technical skills and for supporting colleagues:
“Completing the ICAS qualification was a particularly challenging but rewarding experience, during which I developed many transferable skills. Being included in the Top 100 Young CAs list fills me with pride and motivation to give my best every day. I am happy that I work in Audit Scotland where my skills are nurtured and put to good use, and that I can also apply them in giving back to society through extracurricular activities”, says Marta.
Wojciech adds: “I feel immensely proud and pleasantly surprised to be recognised on the ICAS list, for things that I do because of my values. It is amazing that I can use my CA skills to contribute to society and that my efforts are appreciated!”
The global recognition, the sound foundation and the huge range of possibilities was what drew Marta and Wojciech to the CA qualification. Since graduating last year Wojciech has contributed to corporate work at Audit Scotland and as a trainee he was involved in the delivery of a training course for new trainees who were about to start their first final accounts work.
And he’s not the only one sharing his knowledge and experience freely with younger trainees. Marta also worked as part of a small team designing a new recruitment exercise for prospective trainees at Audit Scotland, which was very well received by applicants and assessors.
And the best career advice they’ve received, according to Marta: “A manager I used to work for pointed out that we spend much more time with our colleagues than we do with our friends and family, so it’s really important that we’re happy who we work with. I think it highlights the importance of a cultural fit between you and your employer.”
Wojciech adds: “Do not run away from challenges; we grow by facing them.”