My CMA Quest
Naomi Q. Angulo – CPA, CMA

I was an Accountancy student at San Beda College. I barely made it in this course and never with the CPA board examinations.

And so life goes on, and fortunately for me I have found a job at one of the biggest real estate developers in the country. It was interesting at first. Eventually I got so used with my tasks that it became so routinary, it was no longer a challenge for me. I started consulting this with my friend. He was very supportive with my struggles at work and suggested that I take CMA exams if I’m really up for something challenging.

I have already heard of this CMA credential during undergrad, but I really had no idea where to start. I researched everywhere and asked a few colleagues about it, until I stumbled upon Insights Financial Review School’s website. At first I wasn’t even sure if I would really want to take this certification course since I lost my self-esteem the time that I failed in the CPA board examination. Except for my parents and few close friends, no one knew about my plan to take the CMA exam. I didn’t let our company know. I even asked my parents not to tell our relatives. I was really scared of failure and I didn’t want everyone to know in case what I’m so very afraid of come true.

Early this year, I took the Part 2 exam and received a bad news. I couldn’t even explain what I felt that time. It’s like that I was already expecting for an unfavorable result. Of course, I felt bad about myself for being a failure once again. Looking at my results frustrated me. I almost made it! I just missed it by a notch. But all my efforts wasn’t enough. I failed.

Honestly, I almost gave up. I was planning to stop taking part 1. I already told my parents that I didn’t want to continue with the review anymore. Frustration and depression really got me this time. But then, friends that I met at Insights inspired me to give it another shot.

It took a lot of pondering and courage to push this CMA dream. I got so tired and frustrated that I made an all or nothing deal with myself. By August 2016, either I should be a CMA or be contented with my current life. I was scheduled to take Part 1 for June. I convinced Sir Angel, our course mentor, to let me retake the Part 2 in May. He told me that it was an aggressive strategy. I attended special review classes just to prove that I was really serious in taking both parts in one testing window. Sir Angel finally registered me for the Part 2 exam and at that time, it became very clear to me that I would be facing not one, but two giants.

To give myself a solid fighting chance I used up most of my vacation leaves to attend classes and study. I had to go to work earlier than supposed to be so I won’t spend overtime on weekends and be able to attend our regular review classes. To be honest, I literally cried countless times due to stress and fatigue. Somewhere along this journey, I found my grit. This was my “now or never” and “all or nothing” moment. “I will become a CMA after June 2016”, was all written on my face each day.

You reap what you sow. Dreams do come true. Such cliches really make sense. After all the disappointment, frustrations and sacrifices, I finally made it! As of September 2016, I am now a Certified Management Accountant. It was, more than anything else, a personal victory because I didn’t let myself down this time.

CMA is not just a challenge; it requires pure hardwork and dedication of your craft. No less.

So what’s next? That’s also my question actually. Right now I’m currently looking for other opportunities and I guess they are gradually showing up. For example, I was given a new and challenging task at our company after my boss learned that I passed CMA exams.

More than the things I’ve learned in this review, what I value the most are the tons of experience, lessons and friends that I will forever cherish. I guess you just don’t stop when you’re comfortable; you simply never stop learning and innovating yourself. You can achieve something you wouldn’t even think you can if you continue to challenge yourself and not settle for mediocrity.

About the Author:

Naomi Q. Angulo, CMA, was a Bachelor of Science in Accountancy graduate at San Beda College, Mendiola, and currently works as Treasury Associate at one of the largest real estate developers in the country.