I had been serving as a qualified finance professional in India for more than 10 years. My career was going well, and I had held various professional positions, including management consultant, corporate finance specialist, and financial planning and analysis (FP&A) specialist. In these roles, I had the opportunity to work on internal control activities and provide oversight for corporate governance and risk management practices.

But I felt I could do more and decided that I wanted to focus my career on the FP&A domain, which held the most interest for me. I also was looking for a globally recognized certification that could give me an edge and enhance my decision-making skills, ultimately helping me to secure a spot in the coveted C-suite.

In today’s highly globalized world, where new technologies such as AI, blockchain, robotic process automation, and smart analytics are rapidly becoming commonplace, I found the perfect solution in the CMA certification, which I learned about from colleagues.

I discovered that the CMA not only equips you with sought-after skills, but it also prepares you to add value at new technology companies that are always looking for professionals with advanced credentials. So I made the decision to earn my CMA and began a rigorous study regime to achieve my goal. I’m happy to say I passed the exam earlier this year.

As a CMA, I’ve learned to think “outside the box,” which is the core of success for any organization. In my role as a financial modeler, I’ve leveraged what I learned preparing for the CMA exam to create rigorous ad hoc financial models, which I have presented to C-level executives to streamline their decision-making process.

Earning the certification has prepared me to serve as a trusted advisor to the senior management team by using my skills and expertise in 12 critical practice areas, especially internal controls, risk management, cost and performance management, and, most importantly, planning, budgeting, and forecasting.

Now that the entire world is undergoing a major transition as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the insights and values added by a CMA—from an operational and economic perspective—are more important than ever.

To help ensure that I secure a space in the C-level executive “club” very soon, the next step I plan for my career is to take the CSCA® (Certified in Strategy and Competitive Analysis) exam. This certification will help me expand on the strategic planning and analysis skills I developed through the CMA and further enhance the value I can bring to an organization. I’m already actively preparing to take this exam, and I expect to complete it as soon as possible.

I didn’t go through this journey to the CMA alone. I sincerely thank my exam preparation provider, who helped me get ready to take the exam. I also heartily thank my parents, who have always encouraged me and supported me in furthering my education and pursuing my dreams, like earning the CMA as well as the CSCA.

Good luck to all CMA exam takers!

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