A helpful, detailed plan for students to pursue a dual certification in obtaining their CPA and CMA degrees
This inspiring article is written by Steve McNally, CMA, CPA, CFO of Plastic Technologies Inc., and Chair, IMA Global Board of Directors.
The article extols the virtues of pursuing the CMA certification, which enables students to differentiate themselves from their peers and show their employers that they have more to offer by mastering this body of work.
The article also lays out a helpful, detailed plan for students to pursue a dual certification in obtaining their CPA and CMA degrees. The step-by-step plan is perfectly poised to begin during senior year classes, where coursework is relative to help students begin passing the CMA.
The article goes on to feature three young professionals who recently received their CMA Certification and are now pursuing a rewarding career track.
Michael G. Kelley, CMA, CPA, Operations Manager, Nike– Michael took the traditional route of taking the CPA and landing a position at one of the Big Four – he landed a full-time position at Deloitte in Miami after finishing up an internship junior year. But he wanted to fill the void in his senior year calendar and decided to study for and take the CMA. “I had always enjoyed my cost and managerial accounting courses,” Kelley recalls. He studied for three months at five hours per day, passed the exam and got more involved in various problem-solving challenges before moving across the country to take a position at Nike as a technical product owner. He’s now promoted to operations manager where he’s involved in supply chain analytics, data analysis and reporting, and process improvement. “[With a CMA,] you can get into operations, product management, data analytics and much more.”
Andrew Gutierrez, CMA, FP&A Manager, Subway– From the help of a professor, Andrew was accepted into a rigorous finance internship with UPS, whereby he landed a full-time position and was promoted to international financial analyst before completing his BS degree with a dual major in Finance/Logistics, Materials and Supply Chain Management at Indiana University Southeast. That same professor nominated him for the CMA Scholarship which would allow him to study for the exam at no cost. He started his CMA journey after earning his MBA. “I knew I didn’t want this opportunity to pass me by,” Gutierrez explained. “I’d been so busy getting my career off to a great start that I had put the CMA on the back burner. Now, it was time to get going.” He passed the exam and accepted a job as a financial planning and analysis (FP&A) manager at Subway where he has been for a year now. It’s a job that allows him to use a range of his accounting and finance skills, many of which were assessed on the CMA exam. “My supervisors have been complimentary of the perspective I bring to situations where strategic thinking and problem-solving skills are needed.”
Amy Wolf, CMA, FP&A Analyst, Vanguard– After discovering she loved her cost and managerial accounting courses, Amy felt that “becoming a CMA was something I always knew I wanted to do.” She was hired by Vanguard upon graduation from West Chester University of Pennsylvania as an investment operations financial analyst. She decided to take the CMA but found it challenging to make time to study so she enrolled in a CMA exam review course through Villanova’s College of Professional Studies. “I found the structure of having a live class, and target dates to sit for the exams, made all the difference,” Wolf explains. “Preparing for the exam helped give me a more holistic view of business. Shortly after passing the CMA, she obtained her current position. Her CMA credentials stood out to her hiring manager. Her new job responsibilities include forecasting, variance analysis and invoice reconciliation.
The IMA’s two-part CMA exam tests skills that are in demand by today’s top employers and covers 12 key components in two testing parts. IMA offers numerous resources to help students get on the path to success such as the CMA Scholarship, IMA Student Leadership Conference and IMA Student Case Competition.
Published since 1985, New Accountant is a professional print and digital publication edited for college accounting students and accounting professionals to prepare for a career in accounting, auditing and industry. For more information, please visit www.NewAccountantUSA.com; email [email protected]
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