Here to help

May 01, 2018
John Crehan, 2018 Chair of CASSI, is steering the committee towards mental health awareness and student support.

What do you hope to do for CASSI while you are at the helm?

As CASSI chair, I want to continue on the great work done by past Chairs and committees and aim to further engage with students to let them know there is an active body whose sole purpose is to promote their interests. I am also currently in the process of organising mental health initiatives, like hosting sessions with mental health organisations and the Institute in Dublin and Belfast. My aim is to host more of these sessions nationally to support students’ well-being. 

What other activities do you do outside of your work and Chartered Accountants activities?

Outside of CASSI, I am preparing to sit the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) Level 1 exam in December. I am also volunteering at the FinTech conference, MoneyConf, being held in Dublin this June. I firmly believe that we must constantly seek to enhance our knowledge and understanding of the industries in which we work.

After I qualify and finish my training contract, I plan to use my Chartered Accountancy skills to move into a financial analysis/equity research position in a major financial centre, such as London or New York. I believe studying for my exams and my time as Chair of CASSI will provide me with the skills, knowledge and experience necessary to help me achieve my goals.

What advice would you give to students about to go through exams?

As the exam season comes upon us, I would like to advise students not to panic. Those feeling stressed or overwhelmed should come along to one of the regional committee talks (Aware NI in Belfast and Mental Health Ireland in Dublin) where we will be discussing ways to manage stress, as well as various exam techniques. 

I would also suggest students start studying as soon as possible. Prepare your notes before study leave and upon starting study leave, get stuck in immediately. The hard work you put in now will pay off later.

During your study leave, do not get overwhelmed by the volume; calm heads will always prevail. If you still feel anxious and do not feel you are able to keep on top of it, please reach out to myself or the Institute and flag any issues as early as possible so we can best help you. 

Aside from studying, I would also advise students to take some time off to meet with friends, exercise, and go out. It will be very detrimental to your studies and mental health to seclude yourself away for months.

If people want to get involved in CASSI, how do they go about it? 

For students who would like to get involved with CASSI, I would advise them to first become a member of a regional society and attend CASSI meetings. Being part of CASSI has taught me communication, time management, leadership, budgeting, organisation, stakeholder management and many more skills. It’s a great opportunity to expand your network and make some great friends all over Ireland along the way.