Geraldine's Story

Getting qualified and gaining the confidence to succeed

Geraldine Marlene Foualem-Makamne recently completed the Award in International Cash Management (AwardICM). She has always been interested in, and shown an aptitude for treasury and finance. Geraldine decided to study for the award as she wanted her knowledge to be recognised through a formal qualification.

The qualification has given Geraldine the confidence to set up a consulting firm. She believes that being qualified will enable her to work internationally and enhance her prospects. Obtaining the AwardICM is only the start of Geraldine’s learning journey with the ACT. Geraldine is also planning to complete the qualifications in the treasury management pathway.

I think holding a professional qualification highlights my skills and my professional profile now speaks louder to potential clients and partners.

- Geraldine Marlene Foualem-Makamne

What does your current role entail?

I am currently volunteering on an IT project for Girls and Women in Cameroon (Central Africa) and I am looking for opportunities to set up a consulting firm.

Why did you choose a career in treasury/finance?

When I was in high school, I enjoyed numbers and I had fun managing my pocket money and helping my dad with a booth that he owned. In my first year of university, I found it quite easy to grasp the concepts of treasury & finance. Therefore, I thought I had a good predisposition to dive in deeper.

I gained some experience working (on weekends or holidays) for various relatives’ small businesses. While gaining experience in these businesses I designed IT solutions to help them automate their accounts & treasury management. I would also come up with tactics to deal with partners (suppliers, clients, microfinance and tontines). However, by then I was still dubitative about a career in auditing or treasury & finance.

As soon as I graduated, I had the opportunity to join bigger corporates. This allowed me to gain experience in several different departments (accounts, audit, project, treasury & finance etc.). Each experience was great! Nevertheless, I particularly enjoyed what a day of working in a treasury & finance department consisted of. I cannot explain this further, but I found what I was doing when participating in running the treasury & finance department more relevant, impactful, and encompassing. From this point I resolved to specialise in treasury & finance.

Then in mid 2010s, FinTech really started reshaping the profession. To my great delight, my two dominant passions (finance & technologies) were now combined.

Which qualification have you completed and what was your main objective for studying this ACT qualification?

I have completed the Award in International Cash Management (AwardICM). I decided take this qualification so that my knowledge of the subject matter could be easily recognised.

For example, I believe that as a consultant, to get a contract from a serious company, you need to demonstrate that you will be good at the job. This can be done either through formal past references or through certifications, like the AwardICM.

How did successfully completing this qualification help you in your current position?

Completing the qualification, made me feel more confident in setting up my consulting firm. I am looking forward to the opportunities that will come with the qualification quite optimistically.

Are there particular areas of treasury/finance that this qualification helped you understand even better?

The qualification helped me better understand revenue management.

What are the benefits of having professional qualifications to add to your CV/résumé?

I think holding a professional qualification highlights my skills and my professional profile now speaks louder to potential clients and partners.

Do you hold any other professional qualifications? If so, how does it/do they complement your ACT qualification? And how do they compare?

I also hold a certificate in banking (form another institute) and I think the AwardICM complements that certification; although the AwardICM is a broad qualification that could direct you towards any sector.

How will this ACT qualification enhance your career? Will you be able to move up the career-ladder?

I believe that the qualification will enhance my prospects and enable me to work internationally.

What would you recommend/highlight from your experience to people considering whether to take the ACT qualifications?

The AwardICM is a good quick-start to learn about the fundamentals of international cash management.

How has your ACT membership benefitted you and what value has it added to your career?

ACT membership provided me with some mentors who helped me redefine my goals according to what is doable and what is difficult but can be overcome.

What are your future career goals and what further learning have you considered?

I hope to obtain sustainable contracts to start my consulting firm. I am also planning to continue learning with the ACT and complete the qualifications in the treasury management pathway.


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