Krasen works as a financial analyst for Philips, a giant consumer products company with offices throughout the world. He started as a project management trainee with the company in 2014 after completing school at American University in Bulgaria.
After moving into his current role, Krasen began investigating other development options, one of which was a CMA training program. “It comes recommended by my company to take the [CMA] exam,” he says. “I also saw it as being helpful to enrich my knowledge in financial management and improve networking around the company.”
After talking with the lead trainer at Philips, Krasen knew the CMA was the right choice for him. “I really liked what I read about the curriculum and that the fact it was one year and you could get certified,” he says. “The program was 10 months and we also had a mentor from the company to help.”
Once in CMA program, Krasen received Wiley CMA materials as part of his study package. He asked around and liked what he heard from his peers who had completed the CMA training. Their advice to him: Focus on completing all practice questions.
“I found the [Wiley] solution to be very flexible depending on how the person thinks,” Krasen says. “If you just want to take the questions or if you need deeper review, you can go to the videos or textbook.”
In the 10 months working with Wiley and his company trainers, Krasen learned a few things that may help other CMA candidates. He says: “I think there are things: 1) You have a plan on your calendar and you are planning for success and you have 100 of study hours and plan it very diligently. 2) You stick to your plan.”
For Krasen, that meant working around his busy schedule. “I’m more a morning person so I scheduled one to 1.5 hours of study before going to work,” he says. “I would miss a few days with my critical work but I tried to catch up on the weekend.”
Now that the CMA exam is complete and Krasen awaits full certification, he’s says the training has given him a newfound determination. “One thing is the certification gives you confidence to talk with people inside and outside of finance,” he says. “It also supports you to grow within the company. The CMAs–at least in my company–are highly regarded, so it’s helpful to further develop and totally worth it to do it.”
Many companies offer reimbursement for employee education expenses, up to a certain limit. The most common use is for graduate degree programs but this benefit can may also used to pursue certifications like the CMA, which can have a faster and greater ROI than a graduate degree. For companies, it’s often an inexpensive way to build a better trained workforce. Often, such arrangements require that you stay at the company for a certain period of time after receiving the benefits.
First things first, read your employee handbook and inquire about such benefits with your human resources department. Large multinational companies like Philips may offer actual training courses while others may simply reimburse your your review course material and exam fees.