“Road to CMA”, this way
Angelo B. Villadores – CPA, CMA

It all started during my last years in college when I was designated to represent my school for a competition. I was one of those fortunate students who would frequently be sent off to inter-school competitions, and out-of-town conventions. The said contest was composed of Certified Management Accountant (CMA) topics which were basically Management Advisory Services’ scope, which I began appreciating more and become attached to.

Came the October 2015 CPA Licensure Examinations’ (CPALE) results, I felt like I could be something more, that there’s more to life than just that, that my CPA title would not be an end, but rather a beginning of something more exciting. From there, I reckoned the time when I stumbled across a Facebook page of a CMA review center, Insights Financial Review Center.

At first, I was hesitant to ask about the program, as I knew it would involve a large amount of money, plus it would take away much of my time and require tremendous effort. But I had this urge; I wanted to prove that I could actually be someone much better; I wanted to differentiate myself from other CPA professionals. I wanted to become a CMA so badly, and so I took a leap of faith. I proceeded.

After few arrangements with the Review directors, we agreed to plan for my test for both exam parts, targeting the May/June testing window.

I was invited once to attend a dinner meeting with other CMA candidates, some of whom were already at least part-qualifiers. We were asked to tell about why we decided to vie for this journey. There were veterans already. But likewise there were some young professionals too. Stories were colorful and inspiring, however I had nothing to share, as I was relatively young, and all I wanted to do was really to earn the certification, period. All I had then, that I could show off, was just my fresh knowledge from the CPALE that I could leverage, and my determination.

In the course of my preparation for my examinations, I have realized that being a working student was one serious struggle. I had to ensure I could deliver quality output at work, while being able to study, or at least make myself ready for my Saturday and Sunday classes. Additionally, I also had to catch up with my family and friends. Juggling tasks from work, school, family, social life wasn’t an easy endeavor, that at some point I had either to give up one or more to accommodate another. It was always a matter of knowing which things to prioritize.

There were instances, as well, when I lost focus, and didn’t know what to do. I would wake up one day, and tell myself that I didn’t want it anymore, that I would rather quit than pursue, to relieve me from stress. Luckily enough, I had my mother, my friends and Sir Angel, to remind me of the reasons why I started in the first place, and put me back on track again.

When the date set for my exams were near, I started panicking. I only had four months to get myself ready. I just couldn’t eliminate the doubt of not making it through, and even considered to postpone my exams. I took the risk, and didn’t change my exam plans.

I felt so discouraged sometimes, but funny enough, I would pull myself together, back again and keep my aim locked. When others would say, “don’t mind the fear, ignore the pressure”, I would say, “Let them burn, let them consume you until you feel numb about them.” Let the fear of disappointment be the fuel for you to strive, let the pressure your peers put on you be the drive to push you for another extra mile and prove them you can.

I had this mindset that I never believed in failure. I would either succeed or I would learn and come out better.

By the grace of the Almighty, I managed to pass both Part 1 and 2, when the results were rolled out last August. I am grateful for all those people who stuck by me all throughout my journey, especially my ever-supportive mom who relentlessly prayed for my success. I would also like to express my gratitude to the Insights team of instructors, for helping me draw a clear direction to my young career.

Right where I thought I was about to end my CMA story, another opportunity knocked on my door and I warmly welcomed it. I am now affiliated with Insights as a part-time CMA instructor, fulfilling my long-term aspiration of becoming a mentor.

I put myself into this with no clear understanding as to how it could impact my professional growth, yet now I could clearly say that the CMA designation has become a life changer. It became an avenue to discover new potentials I had, build a strong network of professional accountants, and further enhance and nourish my knowledge.

About the Author:

Angelo B. Villadores graduated Cum Laude in Bachelor of Science in Accountancy at Lyceum of the Philippines University – Batangas. A Certified Public Accountant since October 2015, and a Certified Management Accountant Exam Passer since August 2016, he currently works as Financial Reporting Analyst in a big international bank. He enjoys reading novels and watch movies in his spare time.