IMA Life: A Mid-Career BoostBy
During my career, I’ve come across many finance professionals who possess great skill and experience but who are stuck, unable to ascend beyond a certain rung on the corporate ladder. The reason? They don’t have a professional certification. I was in a similar situation until recently.
After completing my undergraduate studies in 2002, I began working on earning a certification. I only got through half of the preparation, however, as I secured a full-time job and could no longer give enough time to studying. As the years went by, I did well in my career, rising to middle management. Still, I felt like I was missing opportunities for growth and lacked confidence to take on new challenges.
It wasn’t all in my head: A hiring manager who interviewed me for a job recently told me point-blank that I had all the skills for the role I was interviewing for but that I should consider completing a certification. That’s when I started looking for one that would add value to my career.
I didn’t have to look far. I had first heard about the CMA® (Certified Management Accountant) program in 2013 from one of my colleagues. He had been stuck at an analyst level for too long, yet after earning his CMA, he was promoted to supervisor almost immediately.
I enrolled in the CMA program in 2019 and became certified a year later. Now, I feel more confident contributing to discussions at work, and I’m sure my arguments carry more weight. When I’m asked for advice by mid-level managers in a controller or internal reporting role who are looking to advance their careers, I certainly suggest they consider the CMA.
Being associated with IMA® has helped me keep updated with the latest developments in the field of finance and the impact of technology. IMA makes it easy, thanks to professional publications, research reports, webinars, and other content available on the IMA website, all of which are available for free or at a very minimal cost to members. Even during the COVID-19 pandemic, IMA has ensured that members are apprised of the latest professional updates and information.
Another area where I felt I was lacking was networking. Getting involved as a volunteer with IMA’s Bangalore Chapter has helped me greatly. Serving as the director of corporate relationships for the chapter gives me immense pleasure. I get the opportunity to not only help CMA candidates find internship opportunities with large corporations but also to advocate for the CMA certification among other employees at such companies. And whenever I meet company leaders in my network, I also encourage them to have their companies sponsor the CMA for their employees.
I can’t thank IMA enough for helping me get certified and helping me stay up to date with everything I need to know in the field of finance.