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 The annual Accountancy SA 35-under-35 competition brings to light the sheer volume of successful CAs (SA), doing well not only in their careers but their personal lives and communities too. All of this year’s finalists were selected for their positive contribution in terms of leadership, career achievements and CSI initiatives, as well as their ability and determination to overcome challenges to succeed. Each week we will be featuring one finalist and their inspiring story.

Adnan Patel: Senior Lecturer in Auditing and Taxation at Wits University

In his final months of articles, Adnan was invited to present several guest lectures at Wits University. It was there that he came to the realisation that his calling was to serve others in an academic role, allowing him to share his own experiences with students in the hope of them becoming better professionals.

Adnan is passionate about his students, and life. Not one to shy away from hard work, he has always been somebody who takes on what others consider impossible challenges. “I need to be able to go to bed each night knowing I’ve done better than my best.” One of his biggest challenges has been finding ways to channel his creative side in his capacity as a lecturer. “They say that teachers change lives with just the right mix of chalk and challenges.” Joining Wits as a senior lecturer in the Taxation and Auditing divisions in 2014, Adnan co-ordinated two courses of considerable size and managed to establish himself within the faculty, receiving above-average performance ratings from the university.

“Having dipped my toes in the field of academia, I then dove in head first in 2015, producing my first few research papers, coaching and supervising honours and master’s students, and establishing new partnerships between Wits and the Big 4 audit firms, allowing us to expose our students to the world of public practice as part of their course assessment at the university.” Adnan was also elected as the head of the social responsibility committee at the School of Accountancy: “My vision is to improve the social environment of our surroundings, and to partner with firms in public practice in an effort to maximise the assistance granted to those in need and help future CAs succeed.”

Adnan is grateful for the impact he can make on a daily basis. He does admit though that he went through a phase of wanting to become a medical doctor (after watching Grey’s Anatomy). “But I think that’s because there were never any shows about sexy accountants!”

Epic Discussion

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