Joseph J. Issa, son of Mr. and Mrs. John J. Issa if 54 Barbican Road, Kingston, Jamaica, at the age of 22, is the youngest Jamaican to pass all four parts of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) national examination at first sitting.
The CPA examination is one of the most difficult professional examinations in the United States with only 8-10 per cent of the candidates passing all four parts at first sitting.
The highest ranking economics/accounting major, Issa received the Massachusetts Society of Certified Public Accountants award as the most outstanding junior accounting student while at Holy Cross.
Issa was the first international student and the first economics/accounting major to be valedictorian at Holy Cross.
Elected to the prestigious Phi Beta Kappa honor society last year, Issa is also a member of Alpha Sigma Nu, the Jesuit honour society, and Omicron Delta Epsilon; an international honor society which elects students on the basis of outstanding ability in economics. He was named a Dana scholar in 1988, which recognizes outstanding intellect competence, good character and leadership. As an honors student, his honors thesis analyzed the “boom/bust” cycle inherent in the Caribbean industry.
Issa spent his junior year at the London School of Economics where he spearheaded the fundraising programme, “Educate the Children.” This programme raises money to purchase books for school children in Jamaica and other Caribbean islands. The project raised US$4,500 (J$24,750) in its first year, which helped to purchase more than 13,000 books.
Also during his time at the London School of Economics, he was elected treasurer of both the L.S.E Investment Forum and the L.S.E Afro-Caribbean Society.
While at Holy Cross, Issa founded the International Student Union, was a founder and editor of the student “Journal of Political Economy,” was a Eucharistic Minister, was active in the big brother and tutoring programs, disc-jockeyed reggae music for the campus radio station and served on his dormitory council.
Issa will be working with the Super Clubs chain of resort hotels (Hedonism II, Jamaica Jamaica – The Hotel, Couples Jamaica, Boscobel Beach, Couples St. Lucia, Grand Lido) His training in tourism involved working as a comi in the kitchen and as a housekeeper at the prestigious Grosvenor House hotel in London, England.
He also waitered and bartended at the Forte Hotel Village in Sardinia, Italy. As a Trainee Manager at the office, accounting and stores, and receiving departments. Issa comments that “it was good to work away from my family’s business because I was treated like everybody else and I was able to learn that much more about the hotel industry and how it works.”
Source: The Gleaner