March 17, 2009

CAE Candidates Seek Advice

Last year, I set out to become a certified meeting professional. After reviewing the required texts and researching my study options, I settled on a study regime, stuck with it and passed the exam on my first attempt.

The fact that I passed the exam is not important. The real story follows.

On March 6, I posted the following status update to my Facebook account: Aaron became a certified meeting professional today! Within one minute, I had received the following comment: Good for you! Next is your CAE!

At the time, I was sort of surprised by the comment. I mean, really? I’m an “emerging professional.” I’m not yet ready for this, right? Wrong.

As I think about it more and more, I’m warming up to the idea. Why couldn’t I take the CAE exam? Although I consider myself an emerging professional, I do have six years of association experience under my belt. I mean, I at least qualify to sit for the exam.

What’s more, the association community feels like home. I’ve found a place where my experience, skills and talents can be put to good use. Specifically, I feel like my enthusiasm and innovation create value for members of my association each and every day.

And so I’m wondering if there are others out there, like me, who aren’t completely convinced that the CAE designation is within reach. On behalf of these individuals, I seek your advice.

If you’re a certified association executive, what advice do you have for those of us interested in sitting for the exam? Where should we start? What resources do you recommend? How much time do we really need to prepare? How would you study differently if you had to do it all over again?

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December 14, 2007

Certification and wikis

David Gammel added a page to ASAE & The Center's Associapedia that other CAEs--and other organizations with certifications--might be interestedin . To help others with the age-old question of "How many hours can I put down on my recertification application for that conference?", he's started a wiki page for CAEs to keep track of how many CAE hours different events and activities are worth.

I haven't had a chance yet, but I'd like to go in and add specific dates for the events as well; I remember when I recertified (and when I applied to take the CAE exam) I spent a chunk of time searching online to find the dates of past meetings and conferences. Having that information easily accessible--and sharing it with other CAEs, to save them time--is a great use of a wiki.

For other associations with certifications, could a wiki be an easy place to maintain administrative information like this?