During my final undergraduate year, I learned about IMA® (Institute of Management Accountants) through my accounting professor and immediately expressed interest in it. My professor arranged a meeting with another professor, who was already a CMA® (Certified Management Accountant). As we talked, I knew right away that I wanted to be a CMA. After graduation, I polished my résumé anew with the phrase “candidate for the CMA certification” to impress my sweetheart, but I went unnoticed for more than a year.

After so many unsuccessful applications, I persuaded myself that with an MBA along with the phrase “candidate for the CMA certification,” I’d give my secret love no choice but to come running after me. At the end of 2010, I accepted an unpaid internship in Washington, D.C., just to be closer to the bank’s headquarters, and waited patiently for the announcement of the second edition of its World Bank Finance Associates program. I continued ignoring my inner voice telling me that having “Certified Management Accountant” on my résumé instead of “candidate for the CMA certification” would set me apart.

In 2012, the World Bank announced its second edition of the Finance Associates Program. I applied again and was invited for a two-day interview and selection process along with 15 other candidates. Disappointingly, I wasn’t one of the lucky candidates. Upon reading the rejection email, I drafted an email to the vice president of the Resources Management division to inquire about what I could do better next time, but my email never got a response. That silent treatment turned my sadness into determination. Without delay, I started studying for both the CMA and the CPA, and within a year and a half I was not only a CMA and a CPA, but I was also preparing for the Certified Government Financial Manager (CGFM) certification. Now the CMA arms me with management skills for internal decision making, the CPA allows me to stay on top of public reporting requirements and regulations, and the CGFM helps me keep up with governmental reporting and requirements.

The CMA certification boosted my confidence, and I knew it was just a matter of time before the right company came looking for me. For every interview I went to, I was much more relaxed and less stressed than I had been without the certification. I believe that confidence is what landed me my current job. Through this whole experience, I have learned that every disappointment is an opportunity to emerge stronger and better if only we have the courage to transform our experiences into positive energy.

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