Past Issues/Subscribe | Advertise | February 2013

Keep Yourself Motivated

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One of the most common tips to keep yourself motivated to go to the gym is to find an exercise buddy. Studying for the CMP, I found that tip to also be essential when sticking to my studying regimen. Discipline and motivation are much easier when you have a CMP "exercise buddy" by your side, and you’re both working toward the same goal.

In November of 2011, just days after moving to Washington, D.C. from Minneapolis, Minnesota, for a new job, I attended my first PMPI meeting . I was very shy and not good at networking, but I did manage to make one connection that would prove helpful in the future. At the PMPI Insider after the meeting, I met Rachel Nedelman, recently promoted to Sales Manager at the Hilton Alexandria Mark Center. We chatted about the D.C. area, our recent moves and soon found out that we both had it in our sights to obtain our CMP in the near future.

Rachel and I became friends but also kept in mind that goal of getting our CMP, and in October of 2012 we applied and were both accepted as CMP candidates. In November, we started our CMP training regimen. Over the last three months, we have met weekly, reviewing reading, asking questions, and discussing issues we had questions on from weekly reading. We are a small study group, but we balance each other out well, as I can ask her questions about the hotel side of things that I don’t understand, and I can explain the planner’s view and ultimately help her understand those issues that she doesn’t normally deal with.

After an intense 12 week training period, Rachel and I went into the final stretch of training and ultimately ended up at the big final training session - PMPI’s CMP Boot Camp. Thanks to PMPI Cares, I was able to spend two days at the Hyatt Regency in Bethesda reviewing and clarifying months of studying to help prepare for the exam. PMPI brought in current CMPs and members of the association to help us review key areas such as program planning, food and beverage, and the dreaded contracts and insurance areas.

The most valuable part of the training for us was the part we weren’t able to get through our weekly "workouts." At the Boot Camp, we were led by people that had actually taken and passed the test. They knew how to help us prepare, gave us information on the exam itself as well as the format, and helped us zero-in on areas we wouldn’t have known to really focus on. We asked about 500 questions, took numerous practice exams, and walked out of there still scared but more prepared.

Thanks to the PMPI Boot Camp and my CMP "workout buddy", I was given the tool to pass the exam.

Stephanie Szurek
Senior Education Associate
Solar Electric Power Association

Knoxville Tourism & Sports Corporation
The Boar's Head


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