My name is Jacob Barron, and I am not a credit manager.
I'm a writer and government affairs liaison here with NACM-FCIB in the national office, and have been since 2006. Near the end of last year, after some discussion with colleagues and friends, I decided to enroll in FCIB's online CICP course, also known as International Credit and Risk Management. At the end of the course, in April, provided I complete it successfully, I'll be able to sit for the CICP (Certified International Credit Professional) exam and, if I pass, attach those letters to my name, business card, email signature, and anywhere else I see fit to attach them.
You could do the same, if you take the course that is, and to give you an idea of what that's like from a practical standpoint, I'll be posting my own ruminations on the class, its material and its demands here in the form of a diary. I won't be starting the entries with "Dear Diary" or anything, but the idea's the same. I'm calling it my CICP Road Diary, and I'm hoping to provide updates on a weekly basis from here on in.
Think of this as a travel guide, written by someone who has only researched and heard about the journey in question, but never really made the trek himself. This is to say that, sure, I've had plenty of experience delving into the process of commercial credit management, both on an international and domestic basis. I've read countless case studies of relevant bankruptcy proceedings and spoken to untold dozens of credit and risk management practitioners about the issues they face in the global economy, in their companies, in their departments and in their quests to better themselves for the sake of their careers.
But as I said at the beginning, I'm not a credit manager, and while I won't get a "credit manager" badge when I'm done, what I will get is weeks of experience talking with other credit managers from around the world. I'll get a deeper understanding of the skills necessary to succeed in an increasingly globalized economy, and a thorough knowledge of the strategies, challenges and conflicts that can crop up in any international business venture. I'll also hopefully get some new friends and contacts, to whom I can turn whenever a question comes up that I can't answer.
What you'll get from the course, if you decide to take it, really depends on how you treat it, I suppose. But what you'll get from me, here, is at least a peek into the process of going through the modules, taking the tests and engaging my classmates in the discussions. Ideally, this road diary helps me organize my thoughts as much as it helps you understand the challenges and the rewards that go along with the CICP course, and hopefully it all entertains you along the way too.
The course began about a month ago, while I was on vacation, so, in the interest of full disclosure I'll admit that I'm still playing catch-up. The hardest part so far has been re-learning how to be a student again. I've only been out of college for five years now, but all of my old studying strategies don't seem to work as well as they did in college, when all I was expected to do was schoolwork, and maybe write an article or two for the school newspaper. Now I have a job, and a class to take care of, so I've had to find new, more efficient ways of learning and studying that better suit the situation.
I think I've gotten the hang of it, but, overall, it's been an interesting, enlightening month, and I'm eager to see what's next. So, with that said...
Till next time,