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Urszula Fodé ACMA, CGMA

Urszula has been working with Procter & Gamble since 2008. Her roles and responsibilities kept growing and evolving. She started as financial analyst for Gillette Western Europe, working on the brand regional strategy and pricing, then moved across different brands and regions (Global Braun, EIMEA Always and Pampers), working with General Managers, Finance and Product Supply Directors. Prior to her recent maternity leave, she was the Group Manager for the E-IMEA Corporate Forecast division, managing a team of over 10 people.

What prompted you to start your CIMA qualification?

I find it important to constantly develop and challenge myself. Fortunately, I have many such opportunities at work, and after several years of gaining professional experience, I felt that going back to study might be interesting. Prior to starting CIMA I had a diploma in international business, so I was also missing more technical accounting knowledge, necessary to progress to more senior positions, within my company or outside. I started looking for a qualification that combined technical finance with business context, and CIMA felt like the right choice.

What turned out to be your biggest challenge in the CIMA qualification process?

Time management. I kept working at 100% and I also wanted to preserve the quality of my private life. Do be able to do so, I had to study in the mornings before work, and that wasn’t a habit easy to develop! On top, I find it more motivating to work against a goal, so I have set myself a target date for when I want to be successfully done with the qualification, and I worked all the schedule of courses and exams backwards from that date. Fortunately, I had the opportunity to take the Management Gateway exam, which had saved me more than a year of studies, so I was done in 1.5 year overall. That required a lot of discipline and a few sacrifices, but it was worth it!

How did CIMA affect your professional situation? Which element of CIMA was the most useful for your job?

My work is focused on a lot of aspects related to the CIMA Management Accounting pillar, so that part felt much easier to study, and at the same time gave me some ideas how to approach things differently in the professional context. Where I learned the most was during the Financial Accounting courses, and they helped me a lot in my interactions with the accounting service centers we have around the globe. Being able to speak a more technical language made problem solving much faster!

Do you think that acquiring additional qualifications and certificates is important in your profession?

Definitely. “Non progredi est regredi”: if we don’t progress, we just go backwards. It’s important to learn and stay open to everything happening around us, in any profession.

Who would you recommend the CIMA qualification for?

I would recommend it to people who work in “business finance”, who need to combine financial analysis and accounting skills. CIMA has great technical insights but remains focused on the business application.

What kind of advice can you provide to future students in management accounting?

Be clear what is your goal and why. Things are easier to accomplish if you know why and what for you study.