My Road to the CMA

By Abdelaziz Eltom Abdelmagid, CMA
April 2, 2016

Back in 2000, I was a junior accountant who, given the more limited communication technology of the day, had little interest in building professional connections online. But as the years passed, I noticed that one of my colleagues who had gotten his CMA® certification was making considerable advances in his firm. In fact, he went on to lead the finance team. I was intrigued by his professionalism and financial management skill set, and I determined that I, too, would go after the keys to my own career potential.


After making the decision to take the CMA road as well, I attended seminars in both Riyadh and Dammam, KSA. But I faced many obstacles. I was not familiar with the exam style, and a long time had passed since I’d studied my accounting books. The certification was a serious financial investment, and doubts crossed my mind about the expenditure because, after all, given the exam’s high standards, my success was not guaranteed. I knew many CMAs had probably felt the same reservations, so I sought out motivation and support from people who had passed and could offer me insight and advice.


Fortunately, I met Dennis Whitney at an IMA® (Institute of Management Accountants) seminar in Dammam in 2008. Mr. Whitney is an IMA senior vice president who assured me about my course. He helped me shift from a focus on the money I was going to spend to recognition of the investment I was making in my career. Inspired and emboldened, I accepted the challenge. I paid for the IMA membership and the books, and I threw myself into preparation for the exam. It did not come easily, and because I struggled with the time constraints of the exam, I failed in my first attempts. But I was not deterred. I worked hard until I passed the exam.


Looking back on my work pressures, family commitments, and all the studying required, I know it was worth all the money, time, and sacrifice because the CMA has added so much to my career. Regardless of the changes impacting our business or shifts in the greater economic landscape, I am able to help the firm adapt and come out on top. Whether I am presented with the prospect of a merger, restructuring, or any other volatile prospect, I am more confident and competent when I make decisions, and management trusts my judgment as a stabilizing force or an agent of change. With the certification added to my profile, I have the necessary knowledge and skills to handle complicated business cases, and I know that the reputation of the CMA certification reinforces my ­professional standing.


IMA keeps me current on new approaches in management accounting. I value my IMA membership, attend all the IMA seminars I can, read Strategic Finance magazine for coverage of vital topics in business management, and promote IMA’s many benefits among my colleagues. Getting the CMA certification marked a new beginning for my career, and I look forward to taking it to the next level.


Abdelaziz Eltom Abdelmagid, CMA, is the finance ­manager for Riyadh Al Dakheel Group in Dammam, KSA. You can reach him at aeltom@rde.com.sa.
1 + Show Comments
1 comment.
    Omnia Hassan September 1, 2016 AT 1:19 pm

    This is a good experience to share, and it is a good one as I have sat for the exam and I was not successfull am happy to be encouraged by an experience.

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