After earning my bachelor’s degree in 2012, I enrolled in business school at HEC Paris and discovered my love for financial analysis and accounting. Thanks to inspirational professors and internships, I decided management accounting was my path. Among their most important roles, management accountants guide key business decisions, as well as help protect jobs and encourage employees to act ethically.

HEC Paris began a partnership with IMA® as I was completing my degree. I discovered that the content of the CMA® (Certified Management Accountant) exam addressed areas I hadn’t explored in my schoolwork; so I decided to sit for the exam, passing Part 1 before graduating and Part 2 shortly after starting my career at Faurecia Automotive Interiors.

When preparing for the exam, I participated in group study sessions and benefited from a seminar on test-taking tips organized by my school and led by IMA staff members Nina Michels-Kim and Lisa Beaudoin. Their advice to focus on time management was instrumental to my success.

What’s more, meeting these two passionate and confident women made me want to join the IMA network. I was reminded of my grandmother, who inspired me to pursue a financial career. She served as the bookkeeper of the family business my grandfather built in postwar Japan. For me, the IMA values of integrity, generosity, and agility align perfectly with what my grandmother taught me.

Looking back at my six years working in the automotive industry, I find opportunities to use the skills I learned as a CMA on a daily basis. In addition, IMA provides a solid framework and a common voice to a diverse profession that spans nations, industries, and company cultures. IMA has helped me keep a sense of purpose and identity throughout this time, where I’ve fulfilled four different finance roles. My current role in Slovakia as an assistant plant controller has been focused on helping the plant adhere to internal rules and processes in order to improve operational efficiency and protect against potential fraud. In particular, I coach and coordinate internal stakeholders involved in the validation and booking of vendor invoices. I’m proud that we were able to significantly smooth the process in one year while also strengthening company protection. The improved efficiency allows my colleagues from accounts payable, logistics, operations, and purchasing to spend more time on value-added activities.

As an IMA member, I’m grateful we can all inspire each other. In this respect, I would love to share my passion for the Japanese tea ceremony. This art, which derives from Zen Buddhism, holds immense relevance to our contemporary management challenges by inviting us to listen, plan carefully, and build bridges between people. Thank you, IMA, for encouraging us to continuously grow as leaders and embody the values of integrity and generosity.

About the Authors