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02/16/2015

Life After the CFA Charter


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I still remember the feeling of happiness, relief, and complete sense of accomplishment when I received a congratulatory email from CFA Institute on August 6, 2013 letting me know that I passed the Level III CFA exam.  I officially became a CFA Charterholder in November 2013. The certificate is very big, and I feel proud every time I look at it.  It reminds me that hard work and determination will help me overcome any challenges that I am currently facing, or will face in the future, as they did when I embarked on the CFA journey.

Even though it has been only more than a year since I was awarded the Charter and became a member of CFA Institute and NYSSA, I can’t emphasize enough the benefits of joining these two professional organizations.  I have gained access to world class research papers and seminars, which help me stay current with industry thinking, and joined a group of more than 100,000 professionals worldwide with a commitment to help shape a stronger and more trustworthy investment industry.

It is definitely nice to know that I no longer have to get up too early or stay up too late to study, and I also have my weekends back. As I now have more time after finishing the CFA program, I have shifted my focus to improving my soft skills such as public speaking and leadership. Last year, I joined NYSSA’s Toastmasters club and am very involved with the club’s activities, including serving as its Treasurer. The club is a member of Toastmasters International, a world leader in communication and leadership development, and helps me polish my public speaking skills while allowing me to help other members do the same by receiving and providing candid feedback in a comfortable environment.

It goes without saying that obtaining the CFA charter was one of my proudest achievements, and it opens many windows of opportunity for me.  I have been using the tools and knowledge that I gained through this rigorous program in my current work and am confident that they will also be helpful in my future career endeavors. To me, what really makes the Charter worthwhile is that I have learned how to train my mind to stay focused and manage my time efficiently among work, study, and personal life. This experience is invaluable, as it showed me that I can do a lot more than I thought I could. Before I started this journey, I was worried that I might not be good enough or smart enough since the historical pass rate of the CFA exams was very low. Passing all three levels on my first attempt proved to me that I am more capable than I thought I was, and it gave me the self-assurance that I can achieve anything in life if I put my heart and soul into it. With that said, I will continue to work hard to live up to my past strong performance and limitless future potential and confidently go out there making a mark in this world.

–Vy BuiCFA, CPA

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