Introducing NINJA CPA Blogger Jeanie

21 Mar 2013


Jeanie is a new NINJA CPA Blogger.

Another 71 – If I had ONLY come that close in any of my previous attempts I believe that I would be less discouraged than I am in this moment.

My path to here, to today has been a long and rather painful one – filled with regret and frustration. My new leaf, being turned over today as I write this, is that I can do this and I will do this. I will be Jeanie Winstrom, MA, CPA.

Forever Forward is the motto of my Alma mater, Seton Hall University in scenic South Orange, New Jersey, and I need to continue to move Hazard Zet Forward.

In the fall of 1985, when I arrived on campus as a freshman, I never expected to be sitting for the CPA exam almost thirty years later. How did I get to be 46 years old? How did I not attend to this, not take care of this, and not get this off my life and to do list a LONG time ago?

Well, for starters, because of my financial and family circumstances, I was not able to finish college in the traditional four years; in fact, I developed my own special program that I lovingly refer to as the nine-year undergraduate plan. It was long, it was painful, I was working full time after the first two years, but I managed to graduate.

I remember taking a deep breath and thinking that the LAST thing that I wanted to do was to study for and sit for an exam. I had a great job with ADP, I was on a good career path and just did not see the need to have those little initials after my name.

I then decided that I missed having a very full set of spinning plates in the air, so I returned to school for a masters in organizational development, again, still not seeing the need for that silly exam – I was doing great, what did I need that license for?

My career shifted, I changed jobs and was out of work for a bit and a very direct head hunter told me that he was having trouble presenting me because I did not have my CPA and it just did not look right.

Oh my. What to do?

Thanks to a very supportive investor in my education, I began the my review during that period of unemployment. My course materials arrived and seemingly five minutes later I was offered a great job – a job that was six or seven days a week, very long hours and poof, there went that attempt at the exam.

Fast forward to 2004, laid off again, I relocated to Montana to join my husband and help to build his/our business. I did obtain a non career job and decided I would try again after a few years.

I watched the lectures on my laptop, I listened to them in the car, I did the practice questions, I participated with my classmates in the online forum. I thought that I was doing everything right – I sat for the first section, three hours from home, I got a good night’s sleep, I was pumped, I was ready.

I failed miserably.

I was devastated and because I had signed up for all four parts at once and they were paid for, I had a lot invested in this process, so I kept going, again and again, drive to Spokane after work on Friday, stay in the hotel overnight, go to the test center, feel pretty good about it and then the scores show up in the mail.

I am not a failure, but this experience has been very humbling to say the least.

Last November I started to think again about achieving this goal and found Another71 – a more common sense approach for me. So, you may ask, what have I accomplished since I signed up last November?

Not a whole heck of a lot. I have listened to the lectures all the way through once or twice; I have copied the NINJA Notes about a third of the way through. I am scheduled to sit for REG on May 4th. I need to get myself in gear here and away I go!

Forever Forward!


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