I was a doctoral student at Michigan State University at the time and went to the American Accounting Association’s Management Accounting Section meeting in Puerto Rico. At that meeting, I met Lisa Beaudoin (then director of educational partnerships at IMA®), who told me about the CMA Scholarship, among a number of other opportunities. After researching the certification, I discovered that it would be useful to my career and could help in academic collaborations as well as with integrating research and practice.
Receiving the financial support from the scholarship was very motivating. I decided to sit for the CMA as soon as possible, despite having to manage two seminar courses and an econometrics course in my Ph.D. program at the same time. I took both Part 1 and Part 2 in February 2017. Although I was confident of passing the exams and wanted to aim high, I was overwhelmed when I received the news that I had scored the highest marks for a student during that testing period. This achievement earned me the Priscilla S. Payne Outstanding Student Performance Award, which is given to the top-scoring student in a testing window. Winning that award was a key factor in my being selected later that year for the IMA Young Professional Leadership Experience (YPLE), which provided an opportunity to witness the inner workings of the association. It was a tremendous privilege to meet many IMA senior leaders and to network with other young professionals from around the world.
My experience with the YPLE inspired me to continue my involvement with IMA. As a university professor, it’s my pleasure to tell students about my experience with the CMA. Numerous times over the years, I’ve invited Lisa to speak with my managerial accounting class about the benefits of the CMA and IMA membership. I’m also currently working with the IMA Europe office to find a way to offer CMA prep courses at the Frankfurt School of Finance & Management, where I’m currently on the faculty.
My advocacy for the CMA hasn’t stopped at the classroom, however. While I was preparing to take the CMA, I also encouraged my wife, Hetal Adhia, also a student at Michigan State University at that time, to pursue the CMA, and she did. She later was selected for the IMA Student Leadership Experience, where she too was able to attend an IMA Global Board of Directors meeting and network with other members and volunteer leaders. Hetal and I also attended the 2017 Student Leadership Conference in Houston, Texas, where Hetal received and accepted a job offer from Cummins.
We both are extremely grateful and happy for the opportunities IMA has provided to contribute in whatever capacity possible. I look forward to many opportunities of volunteering for IMA and supporting its mission to create awareness about the importance of management accounting.