The CMA is one of the most well-known designations in the Middle East and Gulf countries. Most companies require or prefer their employees to have it. In Saudi Arabia, CMAs are in better positions than non-CMAs, both financially and in terms of prestige.

After graduating with a degree in accounting, I started studying for the CMA exam on my own. I didn’t expect that it would be difficult to pass, but English isn’t my mother language, and it was difficult for me to understand the business and accounting language and the material. This is why I didn’t pass the exam the first time. I was disappointed because it was the first time in my educational career that I failed an exam. But I didn’t give up. I insisted on achieving my goal of earning the internationally renowned CMA credential.

I studied hard for the exam but failed many times. Every time I didn’t pass, though, I admit that I learned a lot. Becoming an IMA® member before getting my designation exposed me to a lot of valuable information through resources, such as IMA webinars. I really was gaining more experience and confidence. Then everything in my life changed when I passed Part 1 of the exam. I became more organized and had better time management skills. I still remember the moment I passed Part 2 and then became a CMA. It’s still one of the happiest moments of my life.

I’ve been working at Bin-Shihon Group Co., LTD. in Saudi Arabia in the accounting and finance field since 2008. I’ve held several different positions, and I was promoted to investment division director in March 2013. During this time, my leadership and communication skills improved, and the skills I learned from studying for the CMA exam helped me transition into a true professional in my career. I received enormous support from my father, family, and employer throughout my journey. My greatest value to my employer is in the areas of management accounting, analysis, and financial decision making.

I have begun focusing on specialized programs in leadership, wealth management, and organizational restructuring. In addition, what I learned from studying for the CMA exam helped me study for the Canadian CPA (Chartered Professional Accountant) credential. I really recommend to anyone who has an ambition to become a CMA to keep following your dream until you achieve it. I’m thankful for the experiences I’ve had with IMA in my career, so I plan to be one of its CMA ambassadors to serve all IMA members, professionals, and communities. No one should give up on their goals.

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