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Mother of two and full-time SAIPA clerk continues her study journey with Akademia’s Postgraduate Diploma in Taxation

In 2020, Chantelle van der Meulen, a student busy with her Postgraduate Diploma in Taxation at Akademia, joined this higher education institution at the age of 35. Initially, she enrolled for three modules (Financial Accounting, Commercial Management, and Taxation).

Van der Meulen started her SAICA internship after completing her BCom degree. ‘After getting married and having kids, I never completed it. However, I decided to finish what I started,’ said van der Meulen.

They later informed her that this internship expired and that her one and a half year’s SAICA internship would lapse. A year later, Akademia announced their postgraduate qualification, and she applied for the Postgraduate Diploma in Taxation. Thus, she began her journey at Akademia.

‘I felt that I stagnated in the area of studies for many years, but I decided to make up for it by taking on what I always wanted to. Akademia gave me the opportunity, and I grabbed hold of it with both hands!’ she mentioned.

Van der Meulen, who has two children, holds a full-time position as accountant and tax practitioner under SAIPA clerkship at Middel & Partners. She acknowledges that after-hours studies can be challenging if you have a full-time job, but that there is also a tremendous reward in it. ‘By taking responsibility for your own knowledge accrual, you take responsibility for your own future,’ she said.

The advice that Van der Meulen has for students who are working and studying is to manage time wisely and to prioritise studying. She is of the opinion that every aspect of her life must be prioritised as to maintain balance. ‘Also get used to the idea that you can’t keep everyone happy, but give the best version of yourself every day. If you are not willing to give your best in whatever you take on, you are doomed even before you start,’ she said. 

Van der Meulen said that she enjoys the classes at Akademia. ‘It is a privilege to learn in Afrikaans. Appreciate your lecturer’s efforts and enjoy the interaction with them and your fellow students,’ she said. ‘Online contact sessions late at night are convenient and allow me, as a mother and full-time employee, to be able to study and to fulfil my other obligations,’ she said.  

Van der Meulen went on to say that Akademia’s e-learning option makes it possible for those who are already working to obtain a quality education. Van der Meulen aims to complete her Postgraduate Diploma in Taxation at Akademia by the end of this year, as well as her SAIPA internship and exam. We wish her all the best in her career path and look forward to sharing in her successes.

Chantelle van der Meulen, a student working on her Postgraduate Diploma in Taxation at Akademia, mentioned that the institution welcomed her with open arms.