Fatema El-Wakeel, CMA

Fatema El-Wakeel, CMA, has nine years of professional experience in strategic planning, financial management and organization restructuring and change management in both multinationals and public sectors across Europe, Middle-East and Africa. Currently, she is doing her MBA at the Manchester Business School MBA Class of 2015 and working on consultancy projects in the UK. After moving from Egypt (where she was president of the successful Cairo Chapter) to the UK last year, she is now very much interested in creating a local chapter.

How, when and why did you join IMA and become a CMA?
My IMA journey goes back to 2005 when I decided to start studying for a certificate that focuses on management accounting and financial planning. Looking into the different certificates, it was not difficult to decide on the CMA given its global recognition and emphasis on strategic finance. I started self-studying at the end of 2005 and got certified in 2009.

How has your membership and CMA certification impacted your career/life?
The CMA knowledge base has been very useful throughout my career. I have a passion for numbers; for me they tell a story. My responsibility as a strategic finance person who understands the language of numbers is to interpret them to stakeholders who then can make their decisions accordingly. What I learned through the CMA program helped me to qualify for a senior treasury associate and financial analysis positions at the very start of my career and to move into a regional reporting manager role at a very young age. I’ve always been able to use some knowledge from the CMA course for my work regardless of my position or the industry.

Why did you choose a global certification instead of pursuing a local one? And what have been your experiences with this certification here in Europe?
There are many advantages of pursuing a global certification as it is recognized globally, especially by multinational companies, and keeps you updated on international finance changes. The CMA provides the highest value to both companies and certificate holders across the Middle East. Although living in the UK now the local certificate is quite strong here, but when I explain the CMA content and that it is the US equivalent of the local certificate both employers and colleagues appreciate it. The IMA has already partnered with ACCA in a lot of activities which made the CMA more recognizable here.

You are now planning to create an IMA Chapter in the UK. Please tell us a little bit about your work as a volunteer for IMA. What is your motivation and what are your plans for the UK?
Having this passion for strategic finance, I was always motivated to support members, colleagues and companies with promoting the field as I believe it needs more highlighting. Back in Egypt the field is even less known and accordingly I started approaching the IMA asking for a local chapter. We were able to launch the IMA Cairo chapter in 2011 and I was elected president for 2011/2012 and 2012/2013 until I moved to the UK. During those years we won an IMA Chapter Award - 4th Place, and the Large Chapter Award - 2nd Place. Given the number of members in the UK it would be exciting to work on having a small local chapter where we can meet, network and work on communicating the certificate.

If you are also interested in helping to set up an IMA chapter in the UK, please contact Fatema.http://uk.linkedin.com/in/fatemaelwakeelcma