In 2015, Alison Beythien from Holcim in Queensland very bravely bit the bullet, sat the ‘Certified Credit Executive’ (CCE) exam and was awarded the ‘Dux’ of 2015 prize. The Dux is a national award presented at the Annual Conference to the applicant delivering the most superior exam results.

 As the Queensland CCE Councillor, I have spoken to many members who are eligible to sit the exam, and for many need a bit of inspiration. So I asked the 2015 CCE Dux to share with us, what it was that encouraged her to submit her application to sit the CCE exam.  I think many of you will be able to relate to Alison’s story. Below provides a brief snapshot of Alison’s credentials. Alison was well and truly qualified to sit the CCE exam in 2015, but why she took so long to do so is explained further on.

☼  Years in the Credit profession – 35
☼  Years as a Credit Manager – 23
☼  Industry diversity and experience – Air and Sea freight, Transport, Construction, FMCG
☼  AICM membership – 23 years

Alison also dabbled in HR for a couple of years when an opportunity presented itself to her which she says ‘gave her a balanced view of the business and rounded her experience in the people space’.

Q1. Alison, why did you take so long to sit the CCE Exam?

‘When the CCE was introduced I appreciated the value this would add to younger credit professionals working their way through a credit career and secretly wished I had the courage to sit the exam. I had not sat an exam in over 20 years and the thought was daunting. What if I failed? I knew so many people in the AICM! Here I was encouraging Credit Managers reporting to me to sit the exam and I hadn't sat the exam myself.

Finally in 2015 I decided to trust my years of experience to sit the exam. The on-line test was a breeze and 2 of the 3 sets of questions returned results immediately so my confidence grew.

Now the essay! I dived in and completed a draft within a week, based purely on experience and projects I had worked on, so it was like a trip down memory lane. I spent the next few months reviewing, adding to it, and enhancing my initial draft. I must admit, the essay was completed well before the closing date, but I could only bring myself to submit it before the due date. Nerves were still rife! When Nick Pilavidis, AICM CEO, rang to advise I had won the Dux prize, I was shocked and very proud. I had conquered a fear and achieved more than I expected; and all of this by recounting work that I had done in the past to achieve certain results’. 

Q2. After sitting the exam, can you share what you have derived from the initiative?

Having completed the exam and achieving Dux confirmed to me ‘I know my stuff’ and the framed certificate on the wall in my office confirms to all visitors ‘She knows her stuff!’ My colleagues also acknowledge this achievement and I felt an inner contentment knowing that I am still on top of my game. I would highly recommend to anyone who can complete the exam, to sit it.

I can relate to Alison’s reasons for not applying sooner, as I only recently completed the exam after 17 years membership with the AICM.

The CCE Exam is held every March and September and can be completed in two different styles which are detailed in this  document

Information about the exams is distributed to eligible members closer to the exam dates every year to remind members to lock in the dates.

Story provided by Alison Beythien MICM CCE and submitted by Decia Guttormsen (Councillor) MICM CCE.