When Jacqueline Jedlicka looked back on all that she accomplished, she really didn’t know how she got through it. She was working full time, taking classes to finish her double-major undergrad degree from Georgia Southern, and studying for the CPA exam.
When asked how she managed to do it all, she threw up her hands. “I really didn’t have any choice,” she said to herself. “And lots of other people are faced with some of the same challenges, so I just put my head down and got it done.”
At the time, Jacqueline was a Staff Accountant at a firm in Macon, Georgia–responsible for auditing banks and other financial institutions. “There was a lot of responsibility associated with that kind of work,” she says, “including a lot of overnight commuting, which made studying difficult.”
Jacqueline started her exam journey on Labor Day in 2019 and ended it about one year later in September of 2020 amid the COVID-19 pandemic. The year took its toll on her, not only because Georgia basically shut down for much of that time, but because studying and working was all-consuming for her.
“I am a morning person, so I’d get up really early in the morning, because my brain just functions better. It was easier to get my studying done before work. Then I’d study on my lunch breaks and on the weekends. It was full-on immersion.” She laughs quietly and pauses, as if to remember the strain of all that effort. “I studied for most of that year, pretty much the whole time.”
The effort paid off. She passed three of the CPA exams on her first try, and one, FAR, on the second. “I took FAR in January on the first available day, because I had put a lot of time in studying during that previous December. I even studied Christmas morning. I thought I put as much work in as I possibly could, so when I got my score back and I didn’t pass, I was so disappointed.”
Despite that relatively major setback, Jacqueline felt that Wiley served as a capable partner. In fact, she grew familiar with Wiley before studying for the CPA exam. Jacqueline was Wiley’s campus ambassador at Georgia Southern. That role serving as a representative for Wiley eventually enabled her to gain free access to the Wiley CPA Exam Review product.
“The whole Wiley thing was a nice surprise,” she says. “I applied for it before knowing how good it would actually be for me. But it turned out it really worked for me and the way I learn.” Jacqueline is partially a visual learner. She watched all the video lectures at least once. But while she watched the lectures, she’d hand-write her notes. “I guess I’m a more of an old-school learner. I want the physical book in my hand, and I want handwritten notes.”
When times got tough for Jacqueline, she looked inward and found the strength to power through. “It’s during the difficult periods, where if you really want something, you don’t really have any choice. You just have to get it.”
Today, Jacqueline’s can-do/must-do attitude is being put to good use at TJS Demeer Dana, an accounting firm in Dublin, Georgia. Her CPA exam experience boosts her confidence, elevates her leadership skills, and makes her an even more valuable asset to her organization.
“I feel like I’m ready for anything now,” she says. “It’s been a long process and an interesting journey, but ultimately a rewarding one.”