I began by acknowledging what would be involved. I needed to allocate time for studying and to learn to balance these demands with my obligations at work and home. I needed to rearrange my priorities if I wanted to follow through with the required hard work and effort. Once I had this sorted out, I joined IMA® (Institute of Management Accountants), got my membership number, and paid the fees. With my lifestyle reoriented toward this goal, I studied hard, pored over the practice questions, and worked to become familiar with the exam sections and types of questions I would need to master. I made a plan for success and reviewed the materials ­continuously—ensuring, as I had been instructed to do by those with experience, that I could do the work within a strict time limit.

Finally, in 2012, I became a CMA. I can’t fully explain the happiness I felt when I received my CMA certification. It gave me a powerful boost in confidence and has since imbued me with an ongoing sense of success. My way of thinking completely changed, and I found myself developing solutions to financial problems with deeper insight. I am more informed when making decisions, both personally and professionally. Further, since the CMA is such a highly regarded certification, I have earned more respect from management and am now offered greater responsibility equal to my expertise.

With this exceptional skill set, I leverage my greatest strengths, and I routinely overcome my weaknesses to reach company targets. In essence, the CMA is like a signal that says, “Yes, I can.” I now have a ready proof of competence, one that carries with it global prestige.

Inspired by the opportunities afforded me by the CMA, I decided to again invest in myself and to become a CPA (Certified Public Accountant). With all the experience I had from studying for the CMA exam, I prevailed and became a CPA in 2015. I am now on a powerful track forward, a circumstance I credit to my early decision to chase my dreams and to my wife and parents for their support throughout the journey. Are you considering beginning this work? The CMA increases your chances at the best jobs with international organizations. My advice is simple: “Do not give up.” Yes, it is challenging, but only you can decide you are ready to say, “Yes, I can.”

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