The Certified Association Executive (CAE) credential is the marker of a committed association professional who has demonstrated the wide range of knowledge essential to manage an association in today’s challenging environment. To obtain this prestigious certification, you must have at least five years experience in the industry, obtain 100 hours of broad-based, association management-related professional development, and then pass a four-hour examination.
Linda Owens decided to pursue CAE certification so she could serve her clients with excellence. She was kind enough to answer a few questions and share some helpful tips!
IMI: How long have you had your CAE certification?
Linda: I obtained my CAE in 2015.
IMI: What tips do you have for anyone that is working towards earning the CAE certification?
Linda: Don’t wait to start studying until you are close to being eligible, start now! Even if you don’t sit for the exam for 2+ years, the studying portion is so valuable. I also feel you get a lot more from studying if you aren’t cramming. As I was studying, there were quite a few things that I earmarked to come back to later simply because I was on a strict study schedule and didn’t have the time to explore some topics further as I would have liked.
IMI: How has having your CAE certification helped you in your career?
Linda: It has helped me to feel more confident, and though I don’t remember every last thing that I studied, I at least have a frame of reference and oftentimes pick up one of the study books to refresh my memory on a certain topic. It has also broadened my knowledge which is so critical when you work with an AMC. We’re more likely to experience or be exposed to most of the topics covered under the CAE simply because we work with such a variety of non-profit clients.
IMI: Anything else you think would be helpful for anyone that is working toward this designation?
Linda: Offer to present about one or more of the CAE topics to your colleagues! Studies cite that the average person retains 90% of what they learn when they teach the concept or immediately put it into practice. When teaching or applying a concept, you’ll quickly identify your areas of weakness. Revisit the material until you feel confident in your ability to explain it in a presentation. Linda is passionate about using her expertise to provide the highest level of client service.
If you’d like to find out what IMI Association Executives can do for your association, then give Linda a call! She’ll work with you to create a customized plan based on your association’s needs and goals.