Meet Nausheen Ahmed: Get Certified — Gain Confidence and Credibility
Nausheen Ahmed, CIA
Marico Bangladesh Limited
1. What prompted you to become certified?
When I finally decided to pursue career in internal audit, I found it bit challenging. Although I had started my career in internal audit, I switched to explore other areas. Upon coming back to internal audit after 4.5 years, everything was new to me again. At that time, whenever I faced difficulties related to audit work, I reviewed CIA materials and The IIA’s Standards. Gradually, I discovered that the CIA is a bible for becoming an internal auditor. I gained the confidence to perform auditing and handle difficult auditees more strategically after passing Parts 1 and 2 of the CIA exam. I was primarily prompted to become a CIA not because it is a prestigious badge to put beside my name, but because it will increase my credibility to my clients when I provide any opinion or recommendation.
2. What IIA certifications do you hold, and why did you choose to pursue them? Do you plan to pursue other IIA certifications, and if so, which ones and why?
Presently, I hold the Certified Internal Auditor® (CIA®). I will sit for the Certification in Risk Management Assurance® (CRMA®) exam soon, once I feel confident about my preparation. My current role is more focused on internal control, where I collaborate with different units to evaluate their risk appetite and risk treatment plans, so having both the CIA and CRMA will provide me with an added advantage.
3. How does having an IIA certification set you apart from your non-certified peers?
After becoming certified, I can confidently recommend control measures to process owners in a more mature spectrum. Thus, I gained acceptability among clients, and often they come forward to me proactively, just to get insight on whether their current control mechanism is sufficient or not.
4. How has your IIA certification helped your career?
Becoming a CIA has helped me to know and simultaneously employ the specifics of how to execute an audit from planning to reporting level as per IIA Standards, which has distinguished me from my peer group. Applying the knowledge I obtained from earning the CIA into my work also provided me the opportunity to take on a lead role at a very early stage.
5. Has earning an IIA certification enhanced your skill level?
Undoubtedly! Earning the CIA has helped me to thoroughly understand the mechanism of GRC; thus, I can sense whether my organization is on the right track.
6. What advice do you have for others who are considering obtaining an IIA certification?
Be consistent and determined to pass! Do the hard work first while preparing for the exam. Afterwards, work smart to gain a conceptual understanding and apply the strategies for passing the exam.
7. How does career planning and development play a part in your growth?
Any individual without a vision can easily be lost in the general crowd. So, it is important to set expectations for yourself and realize there is always room for improvement. As an undergrad, I discovered my weakness in public speaking from a SWOT analysis. By participating in different business case and plan competitions, I improved my presentation skills and gradually overcame my fear of public speaking. Transforming a weakness into a strength is very important to being successful as a professional. As I gained expertise in necessary workplace skills by working in different sectors for a couple of years, I opted to obtain certification when I decided to stick with the internal audit profession. After earning the CIA and applying its core concepts in my day-to-day work, I got extra mileage in my career.
8. What’s the best career advice you’ve ever received?
The best career advice I ever received was from a career coach who said that there is nothing to be ashamed of in failing because failing proves that you are at least trying and that you have learned. That’s what always motivates me to keep trying rather than focusing on the results, because I am learning continuously whether I pass or fail.
Nausheen Ahmed is an internal auditor for Marico Bangladesh Limited. Though she’s also worked in credit rating and business intelligence functions, Nausheen chose to focus her career in internal audit, as she appreciates the activity’s dynamic nature and the opportunities it affords to work across finance, marketing, supply chain, and business intelligence. She also has a deep interest in data analytics and agile internal auditing. Passionate about working to enhance the profession in her country, where internal audit is still in a developing phase, Nausheen participates regularly in capacity-building activities for IIA–Bangladesh. Her motto for success is to keep trust in the Almighty and do hard work — the world will be yours. And the most prestigious event in her career as an internal auditor was being recognized by Internal Auditor magazine as an Emerging Leader in 2020.
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About the CIA
As the only globally recognized certification for internal auditors and The IIA’s flagship credential for more than 40 years, the CIA sets the standard for excellence in the profession. Learn more.