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IMA Life: The Best Version of Myself

By Arriane Steffi Bacon
November 1, 2022

Just a few months before my graduation from college in 2020, my sister, an accountant who had finished school several years before me, told me about the CMA® (Certified Management Accountant) certification.

 

As I did my research online and discovered more about it, I grew more interested. The CMA seemed like an excellent complement to my academic studies and a great way to increase my knowledge in critical areas of accounting and finance. I quickly resolved to pursue my CMA after graduation and set my sights on preparing for the exam.

 

Finding the time to prepare wasn’t easy. During the week, I worked a demanding job at EY Philippines (SGV & Co.). I also was very involved as a volunteer leader in the IMA® Philippines Chapter, serving in various roles including vice president for communications. To accommodate my schedule, I spent a few hours every evening after work reviewing and solving problems. I also dedicated my weekends to my review classes. Some days, I also attended IMA webinars on subjects such as strategic analysis, risk management, and financial planning and analysis, which helped me better understand topics covered on the CMA exam.

 

It was a challenging but fun learning experience. I learned a lot while preparing for the exam, and I’m proud to say that I passed both parts of the exam by August 2022 (and now only need to complete the work experience requirement to become certified). Being a volunteer leader at our IMA chapter while pursuing my CMA certification also became a great help in opening many opportunities I had never even dreamed of, such as participating in my first-ever chapter board meeting. Our chapter president helped me prepare and made the experience less scary. And now I’m much more comfortable not only attending board meetings but also speaking in front of large crowds. I’ve continued to be a chapter volunteer leader, currently serving as vice president for student chapter relations, chair of the student chapter committee, and chapter treasurer.

 

Being involved in my chapter and passing the CMA has given me so much—accounting and finance skills, to be sure, but also leadership skills, networking connections through IMA events, and an understanding of how CMAs can make a difference in the accounting and finance community. Passing the CMA exam was also instrumental in my recent promotion from business consulting associate to senior associate at EY.

 

My family and friends have always inspired me and are very supportive of my goals. During the time I was preparing for the exam, my family gifted me a shoe that has my initials and the CMA letters embedded in it. This gave me strength whenever things got tough. Being a CMA is not only for myself but a gift for my family and friends who believed in me and stayed by my side.

 

Being an IMA member and pursuing the CMA certification are two of the best decisions I’ve made in my life. Not only have I gained skills, but I’ve met and connected with people who inspire me to always be the best version of myself.

 

Arriane Steffi Bacon is a senior associate at EY Philippines (SGV & Co.) and a member of IMA’s Philippines Chapter. You can reach her at arrianesteffi.bacon@outlook.com.
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