Holly ChaseFor Holly Chase, assistant professor of accounting in Alfred State College of Technology’s Business Department, earning the CMA® (Certified Management Accountant) certification helped her fall in love with accounting.

As an undergraduate, Holly majored in business administration, with minors in economics and management information systems. She admits that she didn’t enjoy her accounting courses very much, but that didn’t disrupt her career trajectory. She spent 10 years in industry, working at several companies, including the Kraft Heinz Company as a financial analyst. About four years ago, she also earned her MBA.

Around the time she earned her MBA, Holly also made the transition from practitioner to professor. And she eventually thought that earning her CMA would be a bonus for her teaching career.

“I was especially interested in some of the new topics on the exam, including data analytics and supply chain,” she explained. “As I prepared for the exam, I found that I really liked managerial accounting–and I found it a great complement to what I had learned in my MBA program.”

Holly just recently became a CMA, and she’s especially looking forward to incorporating some of the exam content into her coursework. She’s got a hefty course load: She is curriculum coordinator for Alfred State’s accounting department and also teaches core business courses. Of course, things have been especially challenging this past semester, with her school going to a hybrid virtual/in-person teaching model, but she’s optimistic.

“I know my students are going to really benefit from the new knowledge I gained by preparing for the exam,” she noted. “Many of them aren’t fully aware of the options available to them outside of public accounting. With the need for skills in areas like data analytics, management accounting can offer an exciting, interesting, and promising career path.”

Reflecting on earning her CMA, Holly concluded, “I feel accomplished to finally have some recognition for all of my career experience in the field. I really enjoyed taking a deep dive into the academic portion of managerial accounting.”

Alfred State College of Technology is part of the State University of New York (SUNY) system. Visit the school's website for learn more about Alfred State's accounting degree program. For more information on the CMA program, please visit CMA certification.