IMA’s “My CMA” series spotlights valued members of the CMA® (Certified Management Accountant) community. Learn about their journey with the certification—and get tips on advancing your own. This issue’s featured CMA is:
|Name:||Ashley Patterson, CMA, CPA|
|Company:||BKD CPAs & Advisors|
- How did you first come across the CMA and what made you decide to go for it?
As president of the Missouri State University Accounting Club/IMA Student Chapter, I was encouraged by my faculty advisor, Dr. Olen Greer, to pursue the CMA. Dr. Greer also nominated me for the CMA scholarship. I was fortunate enough to receive the CMA scholarship, and I highly recommend others who qualify to apply because it makes it more affordable. It also serves as a motivator to get the process started.
- In what ways has CMA made an impact on your career or professional journey?
The CMA has helped set me apart because the number of people who have both the CMA and CPA is relatively small. It seems people are often pushed to choose one or the other, but having both has really helped to broaden my skill set, increase my confidence and increase my value as a young professional. The CMA helped enable me to think critically and approach problems in practical way.
- What is your proudest career moment or milestone as a CMA?
I was one of seven people selected globally to attend the 2016 IMA Young Professional Leadership Experience. I think being a CMA played a huge part in my being selected for that wonderful opportunity. I was able to get to know many of the IMA leaders and contribute ideas for bettering the organization.
- What’s the best piece of advice you would give to CMA hopefuls?
There is no down side to being a CMA, so go for it! Not only does it increase your skills and make you more valuable to employers, but it also gives you the opportunity to be involved with IMA. I have attended IMA events at the local, regional and national level and have been amazed at the high quality of the organization and people involved.
- For those taking the exam, what study tip(s) can you share?
Make a plan and stick to it. Life will always get in the way if you let it, so it is important to have a schedule and a specific test date in mind. My strategy was to look at my schedule and determine how many hours of study time I could comfortably manage in a week. I chose 10 hours per week because I was working full time. Scheduling your study hours by the week instead of by the day is very useful because you will have bad days where the last thing you want to do is pick up a book; and, you will have good days where you are really interested in the material and able to focus. It gave me a sense of relief knowing that if I wanted to take a night off I could easily pick up an extra hour or two later in the week.
- If you could have one superpower in the world, what would it be?
That is a tough question! I think I would either want to be able to be in two places at once or be able to time travel.
Share YOUR Story
We’d love to hear your CMA story! Please contact Pearl Chen, manager of brand content and storytelling, at email@example.com or (201) 474-1578.