How did Nick Pereira land his job at innovative vehicle manufacturer Tesla? Yes, it was his excellent academic record as a student at Brigham Young University. And it was also his experience at internships and his personal qualities of dedication, motivation, and hard work. But do you know what also helped? Passing the CMA® (Certified Management Accountant) exam. Nick did that thanks to his being nominated by his professor for the CMA Scholarship.

The CMA Scholarship is a program that allows motivated students the chance to pursue their CMA certification at no cost. Students must be nominated by faculty members, and IMA will award a maximum of 10 scholarships per school per academic year. To date, more than 20,000 students globally have received the CMA Scholarship, representing more than 2,000 colleges and universities from around the world and valued at more than $30 million.

Scholarship awardees receive a comprehensive package of benefits, including: 

  • Three years of IMA® (Institute of Management Accountants) membership while pursuing the certification
  • Entrance fee to the CMA program 
  • Exam support package with retired exam questions and a glossary of terms 
  • Registration fees covering both parts of the exam (additional fees will apply for retakes) 
  • Choice of course provider review materials (all regions, except China) 

Nick learned about the scholarship from his cost accounting professor at BYU, Steven Smith, Ph.D., CMA, who thought he would be a great candidate for it. Nick signed up to take the exam later that year.

Being a student definitely helped Nick as he prepared for the exam. “Nearly all of the material on the exam was covered in my accounting and finance classes,” he said. “In fact, Dr. Smith recommended that I wait until I took a finance-focused course before I sat for the exam and that was great advice. To prepare, I mainly did practice tests and went over any areas that were still a bit challenging.”

By the time he graduated from the BYU’s Marriott School of Business with his bachelor’s degree, Nick had landed a full-time job as a fund accounting analyst at Tesla’s offices in Draper, Utah. Nick feels confident that his having passed the exam helped him get the job offer. 

Nick offered this advice to students. “Anything you can do to help you stand out from the crowd, do it. Having passed a professional exam like the CMA can sometimes push you over the edge and can be the difference between getting the job or not.”

For more information on the CMA Scholarship program, please visit CMA Scholarship on the IMA website.