IMA LIFE: Standing Out with the CMABy
The CMA® (Certified Management Accountant) exam is more than just a managerial and financial accounting test. It’s a marketable and valuable asset that’s a worthwhile but challenging investment requiring a tremendous amount of time and dedication.
In 2007, I graduated from the business school of Beirut Arab University in Lebanon with a bachelor’s degree in management and a scientific distinction for ranking first among the 500 Management section students. That same year I started my professional life as a financial control officer in the Financial Control department at Arab Bank in Dubai, UAE. I spent three years there and then moved to Union National Bank in Abu Dhabi, joining the Financial Internal Control department as a financial reconciliation officer for one year. In 2011, I entered the Islamic banking industry and started a new chapter of my career at Dubai Islamic Bank (the world’s first full-service Islamic bank) as a relationship officer in the Corporate Banking department. In 2011, I received my CIMA (Chartered Institute of Management Accountants) diploma in Islamic finance, and in 2012, I earned the Islamic Finance Qualification (IFQ) in Islamic finance from the Chartered Institute for Securities & Investment (CISI).
I know that the key to success for many people is to continuously develop their professional, analytical, creative, and practical skills. So in 2014 I decided to increase my investment in myself and demonstrate my commitment to my profession by earning the CMA credential. I knew that passing the CMA exam would take a lot of time and hard work, especially since people I had met failed the exam. Studying for the exam, working nine hours a day, and taking care of my family took a toll on me, but I always thought positively and didn’t give up.
In April 2015, my dedicated, exhausting, and time-consuming journey came to an end—I became a CMA! The journey was challenging but also filled with joy and knowledge enrichment. It taught me how to leverage my strengths and overcome my weaknesses to increase my opportunities. The CMA exam changed my way of thinking, both professionally and personally. It also provided me with a wide range of skills that allows me to solve problems in different and more effective ways than before I received the certification. Earning the CMA gave me a mix of expertise in financial accounting and strategic management and shows my mastery of financial planning, analysis, control, decision support, and professional ethics.
As a CMA, I’m more confident in my day-to-day work, my decisions are more accurate, my analysis of proposals has improved, and my judgment is more professional. I can’t fully explain how the CMA has changed my professional life since it has made me a much better person at all levels, especially thinking positively under pressure.
I would like to thank my parents for their continued support, my wife for all of her help and support during my CMA journey, and my daughter Amna, who is the source of my motivation.