I was talking to a colleague of mine. She was cribbing about CFA certification – how she had been trying so hard for last 3 years but yet to complete all the levels. I was telling her that she was knocking a door which didn’t deserve the feel of her knuckles. With due respect to the CFA certification, I have no respect for it. I have never tried for it. Call it that I don’t feel that it will add any value to me. Call it that I don’t think I can manage to clear the exam – after all it has three levels and I m sure to flunk in one of them. Call it that I am just too lazy to do anything meaningful. But I do not think that it deserves the importance it gets. Actually one of my ex-bosses had planted this idea in my mind when I asked him whether I should go for CFA or not.
He said, “I don’t think that after being half a decade away from your student life, another certification will add any value to your CV. All CFA will do is to give another topic to your interviewer to grill you just in case you are looking for greener pastures like -why have you done only level 1 or why didn’t you complete level 3 or why did you fail in level 2?”
“Well I won’t write it on my CV unless I clear all the levels” I argued.
“Then life will be even more difficult. He would ask you why you went for it at all. Or he will start asking the questions from its syllabus.”
“I would know it all if I have cleared it, isn’t it?”
“Well, he would be at the other end of the table. He can always ask whatever he feels like and pretend that you are wrong. I am sure you would prefer lesser questions in an interview, wouldn’t you?” he said and I quietly accepted, internalized, and actualized his advice.
Coming back to my conversation with my colleague –
“I think there is no point going for this certification.” I said.
“Well it does add a lot of value to your CV” she argued.
“With thousands of CFAs being produced every year, how do you stand out amongst them?”
“That is true - so many CFAs these days. Even people fresh out of college have this certification.”
“Then what is the point of going for it if it doesn’t give you any additional advantage. Your strength is your work experience hence better leverage that rather than an expensive certification.”
“Maybe you are right”
“It has become a money making machine. People see India is a big market so sell it here. I see CFA as new East India Company. They came in 1600 and looted us. CFA is looting us now”
“Hehe” she laughed.
“Wait. Let me ask him if he knows about East India Company.” I referred to the MPwala guy.
I went and asked him “Dude, do you know about East India Company?”
“No. What is it?” he was clueless.
“Dude, how come you don’t know East India Company, the British giant.”
“Yaar, there are 120 companies in my sector. I cannot know about each and every company. It’s humanly impossible” he looked a bit irritated.
By now my female colleague had also joined the conversation. She asked “But East India Company is a big name, very big”
“Oh Yeah, now I recall it. It’s a very old company, right?” his eyes twinkled.
“Yes I know, 1600. Buy the stock now. Its price will be 1800 in a month’s time. A big announcement is expected by the company this week” he was back.
May be he was right. East India Company did come back last year and I am waiting for the announcement.
PS: This article is a work of facts plus fiction. Just that the fiction is too small to be seen amidst the facts.