IMA’s recent Faculty Friday webinar focused on the advantages of pursuing the CMA® (Certified Management Accountant) certification as a student – from someone who’s been through it himself.

Adam Coyne, a graduate student at Xavier University in Cincinnati, led the hour-long discussion, titled “Pursuing the CMA Certification as a Student.” Coyne shared his personal story: He recently prepared for, and passed, both parts of the CMA exam in between graduating college and starting an internship at EY.

He offered excellent advice for faculty members, encouraging them to nominate students for the CMA Scholarship. Institutions can nominate up to 10 students for the CMA Scholarship every year. “It’s such a great opportunity for students that opens up even more opportunities,” he said.

In his talk, Coyne described the advantages of taking the CMA exam as a student:
  • Students are already in “study mode.”
  • The topics covered on the exam are, in many cases, those already being covered in college classes.
  • Students have three years to complete the exams; that’s more than enough time.

Coyne also explained the importance of creating a study plan. He gave a few options: (1) studying during off-school periods, such as during winter or summer break; or (2) studying during the school year and treating it like another class. Coyne noted that it’s recommended that a candidate study between 150 and 170 hours for each exam part, which roughly corresponds to a three- or four-credit class.

Following this advice himself, Coyne went to the library to study every day after graduating college, making it his full-time job and hitting the books between nine and five (with an hour break for lunch). He eventually passed both parts of the CMA exam on the first try; all he needs to become a CMA is two consecutive years of work experience.

To hear more insights from Coyne, educators (and students) can listen to a recorded version of the webinar (not eligible for CPE credit) on YouTube

Stay tuned for information on the next Faculty Friday webinar, which is scheduled for June 28 and will be led by Roopa Venkatesh, Ph.D., of the University of Nebraska Omaha. She’ll cover the process of gaining endorsement under IMA's Higher Education Endorsement Program

If you have a suggestion for a future Faculty Friday webinar, or would like to lead a webinar, please contact Jodi Ryan, CAE, IMA director of member engagement, at