What a CMA Panel Taught Us

by Scott Roehl


(Photo credit: Stephen Dueck – synaptogenic.com)

During the evening of March 9th at the Fort Garry Hotel, students from several post-secondary institutions gathered with members of the CMA Community in Manitoba to learn how a CMA designation can create possibilities in their future. The first annual CMA Panel Event fostered connections and interactions between students and CMAs/CMA Candidates from a variety of backgrounds and industries.

One of the key elements of the evening was the panel discussion which gave students the power to ask questions that mattered to them. A panel consisting of three CMAs and a Year 2 CMA Candidate along with a CMA Panel Moderator took questions supplied by students and provided their thoughts and advice. Very insightful questions were asked on a variety of topics ranging from the impact of the recession, to what is gained from the Strategic Leadership Program to advice for someone coming from a non-conventional accounting background.

Darrell, a student from the University of Winnipeg, shared some of these key takeaways from the evening:

A designation gives you a strong foundation to build on, but does not entitle you to a high level position immediately. You have to be prepared to work hard.

The CMA Accelerated Program disciplines you and prepares a person well for the Entrance Exam and Strategic Leadership Program

The Strategic Leadership Program fosters relationships and networks that will carry right through your career

The Strategic Leadership Program: strategy development, you learn to ask and understand the questions “where we are” and “where do we want to be”

Advice given for students considering the CMA designation: Budget your time, be flexible, build a support base around you of family and friends, find ways to integrate what you learn in to your life and remember to keep a work-life balance


For students that attended, what else did you takeaway from the evening? What did you find insightful? Please share in the comments.


Thank you to the following individuals who provided their time to be on the panel:

Denise Zaporzan, CMA, FCMA (Panel Moderator)
Sara Stasiuk, CMA
Jeremy Messner, CMA
Kerry Wolfe, CMA
Sarah Townsend – CMA Candidate


Related Blog Post:
Denise captures the spirit of the event with some additional comments from the evening through her latest blog post. (recommended read!)

Photos from the event: CMA Manitoba Facebook Page (CMA Panel Event Photo Album)

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2 Comments to “What a CMA Panel Taught Us”

  1. I’d like to personally thank CMA Manitoba for putting on both an entertaining and informative evening.

    The real life perspective presented by the panel was an invaluable source of information that would have taken months of searching if I had to do it alone.

    As always, its interesting to see the variety of professions that make use of the CMA designation.

  2. I would like to thank the Panelists for sharing their knowledge and expertise. Here are some insights I gained at the event:
    In today’s globalized and dynamic business environment, competition in the labour market is rather fierce. Top employers expect their employees to be versatile, flexible, and able to manage themselves. The CMA Program provides managers with the knowledge and skills that are in line with the demands of the workplace. It is a well rounded educational experience that will serve as a tool to succeed in a wide range positions in various industries. Team emphasis is one of the characteristics that makes the Program particularly valuable, since flat organizational structures and cross functional teams are the prevailing trends in today’s business environment. The Program gives you an opportunity to interact and collaborate with people from a variety of professional backgrounds which will significantly broaden your perspective and boost your communication skills. It provides you with the knowledge that can be applied in real life situations and not only in hypothetical situations.

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