IMA Life: A Decade of ProgressBy
I started my professional career in the summer of 2009 with a banking apprenticeship in a small village in the heart of the Swiss Alps. Almost 10 years later, I found myself on the other side of the world in the big city of Orlando, Fla., at the IMA® Global Board of Directors and Committee meetings. What an exciting journey the last decade has been!
After my three-year apprenticeship and two more years at Switzerland’s largest bank, I faced my first major career decision: Should I invest my time in a career in banking or pursue more education? After much consideration, the return on investment (ROI) at the university seemed higher, and, as a professional banker, I of course decided for the higher ROI option. Thus, I started my university career in economics after five years in business life. I’ve never regretted this decision, and the longer I’ve studied, the greater my thirst for knowledge has become.
I also developed a desire to really understand topics in depth. After completing my bachelor’s degree, I wanted to better understand the subject matter. It quickly became clear to me that I wanted a master’s degree. I had developed a preference for numbers during my time at the bank, so I decided to specialize in finance and accounting. This is how I came to know IMA. My professor introduced me to the CMA® (Certified Management Accountant) certification and invited me to an information session at my university.
I quickly recognized the value of the CMA. Additionally, by receiving the CMA Scholarship, I received support toward completion of the certification. After five years of studying, my hope is that the CMA will give me the chance to summarize my knowledge in management accounting and to check what I’ve really learned and understood. I’m not pursuing the CMA to boost my résumé or earn more money, though it helps on both of these fronts. I’m studying because it’s an excellent measure of my deep engagement with and commitment to the topic.
Why the CMA and not another certification? IMA and the people involved make the difference. I participated in an IMA chapter event in Zurich where I met IMA President and CEO Jeff Thomson and many other IMA members. I really enjoyed the exchange of ideas and got an initial glimpse of the exceptional atmosphere within IMA.
This positive first impression was also confirmed in Orlando, where I had the opportunity to attend the IMA Student Leadership Experience. I gained firsthand insight into IMA, and I experienced an environment of incredible people with a passion for management accounting and who support each other and create an inspiring atmosphere. I am convinced that becoming a CMA is the right choice and that IMA will be a great support for my future journey.
Looking back, the last 10 years have been exciting, taking me from a small village in the Swiss Alps all the way to the United States. This summer I am graduating, and the next big career decision is waiting for me. I don’t know which direction I will take just yet, but I’m sure that IMA will accompany me on the journey. I’m curious to see where the next 10 years will take me.