Archive for May, 2011

May 3, 2011

Meet Shawn Eni, CMA

by Scott Roehl

Thanks to Shawn Eni who provided some great insight on his path to becoming a CMA. If you have an additional question for Shawn, please post it in the comments section and I’ll work on getting a response.

Which University or College did you attend?

I majored in Administrative Studies at the University of Winnipeg, graduating in 2003.

What drew you to your current field of work?
I spent 10 years employed with Canada Revenue Agency, 5 years as an agent for individual tax returns and 5 years as an auditor for income tax and GST.

After achieving the  CMA designation, I decided there is better use for all the creative, out-of-the-box thinking I developed in the CMA Program, so I looked for another job… in Israel. I am now the Financial Manager for Nalco Israel Industrial Services Ltd.

What do you enjoy most about being a CMA?
The most interesting thing about being a CMA so far has been the fact that I am the only CMA in Israel. At my job interview with Nalco, I explained what a CMA is and why it’s different than other accounting designations. I think my explanation may have been a big factor in their decision to hire me.

Now in my job I perform all those things a CMA does over and above an “ordinary accountant”. This includes strategic decision making and management analysis to support decision-making.

What I enjoy about this is the feeling of personal accomplishment when my work has a noticeable positive impact on the company. Something they probably wouldn’t get if they hired an “ordinary” accountant.

What attracted you to the CMA designation?
I left high school with dreams of a career scoring for films. I attended University of Manitoba School of Music for one year before I felt that I wasn’t enjoying it as much as I should be. After a lengthy talk with a friend who was then going through the CA School of Business, he pointed out the many benefits of a career in accounting. While I never wanted to be a “number cruncher”, I researched different types of accounting careers. I then read up on CMA which instantly drew me in because it’s not only “number crunching”. It’s everything a business needs: strategy, creativity and a lot of out-of-the-box thinking. This instantly drew me in and way back in 1999 I began attending university part-time with the intention of completing all the prerequisite courses required for CMA.

Which skills did you develop in the CMA program that have impacted your career the most?
The ability to negotiate, the ability to look for important strategies in unexpected places, and the ability to present myself in a confident manner. In negotiations, it’s now second nature to look for win-wins. I experience this when dealing with customers, suppliers and banks. I also gained the ability to present findings confidently in a manner which is understandable to all managers in my company. Even with language barriers which are inherent in a multi-national company such as Nalco.

Where do you think the CMA designation will take you in the future?
While Nalco Company is a billion-dollar global corporation with over 11,000 employees worldwide, I am the only member of the financial team at Nalco Israel. The Israeli company is still young and is growing rapidly. Therefore it is expected that within the year, I will be leading my own financial team here in Israel. CMA has given me the tools to be an effective leader. My future goal is to be an influential team leader not only within Nalco, but internationally as well.

What advice do you have for students considering an accounting designation?
While studies leading up to the CMA Program and for the program itself are challenging, there is definitely an element of fun. The interactive sessions are very informative and allow each student to apply what they learn in their current job.

My advice is to choose an accounting designation where its theories are easily applicable to one’s current position as well as everyday life. While in the CMA Program, one can almost go into their jobs the following Monday and immediately apply what they learned at the interactive sessions and in the readings.