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01 Nov, 2016

Ingrid Martin's CPSM Journey

Ingrid Martin

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Generally speaking, once I’ve committed to something, I’m all in. So it was for earning my CPSM certification. After 15 years doing proposals, I had no excuse! So, a year ago, I signed up for the Alaska chapter's CPSM study group and dutifully slogged through the recommended reading material. I didn’t feel ready to sit for the exam yet, though. I asked other CPSMs dozens of questions and read everything I could find online about the exam, which led to information about the DC chapter's spring 2016 bootcamp. I wrangled myself an invitation and got an open-arms welcome to participate remotely.

As it turned out, that was the extra push and motivation I needed.

As it turned out, that was the extra push and motivation I needed. The group’s optimism and enthusiasm helped reinvigorate me, and inspired me to read everything once more, this time a bit more analytically. I put myself on a serious schedule and stuck to it, often locking myself in a room to immerse myself without interruption. I don’t believe I was ever entirely confident that I was fully prepared but – as one classic Far Side comic strip puts it – eventually my brain was FULL. I’d taken all my colleagues’ advice and recommendations to heart, done the work, and it was time. It wasn’t until the moment I opened my congratulatory letter, which I’d put aside until after a workout and glass of wine, that I let my hair down. It had taken approximately six months from application to celebration, and it felt great!

Earning my CPSM didn’t get me a parade, but it has given me an added measure of confidence. I’m better equipped to formulate and present my opinions and ideas more authoritatively. I have a better understanding and appreciation for the entire SMPS Body of Knowledge and how it can help my firm with our marketing and business development efforts.

Studying and testing for this designation is real work, definitely not for sissies! The bottom line, though, is that the resources are there and success can be yours. Many people played into mine, which is why I’m glad to pay it forward, by volunteering with my local chapter to help lead the next study group.

Ingrid Martin, CPSM
Marketing Manager
PND Engineers
SMPS Alaska chapter