|Hariharan Ramasubramanian, CMA
|Michigan State University
|Second year Doctoral Student
|East Lansing, Michigan
How did you first come across the CMA and what made you decide to go for it?
I came across the CMA in January 2017 at the Puerto Rico Management Accounting midyear meeting organized by the American Accounting Association. Lisa Beaudoin (IMA Director of Educational Partnerships) mentioned the doctoral scholarship to me, and I felt that the CMA would be a useful certification in the long run and could help in academic collaborations, research, and practice. The financial support IMA would provide was also a big motivation, and I decided to go for the certification as soon as possible.
- In what ways has CMA made an impact on your career or professional journey?
I think the CMA will help me with networking with management accountants in practice and help bridge the gap between academic research and practice.
In addition, I believe the CMA will play a key role in furthering my vision for educational systems. I’d like these systems to become, especially at the school level, less myopic. Currently stakeholders focus too much on grades and lose the essence of education. Focusing on short-term outcomes will ruin institutions in the long run.
Thus, convincing people to look at education from a “management accountant” angle and having a balanced scorecard approach of performance measurement can provide better solutions to the world. My colleagues and I formed a not-for-profit in 2013 named Raising a Mathematician Foundation (RAM Foundation) with this vision of having a long-term outlook towards education.
- What is your proudest career moment or milestone as a CMA?
Scoring the highest marks on the CMA exam on my first try has been an overwhelming experience. I was selected to win the Priscilla Payne Student Performance award, which is given to the top-scoring student in a testing window. I was confident of clearing the exams and had wanted to aim high. It was not easy to manage two seminar courses and an econometrics course while preparing for the CMA; hence the outcome is even more satisfying.
When I received the email from IMA about the award, I was in India for the RAM Foundation, and I immediately informed Hetal (my wife), parents, and brother. Hetal was ecstatic and informed my Ph.D. advisor. I started receiving wishes from the Ph.D. program directors, accounting department Chair, and the dean of our business school. That’s when it hit me that this is not your ordinary achievement. All the students whom I instructed, colleagues, friends, and Ph.D. mates were happy and proud. I hope this inspires more students at MSU to take up the CMA.
- What’s the best piece of advice you would give to CMA hopefuls?
Work hard. There is no substitute for it in the long run. Focus on the concepts and understand them well. Solving problems is an outcome of understanding the concepts thoroughly. It is very important to have a disciplined approach and develop a work ethic to expend efforts steadily and regularly.
- For those taking the exam, what study tip(s) can you share?
I would suggest working through all the multiple-choice questions and noting down the ones that you are not able to solve or solved incorrectly. While reviewing, it is important to understand the reason for the mistake.
While preparing, I kept a time limit of 10 minutes for 10 questions so that on the actual exam I could carry forward some time for the essay questions.
- If you could have one superpower in the world, what would it be?
I would create a debit card with unlimited money and shop my entire life.
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