An Unexpected Blessing

CMA Quiz Bowl_Judy BayawaGod’s grace is not the light at the end of the tunnel; it is the light that leads us through it. Truly, His grace is sufficient in sustaining me all throughout my CMA journey. Let me share with you my exciting experience.

I first heard of the “CMA” title through one of my instructors in the academe but I never knew what it really was. Months later, there was an invitation from Insights for the 1st CMA Quiz Bowl. I just joined for fun and experience so I never really expected a good result. Unknowingly, it turned out that that was my first big step in joining the CMA profession. It was a great blessing and opportunity for me because I obtained the CMA Program full scholarship when I emerged as Champion in the BSA category.

Preparing for two tough international certification exams in one month has been exhausting. I was really challenged to balance my time for the CPA exam review, and the CMA marathon review that ensued. While reviewing the MAS (Management Advisory Services) subject for the CPA board exam, I also studied the related topics in depth for the CMA exam. Sir Angel always monitored our progress on the review through giving us lots of materials, test drills, assessment exams, and advices and encouragements.

There was barely a 2 week gap between the CPA (Oct. 12 ’14 as last day of exam) and the CMA exams (Oct. 28 and 30) so I really prayed hard and really crammed to finish answering some materials, Wiley test bank, etc. Then came the CMA exam, I don’t really know what to expect so I just let out a deep breath and started answering the questions.

Time pressure was the greatest challenge during the CMA exams because candidates are expected to answer 100 multiple-choice questions over a period of 3 hours only, or at the rate of 1.8 minutes per item. The crucial part, I believe, was on the essay portion of the exam once you complete and “passed” the minimum score on the MCQ section. The essay portion comprise of 2 case scenarios where candidates are given 5-6 sub-questions per case scenario. Analysis, computation and lots of “Business English construction” are needed, like you as a consultant give advices to your client or top management.

Thankfully, I survived the 2 day exam.

Insights CMA Scholar_Judy BayawaAfter a month and a half, all of my CMA batchmates were eagerly waiting for the results. The sun brightly shined on the morning of December 12 and I knew then that I passed the exam. I was overwhelmingly overjoyed that I smiled all the way to work looking crazy. I said to myself, “so this is the feeling of becoming a CMA!”

Conquering fears, going out of your comfort zone, and trusting God were some of the many things that I learned in this journey. A realization came to me that day: God uses little happenings in our life in preparation for a greater and bigger plan.

Let us not ignore opportunities that come our way; rather, we should grab them because they may never come again.

I want to encourage the CMA hopefuls to never give up because all of those sacrifices, time, and effort will always be worth it once you earn the title. Dream high and strive for the gold!

Lastly, I want to share this victory with my parents, friends, and the Insights Financial Review Family. Without you, I would not be writing this wonderful story.

To Sir Angel who has been very supportive to us, advising us not only about the CMA exam, but also about our career and future plans, my deepest gratitude, sir!

Most especially, to the Almighty God who is the source of everything, to Him be the glory!

Hurray to the Insights Family!


The author, Judy Bayawa, is a BSA graduate from the University of the Cordilleras in May, 2014. She passed the Oct’14 CPA examination, and the 2-part CMA examination in the same month. She is currently working as an Audit Associate at SyCip, Gorres, Velayo & Co. (SGV & Co., CPAs).

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