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Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Award Winner Spotlight - Mark Connolly

Mark Connolly
Assurance Associate
New Haven, CT
New Haven, Conn., assurance associate Mark Connolly is one of four McGladrey employees recently awarded the 2014 Elijah Watt Sells Award by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants for outstanding performance on the Uniform CPA Examination.

"We are all very proud of Mark and his accomplishment," said Connecticut office managing partner Tony Ceci. "Clearly his hard work and passion paid off and will be part of a winning formula for his success in the future."

Mark join McGladrey in 2013, after a year as an XBRL research assistant at the Financial Accounting Standards Board. He graduated from University of Connecticut in 2011 with degrees in accounting, economics and resource economics. He said he heard of the award when another UConn graduate earned it in 2011. Although he was aware of the award, his primary goal was simply to pass all sections of the exam the first time.

"Congratulations to Mark for achieving this outstanding distinction as one of the top performers in the country," said northeast regional assurance leader Joel Shamon. "Mark has demonstrated a commitment to excellence and expertise, which is consistent with the vision and values we deliver to our clients throughout the year."

Mark's advice for other associates who will take the CPA exam is to do it as early in your career as possible, when you have the most time available to study. In addition, communicate to your team that you are preparing for the exam. In Mark's case, he kept his team informed, and his team supported him throughout the process by ensuring he had the time to study and take the exam.

Then, once you have the time to study, Mark said sometimes the hardest part is just starting. "You need the discipline to begin studying and to create a routine, because it is too easy to procrastinate and put it off," said Mark. "Set the right expectations for yourself and then hold yourself accountable."

Now that the exam is over, Mark is looking forward to getting back to his passion for kayaking and camping, and hopes to take a summer trip down Maine's Allagash River.

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