Member Spotlight: Mentorship, Passion and Perseverance
Mentorship plays a key role in professional success. The guidance and expertise from someone who has years of experience in your field is essential for professional success.
Annie Kopanski, CCE, senior credit analyst at Esco Group (Portland, OR) said her 15-year journey to the Certified Credit Executive (CCE) designation was launched and shaped by the mentors in her life who presented her with the opportunity. "My first mentor and employer took a chance with me, and his mentorship and encouragement launched me into this career," Kopanski said. "I remember him telling me he could see the passion I had for credit. I laughed at him back then, but he seems to have been right."
Though formal education was not available to Kopanski in previous roles, she self-studied Principles of Business Credit and applied that knowledge into her career, which gradually led her to moving up to the title of Credit Manager. "I knew there was still so much to learn," Kopanski said. "A year ago, I took on a new role and had the opportunity to work for a manager who is heavily involved in the NACM Commercial Services affiliate and for a company that was willing to financially support my quest for the CCE designation."
NACM's Professional Certification Program allows opportunities for credit professionals to network and create relationships with those around them. Cultivating new relationships was one of Kopanski's highlights in her designation journey. "In the past year, I was guided by several mentors who were all instrumental in both building my confidence and helping me study for the exam," Kopanski said. "If I had one study tip for other credit professionals, I would tell them to seek out mentors who have the CCE. They are the best at being able to help those in search of a designation. Also, be kind to yourself. It is a big undertaking."
Even for credit professionals with no formal education in the credit field, earning a designation allows all professionals, no matter the educational background, to start learning new information on the same playing field. "I am incredibly proud that I have earned this designation and look forward to seeing where it will take me in my career," said Kopanski. "If you are reading this publication, you have already begun your journey as a credit professional. My strongest advice is to seek out employers who will help you advance your skillset and give you opportunities to learn through NACM."
For more information about each designation within NACM's Professional Certification Program, visit our website.