The Journey Towards Chartered Accountancy: The Story of 2 MARA Students Pursuing the Prestigious ICAEW ACA

While there are some who feel empathy for the less fortunate, there are others who take it one step further and invest significant time and energy to affect change in the future of these people. According to a study done by UNICEF and UNFPA, there is nothing that these low-income families want more than an opportunity to build a life of their own with dignity and respect.

As we are well into the digital age today, gadgets such as laptops and smart phones that were once considered a luxury are now a necessity for work and study in most industries. Unfortunately, there are still people out there who do not have access to such resources, let alone the opportunity to pursue a quality higher education.

This is where organisations like ICAEW play a part in ensuring social mobility is achieved within targeted communities. Over the years, ICAEW has opened doors for many students across different social classes to pursue quality education programmes through their various financial aids and scholarship initiatives. While there are many related stories over the years, in this article we bring you insights from two MARA students who share about their story and experience throughout their ICAEW ACA and CFAB journey.

Nasreen Afiqah shares about how ICAEW has provided her with the opportunity to pursue a world-class professional qualification as part of her journey towards becoming a forensic accountant

Residing in Kajang, Selangor, Nasreen Afiqah studied at SK Taman Jasmin and later on graduated from Mara Junior Science College Transkiran, Penang in the year 2018. Nasreen is the second child of five children, with 3 sisters and a younger brother. Both of her parents work as bank officers at Public Bank Berhad, with most of her siblings still studying in their secondary school.

Nasreen believes that it was destiny that brought her to the Young Talent Development Programme (YTP) that was offered to her by MARA. With her counsellor’s encouragement, after receiving her SPM result, it was truly a blessing as this was MARA’s first time offering a chance to pursue the prestigious ICAEW qualification to SPM leavers. As it has always been Nasreen’s dream to become a chartered accountant, she decided to pursue the ICAEW CFAB programme because it is the fastest and most effective pathway towards the ACA qualification. Ultimately, the ICAEW CFAB programme successfully built a strong foundation for her in terms of accounting, business and finance to help her face the challenges in real-life situations.

From a very young age, Nasreen has always wanted to pursue chartered accountancy because her ambition was to become a renowned forensic accountant. Upon completing her ICAEW CFAB, her journey will continue on as she will be completing her ACA qualification at Sunway TES soon. With all the experience she has gained throughout her ICAEW journey, Nasreen is grateful that the programme has helped to mould her into a more competent individual through quality resources and hard work. While her journey may be challenging, the practices and trainings provided by ICAEW has kept her on track to achieve success through webinars and virtual skills conferences that she deemed to be interesting and highly effective.

Muhammad Shameer shares his inspiring journey being in the MARA YTP Programme as an ICAEW scholar upon completing his secondary education in Kuantan

Muhammad Shameer bin Shaiful is a 19-year-old student who is born and raised in Kuantan, Pahang. After completing his primary education at SK Pelindung, his secondary education in SMK Abdul Rahman Talib earned him the title of High-Performer within his school. He is currently pursuing the ICAEW CFAB at Kolej Professional Mara Beranang. With his mother as a full-time housewife, his father works as a general manager in a construction company in Kuantan. As the second child of four siblings, his younger brother is still in school while the youngest brother just recently turned one year old.

Shameer’s decision in joining the YTP programme came from his trust in MARA as a prominent organization that prioritizes student’s education into achieving their dream. Additionally, the programme helped decrease a tremendous amount of study fees (up to 75% covered), which he is extremely thankful until today. One thing that he particularly likes about the ICAEW CFAB is how the programme provides a wide range of subjects that goes beyond accounting and finance. As ICAEW qualifications include professional ethics in their modules, he believes that his employability will be enhanced as top companies are usually keen on recruiting ethical business professionals who are well-rounded and experienced in the industry.

With a dream of becoming a successful chartered accountant, Shameer aspires to manage a local company to global success one day and eventually becoming one of the first Malaysian in the ICAEW board of members in the UK. He will be continuing his ICAEW ACA programme in Sunway TES next year with hopes to kickstart his career with one of the Big 4 firms. Shameer had gone through a tough journey through ICAEW and while he has only begun scratching the surface, he believes that nothing is easy in this world if you’re striving for success. As Kelly Clarkson once said, “what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger”.


Interested to Learn How You Can Build a Resilient Career in Business & Finance? Here’s What You Can Do to Get Started…

If you’re looking to explore a career in the field of business & finance, you can consider pursuing a professional qualification to fast-track your career aspirations. Among the many professional qualifications, the ICAEW ACA is a highly recognised and sought-after qualification. It is also one of the most advanced learning and professional development programmes available.

School leavers or graduates from any background or discipline can pursue the ICAEW ACA at Sunway TES Centre of Accounting Excellence, one of ICAEW’s training providers in Malaysia.

To learn more, you can contact ICAEW via:


Related: The Story of the First Student to Complete the ICAEW CFAB in Vietnam


  1. […] A career path is a sequence of vital stages in life that leads you to fulfill your short- and long-term career goals. Career paths traditionally imply exponential growth or advancement, and to start, it all begins with quality education as it is an influential first step for every graduate in staying competitive in the field. According to a report by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the unemployment rate drops at each higher level of education. For example, high school graduates have an unemployment rate of 8.3 percent, while college graduates are at 4.5 percent. This is evident in the case of Shameer, a 20-year-old student from MARA whose inspiring journey was previously featured on ProspectsASEAN here. […]


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