On 29th July, four graduates of EAE Business School’s Master in Supply Chain Management took the examination to obtain SCPro Level One certification from the Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals (CSCMP), based in the United States. Just hours later, the results were published and Anahí Arza and Vernon Gewa found out that they had passed. Two days afterwards, we spoke to them to find out what the preparation process and taking the examination had been like, as well as their expectations for the present and future now they are certified.
HOW DOES IT FEEL KNOWING THAT YOU HAVE ACHIEVED THE CERTIFICATION?
Vernon: I feel really happy and relieved at the same time. Because it was a long examination, four hours in total, and there was a lot of stuff to prepare. We had to read so many documents. As with all examinations, I had the feeling that, although I had really prepared a lot, I was full of doubts about everything. Although we knew that we had a second chance to take the examination if we failed, I wanted to pass first time. There was also the added pressure of being the first EAE students ever to take the examination and there were only a few of us. However, I wanted to get through it because I know that it is important and it can open lots of doors for me in the future.
Anahí: In itself, the examination represented a challenge that we had to prepare for, because it lasts four hours and it is in English, which is not our first language. Getting the certification is an objective that you set yourself at some point and, when you finally achieve it, it feels really good because it is a step forward in terms of your professional development.
WHAT MOTIVATED YOU TO TAKE ON THIS CHALLENGE, DESPITE THE DIFFICULTY INVOLVED?
V: I wanted an internationally recognized certification, above and beyond the Master, for my profession because the Master we have is extremely good and well recognized here in Spain and in many countries in Europe and Latin America, but there are places that require something else. As such, I wanted to have an accreditation that is accepted and recognized anywhere in the world.That was my main motivation for taking the examination, as well as being a being another step forward in my training.
A: The fact is that this certification is not yet recognized at a global level in the way that PMP is, for example, which is now a common language in companies, but we believe that it has the potential to reach this status. To put it simply, by having this certification, I think that we have an extra string to our bow in terms of our curriculum. Before the examination, A close friend said that it is one thing for you to say that you know something, but quite another for someone else to say you have a certain set of knowledge. So SCPro is an accreditation that we have this knowledge.
HOW DID THE MASTER HELP WITH PRPARING FOR THE CERTIFICATION?
A: It is well aligned with the structure of the examination. The sections of the examination are quite similar. The main difference is the language: you have to have a grasp of the specific terms in English. Beyond that, I think that the preparation you get over the course of the 9 months of the Master gives you an important foundation. Moreover, EAE gave us the opportunity to attend 8 consolidation classes (a class for each module of the examination) which really helped us to reinforce the knowledge we acquired in the course and prepare for the examination. In these classes, they gave us a range of tips on how to read the questions, and analyse them to answer them precisely. These were one of the most useful aspects.
V: These preparation classes were given by experts who form part of the Spanish Committee of the Council, such as Miquel Serracanta, programme director on our Master, who is the chairman of the Committee. For instance, Víctor del Pozo, CEO of Privalia, gave us two classes.
BEYOND THE TIPS YOU RECEIVED, WHAT IS THE KEY TO TACKLING THE EXAMINATION AS A STUDENT?
V: Firstly, it is important to keep up to date in terms of the content of the Master. Although the test is in English, the content and rationale are the same. We had been given some of the reading required for the examination beforehand and we had the chance to get a head start.
A: It is supplementary reading, so that we don’t only have the stuff that they give us in class. It is basically a question of preparing with enough time. I really recommend the eight extra classes. As far as I am concerned, they were a key factor in my preparation process because, after the classes, I could get all of the content clear in my mind simply by reviewing my notes. In terms of the examination itself, knowing how to organize your time well is crucial.
WHAT WOULD YOU SAY TO FUTURE EAE STUDENTS WHO ARE HESITATING ABOUT WHETHER TO PREPARE TO GET THE SCPRO CERTIFICATION?
V: I believe that this accreditation is the certification of the future. I keep up to date with developments in the field and I have seen how it is being promoted. I read an article, that I showed Anahí, written by an American who mentioned the three certifications that he considered to be the Supply Chain accreditations of the future. This was one of them and the writer recommended that, if you want to invest in something for you future, invest in this.
A: It is a question of seeing what it has the potential to become, above and beyond being an extra string to your bow, as I mentioned. Having our knowledge accredited by an international organization can open lots of doors for us, not only in the future but right now. Moreover, I think that just as important as the certification itself is the network of contacts that you can build from it: we made contacts with lecturers that came to give classes but, from now on, we can build contacts with members of the Council here in Spain or anywhere around the world. The opportunities are endless.
We would like to congratulate Anahí and Vernon once again and thank them for this interview!