Member Spotlight: Knowledge and Connections
As a credit manager, you must be able to learn, adapt and make strategic credit decisions. This almost always requires ongoing education and networking with the right people. By earning designations through NACM's six-level Professional Certification Program, credit professionals have the chance to not only increase their knowledge and skill set, but to form relationships that may contribute to further success.
The Certified International Credit Professional (CICP) designation, for example, signifies knowledge and professional development in global credit management and risk analysis. It is available for national and international credit professionals. Noora Kaasalainen, CICP, manager, credit risk management at UPM-Kymmene Corporation (Helsinki, Finland) earned her CICP to update her knowledge in the field of credit and have an opportunity to learn something new. "I had heard about this designation from some of my colleagues and the course description seemed interesting to me."
Kaasalainen found the course comprehensive and beneficial to her career. "I noticed that some of the topics I only had a scratch of the knowledge, so it was really fascinating to learn more about them," she said. "I learned about Letters of Credit (LCs), which are quite complex, and the use of them in practice."
Her greatest challenge was managing her study time while working a full-time job and caring for her 2-year-old daughter at home. However, she formed a set schedule that allowed her to complete all her course work. "It was a good choice to use these few months effectively and get the course done during the autumn rather than extend the length of the course," Kaasalainen said.
Looking back, Kaasalainen found it easy to mirror her own work life into the discussions during the course. "I believe there will be situations in the future where I can make use of some topics I learned during this course," she said. "Not only am I proud, but I found yet again how determined I can be to finish what I've started, even if there is some struggle in the way."
💡Study Tips from Kaasalainen: Be diligent. "Even when it feels impossible, try to use weekends or nights to read the material through, finish the assignments and complete the weekly quizzes," she said. "Before the final exam, I reread the material and retook all the quizzes. If you have time, it is always a good idea to read the posts made by other students because you may learn something valuable from others. Even though it was not an easy task, strict timeliness helped me to keep the deadlines."
For more information about each designation within NACM's Professional Certification Program, visit our website.