Ask  Me  Laura  Ewan

16 Sep, 2015

My CPSM Journey: Laura Ewan, CPSM

Laura Ewan

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I’ve been involved with the CPSM program for four years, first as a candidate, then as leader of the SMPS DC CPSM bootcamp, and now as an advocate and champion of the program itself. Over the years I’ve talked to countless members about my passion for the CPSM certification, but in the end, I continue to volunteer for one reason: the CPSM program has had a constant presence and an enormous impact on my career and I want to help others achieve the benefits for themselves.

My awareness of the CPSM program began in my very first month on the job as an entry-level marketing coordinator. My new boss, current SMPS MD president Catherine DeWitt, had just received the infamous congratulations email from Kevin Doyle announcing she had passed her CPSM exam. Our company president took us both out to lunch to celebrate and I listened as Catherine talked about all she’d learned and how excited she was to apply it to improving the work coming out of our two-man department. She was full of ideas and she was inspired, and it inspired me.

Almost four years later I was working in Washington, DC as a senior coordinator and beginning to lose my inspiration. I was thinking about taking the next step in my career but I wasn’t sure what that next step should be. Approaching CPSM eligibility, I signed up for the 2011 SMPS DC CPSM Bootcamp. Once a week for eight weeks, the extremely diverse group of candidates met to hear from experts, commiserate about the reading, and share stories. This sense of camaraderie kept me motivated, focused, and accountable to a real exam date. When I finally received my own Kevin Doyle email, it was an amazing feeling to have achieved a goal set in motion so many years before. But more importantly, I had found my inspiration. Through the process of studying, I had not only gained the context and knowledge to operate at the highest level within my firm, I had discovered an interest in communications and internal marketing, a realization that has completely changed my career.

Since earning my CPSM, I have stayed involved in the program, teaching the SMPS DC CPSM bootcamp for the past four years. In that time we have added nine new CPSMs, each one still volunteering and giving back to the program in some way. The people I have met through the CPSM program have become some of my best friends, industry advocates, and valued mentors. Through their suggestion and encouragement I have discovered new opportunities to further my own career, such as attending SMPS U and speaking at national and regional conferences. Each of these wonderful people have their own CPSM story, some of which you’ll be hearing over the next few weeks, but the best way to learn more about the value of the CPSM is to experience it for yourself.

The good news is, there’s now more resources than ever available to aspiring CPSMs. SMPS DC has recently named Amy Cuddy, my CPSM partner in crime over the past few years, as Director of Career Advancement. As a part of this new role, she’ll be taking over the CPSM program and I can’t think of anyone better to carry the torch and help support the next generation of CPSMs. So if you’re ready for the next step in your career, or even just in need of a little inspiration, reach out to Amy to begin a CPSM journey of your own.