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IMA Life: Just Get Started

By Linda Gibson, CPA
January 1, 2018
3 comments

I started my career as an analyst at a local telephone company and acquired a bachelor’s degree a little at a time from the University of Akron. As I continued my education, I had a variety of positions as an analyst and in accounting. I started as a collections clerk. As I took accounting classes, I received several promotions, first to a plant accounting position, then to the general accounting department, and eventually to deregulated accounting.

 

At the time, I was unaware of the CMA® (Certified Management Accountant) certification. I knew that I wanted a certification, and obtaining the CPA (Certified Public Accountant) was the only exposure I’d had to certification. All the while, I realized I enjoyed accounting within a company. I had positions where I used my accounting skills to solve problems internally, to do cost analysis on product, and to carry out managerial accounting tasks.

 

After finishing my bachelor’s degree, I took a review course to sit for the CPA exam. After a few attempts, I finally got my CPA in 2002 while working as a staff accountant for Diebold Inc. During this time, I became familiar with IMA® (Institute of Management Accountants) and became interested in the CMA certification. I realized that this was more in line with my experience, background, and interests in accounting, but I was a little apprehensive about taking on another test.

 

In 2011, I was hired at Stark State College as a full-time instructor and became the faculty advisor for the IMA Student Club. I attended several Student Leadership Conferences and encouraged my students to pursue the CMA certification, but I was still apprehensive about taking it myself. Someone once told me the best thing you can do is to start toward a goal because you will never know if it works out unless you begin. That’s what came to mind when I heard the encouragement at the Student Leadership Conferences.

 

Finally, in the fall of 2015, I took the Wiley CMA Review course offered at our college. I did it. I had started. I had intentions of studying and testing soon afterward, but that was interrupted by several family medical emergencies. I finally got out the review materials in the spring of 2017 and scheduled my exam. One thing I’d learned when studying for the CPA exam: You must persevere. When I took the CPA exam, I hadn’t passed the first time. This helped me when I approached the CMA exam. I had the Wiley materials, I had started, and the goal was attainable. What I needed was the determination to finish it.

 

I passed Part 2 of the CMA exam. In the spring semester of 2018, I’ll begin to review for Part 1 of the CMA exam, which I plan on taking this coming summer. I know that it will again take determination to complete the study and preparation. It isn’t easy when I teach full time and have other responsibilities, but I know my goal is within reach. I will start, and I will persevere because I am determined to see this goal through.

 

Likewise, I want to encourage those who have even a slight interest in pursuing the CMA certification—just do it! It’s very doable, and the IMA support for the certification and Wiley review materials make this an attainable goal for us all. You will be glad that you did.

 

Linda Gibson, CPA, is assistant professor at Stark State College and a member of IMA’s Canton Chapter. You can reach her at lgibson2@starkstate.edu.
3 + Show Comments

3 comments
    RAMJIYAHOO MAHADEVAN January 5, 2018 AT 12:33 pm

    VERY INSPIRATIONAL POST . THANKS A LOT FOR SHARING-

    Bud Kulesza January 5, 2018 AT 2:29 pm

    THANKS LINDA , FOR SHARING YOUR STORY. IT MAY BE CLICHÉ’ TO SAY THIS BUT EVERY JOURNEY STARTS WITH A STEP AND YOUR STORY RESONATES WITH MANY OF US WHO JUST NEED TO BE REMAINED THAT THE INITIAL STEP IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION TOWARDS SOMETHING BRINGS US THAT MUCH CLOSER TO ACCOMPLISHING SOMETHING !

    Lawrence S Jenkins January 10, 2018 AT 7:00 pm

    great story! i just passed part 1. reading this gave me a newfound inspiration to stay the course and tackle part 2.

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