Magazine article Strategic Finance

CMA Career Launch

Magazine article Strategic Finance

CMA Career Launch

Article excerpt

What do you want to be when you grow up? "Anything but an accountant" was my typical response as a child. Firefighters, police, and basketball players seemed to have more excitement in their careers. Also, my dad was an accountant, and, not knowing any better at the time, I assumed his work was dull. Obviously, I was rather naive as a child.

My perspective began to change in college, where I found my accounting classes interesting. I graduated from Hillsdale College in Michigan with degrees in finance and German. I didn't know exactly what I wanted to do as a career, but I did want to add value and enjoy my work.

I started my career as a financial analyst at a division of Stryker Corporation. I was shy at first and mostly sat at my desk as I dutifully prepared account reconciliations and month-end reports. It was a good job, but I was neither energized nor living up to my potential.

I shared with my manager my desire for more engagement, and he suggested the CMA[R] (Certified Management Accountant) exam as a career launching point. A careerlong CMA, he said the credential would help me achieve my goals and boost my confidence. I took his suggestion, joined IMA[R] (Institute of Management Accountants), and started my CMA exam preparation.

Shortly after that, I branched out at work: I left my cubicle and started building relationships with those in other functional areas. Through my CMA skill set, I found ways to partner with colleagues to add value to the workplace. I parlayed these experiences into a short-term assignment in Europe where I finished my CMA certification. …

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