CIMA's Young, Driven and Ambitious Talent

“CIMA’s pursuit of affiliations give their members an advantage in gaining meaningful employment.”

Dubai, United Arab Emirates, -Sunday 23 September 2018 [ AETOS Wire ]

If there’s such a thing as being ambitious too early, don’t tell 18-year-old Achuthanunni Rajendran. The first-year Bachelor of Commerce student passed his Certificate level of the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA) qualification while he was sitting for his 12th grade exams in India – a truly remarkable feat. The bright teenager from Kerala laboured hard to pass the Certificate Level – and he says he’s just getting started.

“I want to carve a name out for myself in the industry I choose to work in,” says Achu confidently of his future. “Being a highly sought-after professional is my ultimate aspiration. The industry tie-ups that CIMA pursues is most relevant to me, and I want to eventually attain the Chartered Global Management Accountant (CGMA) designation.”

In fact, it was his pursuit of the CIMA qualification that helped Achu land a spot in Warwick University, although he ultimately turned down the offer to study at the Rajagiri College of Social Sciences.

Achu was first exposed to the CIMA qualification through his peer group at school, the GEMS Our Own Indian School in Dubai. Being a bunch of high achievers, they were researching intensely about various qualifications and certifications that will help them with their future career. He was certain that his future career lay in finance, so he wanted something that also incorporated management elements because he thought that gave him an advantage over a financial accounting qualification alone.

After spending some time comparing the appeal of different certifications, there was only one choice that made sense to him – the CIMA qualification.

“For someone looking for a career in finance, CIMA seemed the obvious choice. It was more management-oriented and I always felt like CIMA does its best to connect the needs of the students and meet them in the middle,” says Achu. “While I’m not currently employed, the CIMA certificate in business accounting has helped me already in various avenues.”

The preparation for exam was not easy even for someone as driven as Achu. He was sitting for his CIMA exam at almost the same time as his 12th grade exams – which is crucial for students in India as it determines the direction of their tertiary education. He credits his lecturers from tuition provider Ultimate Access Education for helping him find an efficient way to achieve his twin goals. He also admitted it was not easy juggling both commitments simultaneously.

“Simply finding the time to complete the portions was my biggest challenge,” he recalls. How did he strategise his studying time without clashing with his 12th grade examinations? “I marked the important points next to the study text and made notes in my own words,” says Achu. “Attempting the question paper at the end of the textbook helped me find my weak areas and the parts that I wasn’t clear. Doing that boosted my confidence before the exams.”

“I love the textbook because it was well-presented and the language was easy to understand,” he adds. “The multiple-choice questions also made you think – it really challenges you. There is also a lot of higher order thinking going on – I felt like those questions actually challenged me. I actually like that and put more effort into that because the questions were hard.”

Achu describes the questions as “hard”. What does he mean by that? “When you first look at them, all the options would look the same!” he laughs. “But then you have to find out the minute differences between each of them and you have to connect different topics. Only then, you answer the questions. That’s how hard it was,” he explains. 

What’s next for Achu? Firstly, his next target is to pass the Operational Level of the CIMA qualification while completing his degree. He aims to finish that Level by the time he finishes his third year. Wouldn’t it be more difficult to do since he would have to do a dissertation in his third year?

Achu says the CIMA material is in line with what he is studying in his degree and that shouldn’t present a problem. He also believes that it’s a question of mind over matter and advises others in his age group to think the same – especially if they’re from the generation which grew up with a smartphone in their hands.

“I feel like I waste a lot of time when I don’t have any commitments (besides studying). That’s why I took CIMA in my 12th grade itself. The more time I have, I actually use it for Instagram,” Achu says sheepishly.

“But what I did is not something a lot of people will do. It challenges myself and I believe it makes me a better person when I have more commitments – I become more productive. I will just have to manage,” he laughs.

In a couple of years as Achu prepares to take his first step into the working world, he is conscious that the CIMA qualification will be an asset to his resume and his choice of career, because of the quality that comes with the CIMA brand. He also thinks that the qualification is for everyone regardless of where they are at in their career, even if you are still a student.

“The CIMA qualification is something that I value very highly,” says Achu. “I would advise people who are still studying to do their qualification now.” He plans to complete the rest of the CIMA levels, such as the Management and Strategic levels, as he climbs up his future corporate ladder.

To him, juggling work and his qualifications will just be a continuation of what he has been doing as a student. Making time is something that he certainly believes in. “You need to find the time that you need to meet your commitment,” he says. “I believe that the CIMA qualification will continue to add value to my growth as a professional once I begin my working career.”

“I want to do more outside of my obligations at work, for my own professional development,” he concludes confidently.

About The Association

The Association of International Certified Professional Accountants (the Association) is the most influential body of professional accountants, combining the strengths of the American Institute of CPAs (AICPA) and The Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA) to power opportunity, trust and prosperity for people, businesses and economies worldwide. It represents 667,000 members and students in public and management accounting and advocates for the public interest and business sustainability on current and emerging issues. With broad reach, rigor and resources, the Association advances the reputation, employability and quality of CPAs, CGMAs and accounting and finance professionals globally.

About CIMA

The Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA), founded in 1919, is the world’s leading and largest professional body of management accountants, with members and students operating in 177 countries, working at the heart of business. CIMA members and students work in industry, commerce, and the public sector and not-for-profit organisations. CIMA works closely with employers and sponsors leading-edge research, constantly updating its qualification, professional experience requirements and continuing professional development to ensure it remains the employers’ choice when recruiting financially-trained business leaders.

About CGMA

CGMA is the most widely held management accounting designation in the world. It distinguishes more than 150,000 accounting and finance professionals who have advanced proficiency in finance, operations, strategy and management. In the U.S., the vast majority are also CPAs.  The CGMA designation is underpinned by extensive global research to maintain the highest relevance with employers and develop competencies most in demand. CGMAs qualify through rigorous education, exam and experience requirements. They must commit to lifelong education and adhere to a stringent code of ethical conduct. Businesses, governments and nonprofits around the world trust CGMAs to guide critical decisions that drive strong performance.


Issued by The Association of International Certified Professional Accountants (the Association)


Adenike Olayande (Specialist – Business Development, Dubai), +97143689432


Diyana Kamar (PR Manager – Asia Pacific), +60122204627

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Achuthanunni Rajendran (Photo: AETOSWire)

Achuthanunni Rajendran (Photo: AETOSWire)

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