For most university students, the prospect of graduating and entering the “real world” can be overwhelming. Accounting students are no exception. In fact, on top of the stress of finding a job, these students have the added pressure of choosing which accounting designation will be the best fit for their desired career path. Luckily, CMA British Columbia is making this choice a whole lot easier with their CMA Campus Membership Program.
CMA British Columbia’s Campus Membership is a program offered to full-time post-secondary students that allows them to explore the CMA designation. For just $20 a year, Campus Members receive a variety of benefits including invitations to exclusive CMA networking events, access to entry-level job postings on cmabcjobs.com, and the opportunity to see organizations where CMAs work through CMA’s Afternoon with a CMA program. In addition, students must be a Campus Member to participate in the CMA Mentorship Program, where students to gain valuable career advice and insight into the CMA designation through a series of one-on-one meetings with a CMA member.
Felix Cheung, a recent UBC grad and former Campus Member, credits the Campus Membership Program for helping him feel confident in his decision to pursue the CMA designation. “The Campus Membership Program bridged my interests in the CMA designation with the expertise of industry professionals, many of whom shared their experiences and helpful career tips that have helped them to succeed. It is a great way to make connections while asking questions in a relaxed environment. I strongly recommend this program to students interested in pursuing a career of creating possibilities for themselves and others.”
Here’s what else Felix had to say about his experience with the CMA Campus Membership Program.
Catching up with a CMA British Columbia Campus Member
Name: Felix Cheung
School: University of British Columbia
Graduation date: May 2012
Expected SLP start date: September 2012
When were you first introduced to the CMA designation?
My managerial accounting professor and FCMA, Jeff Kroeker, introduced me to the CMA designation. I believe the designation complements my passions for quantifying business problems and applying the numbers in a broader long-term setting for companies, which is what the Strategic Leadership Program builds on.
What attracted you to the CMA Campus Membership Program?
The program offered many opportunities to network with successful CMAs and provided a mentor who worked with me one-on-one to develop and carry out my career goals.
As a mentee in the mentorship program, what did you and your mentor work on, or discuss during your one-on-one meetings? Did you set goals for yourself?
We discussed my mentor’s experience with the CMA Strategic Leadership Program and worked on the different steps in the job application process. As well, we set monthly goals, which were reviewed at the beginning of each meeting.
Have you ever attended an Afternoon with a CMA? If so, what company did you visit? What did you get out of it?
My Afternoon with a CMA at BC Hydro was a great experience for me, as I got a better understanding of how the Crown corporation operated and the opportunity to learn how the CMA designation helped each representative achieve their current position. It was interesting to learn that of all the different academic programs they have completed, all the representatives agreed that the knowledge and experience gained from the Strategic Leadership Program was the most relevant and useful for their prior and current roles in their career.
In your opinion, what is the best part of the CMA Campus Membership Program?
The best part of the CMA Campus Membership Program is the one-on-one mentorship. My mentor has worked at emerging public and private companies, so she was able to give first-hand insight about her working experiences while doing her Strategic Leadership Program. This valuable knowledge helped me understand the different roles within the accounting and finance department and will help with the job application process this summer.
What are you looking forward to most about starting the Strategic Leadership Program?
I look forward to the cases and simulations in the Strategic Leadership Program, as I believe it will be a fantastic way to apply classroom knowledge in a live setting with unexpected variables. As well, I am excited to meet my future classmates and instructors, both of whom will make the program an enjoyable and challenging experience!
In five years, I see myself (both professionally and personally):
Professionally, I see myself in a financial management role (as a controller or CFO) where I lead a company in carrying out its long-term goals with a social and environmental conscience. Personally, I will challenge myself continually by stepping outside my comfort zone daily, while maintaining the balance of being happy, healthy, and surrounded by loved ones. There are a couple of things I want to cross off my bucket list by then – one of them is to be my friend’s wedding photographer. That would be really awesome.
*Must be enrolled in a university or college to apply for CMA campus membership.