Laura McDonald’s Story

Becoming a Certified Professional Services Marketer.
Member Spotlight: Laura McDonald, CPSM

Becoming a Certified Professional Marketer

“Becoming a CPSM is very important to my career advancement. I gained a lot of knowledge that can be applied to what I do every day. While going through the program, I would get new ideas all the time. I’m getting ready to present some of my ideas that I hope will positively impact the way we approach marketing at our local firm.”

Marketing Specialist Laura McDonald, CPSM, recently sat down with SMPS to chat about becoming a Certified Professional Services Marketer and what it took to prepare for the exam.

What would you say were the top reasons you wanted to become a CPSM? My top reasons are for career advancement and firm recognition. When I started looking for a way to further my career and gain more credibility at my firm, I found that many of the successful marketers in the industry had one thing in common: their CPSM designation.

What did you do when you learned you passed the CPSM exam? I jumped out of my seat and started shouting it out to the world! I sent an email to my boss and the corporate marketing team at Terracon. The next day, to my surprise, our director of marketing had sent out an email to our entire marketing and business development team (company-wide)! What made me even more proud was that her email stated “…she might be the 8th or 9th person in our client development group to earn this designation.” Wow! By lunchtime, my inbox was full of additional congratulations from coworkers from coast to coast. What a great feeling!

What made you decide to take Roadmap to Certification? When I saw the notice for the R2C course, I immediately asked permission to attend. I knew this course was for me because it completely eliminated the need to get in a car and drive through traffic. I can study on my own time, and the study halls and office hours were during the lunch hour, which I could work around.

What did you like about the program? My favorite part of the program was the two-day immersion course! The two-day immersion course really sets the stage. Meeting the very enthusiastic instructors and students gets you excited about the process. They really engage the group in conversations and discussions to aid in understanding of the content.

What are some ways the instructors helped you prepare/study for the exam? One of the best ways the instructors helped me was with figuring out the answers to the practice questions. This isn’t as easy as it sounds. When all of the answers are correct, determining the most correct answer can be grueling at times. Matt and Tiffany, the instructors, had a method for figuring out the best answer, and I carried that method with me through the entire program and into the exam.

How did the program prepare you for the exam? This program prepared me better (and faster) than I could have done on my own. The two-day immersion class really packs in all of the major topics covered by the exam. Having instructors Matt and Tiffany give you guidance that isn’t written anywhere is extremely helpful. During the 90-day portion, the live webinars (study halls) and office hours with the instructors engage you even further.

Now that you have your designation, how do you see it helping your career and your firm? Becoming a CPSM is very important to my career advancement. I gained a lot of knowledge that can be applied to what I do every day. While going through the program, I would get new ideas all the time. I’m getting ready to present some of my ideas that I hope will positively impact the way we approach marketing at our local firm.

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