As an assistant professor of accounting and the co-director of the Master of Professional Accounting program at Singapore Management University (SMU), my passion for providing students with a top-notch education and preparing them for careers in the accounting and finance profession has always been my driving force. This commitment recently led me on a transformative journey to pursue both the CMA® (Certified Management Accountant) and CSCA® (Certified in Strategy and Competitive Analysis) certifications.
The catalyst for my pursuit was witnessing the positive impact and value of the CMA Scholarship on my students, thanks to my role as the IMA campus advocate at SMU. Inspired, I decided to lead by example and obtain the CMA certification, enriching my knowledge and gaining practical insights to share with my students.
Upon achieving my CMA, I became aware of the valuable CSCA certification also offered by IMA. The content of the exam perfectly aligned with my teaching objectives, making it an obvious choice for me to pursue. The knowledge I acquired through the CSCA proved invaluable, particularly in understanding business strategies, which is a crucial aspect for financial planning and analysis as well as business valuation. This knowledge empowers me to guide my students in comprehending how the business landscape influences financial decision-making processes.
Both the CMA and CSCA certifications have been pivotal in my professional growth. They equipped me with specific skills and knowledge that have enhanced my role as an educator, ensuring the content I deliver remains relevant and up to date with industry practices. Moreover, they embody my commitment to lifelong learning and serve as a constant reminder to my students of the importance of continuous professional development in our ever-changing field.
As the winner of two gold awards for achieving the highest score on the CMA exam in September 2022 and the CSCA exam in March 2023, I strive to support and inspire others within the accounting and finance community, especially my students. I lead by example, showcasing the value and benefit of professional certifications.
To those currently preparing for these exams, I advise embracing the challenge and recognizing the immense value of the knowledge gained throughout the process. Stay consistent and maintain a steady pace, knowing that your efforts will be rewarded in the end. I acknowledge that managing time between exam preparations and other commitments can be demanding, but with a well-defined plan outlining weekly objectives and dedicated study hours, everything becomes more manageable.
During my CMA exam preparation, I relied on comprehensive practice questions to reinforce my knowledge effectively. To excel in the CSCA exam, I enrolled in the IMA Strategy and Competitive Analysis Learning Series®, which equipped me with the necessary skills and insights.
To my fellow academic professors considering these certifications, I strongly encourage you to seize the opportunity to become students once again. These certifications offer firsthand insight into the challenges and dedication required for effective learning, and they keep us abreast of industry trends, enriching our teaching and research.
Looking back on my journey, I’m grateful for the opportunities provided by the CMA and CSCA certifications. They have not only enriched my teaching but also empowered me to contribute more effectively to the accounting and finance community. These certifications are a testament to my dedication and passion for my profession, and I’m thrilled to inspire others to follow a similar path of professional growth and success.