I’d acquired my bachelor’s degree in accounting in 2014 from the University of Buea in Cameroon, my home country. I was lucky to have started gathering professional experience immediately after graduating, first from volunteering as an accountant, then to working full-time as a general ledger accountant.
In the six years after obtaining my degree, I performed duties that required basic general ledger accounting knowledge, which I executed smoothly given my strong background in accounting (I was an accounting major throughout my secondary and high school academic journey). Still, I’d always yearned to obtain a globally recognized certification. With numerous options available to me, choosing the right one became crucial. For most young professionals, the impact that technological advancements have on the global economy and business plays a vital role in selecting the best career path. Given my personal purpose and desired career destination, I chose the CMA® (Certified Management Accountant).
Why the CMA? A thorough review of the exam content and curriculum revealed to me that the certification cuts across financial, cost accounting, and management accounting topics. By incorporating technology and analytics into the study materials, young finance professionals like me can prepare for the digitally evolving corporate environment of the 21st Century. I also believe that dreams of achieving career heights can only be attained with the right mix of qualifications and experiences, since luck best occurs when opportunities meet preparation.
While preparing for the CMA exam, I was able to apply some of my newly acquired skills to help reduce costs at my job. This involved employing inventory and internal control procedures that mitigated the commission of errors and fraud and instilled a sense of ethical consensus in the workplace. Using acquired knowledge of financial statement interpretations and budgeting also assisted in my strategic reporting and recommendations to management. Most important, however, after earning my CMA, I gained leverage that enabled me to change jobs and negotiate a better pay package with greater potential for career development.
I was then selected as one of five global participants in the 2022-2023 IMA® Young Professional Leadership Experience, where I took part in the IMA Global Board of Directors meeting last October and enjoyed a great networking opportunity with accomplished finance veterans. Thanks to these experiences and more, I’m just getting started on a fun and adventurous career metamorphosis.
I encourage all my fellow young finance professionals to equip themselves with the right tools and knowledge to handle the hurdles of the profession. If you want to constantly learn and challenge yourself—all while abiding by mandatory ethical principles—then join the IMA family.