Hank Windhorst, CPA, CGMA

Financial Planning Consultant, Chick-fil-A Corporate

Motivation to get the CGMA Designation
At Chick-fil-A, personal responsibility and professional development are woven into our company culture. With the support of my supervisor, I chose to pursue the CGMA opportunity as the logical next step toward my goal of becoming a more well-rounded finance professional.

The journey through taking the live and self-study learning
helped me perform much better on exam. I really enjoyed and benefited immensely from the class with Adrian Sims. The live course helped me stay on point, manage my time well and focus on what you I needed to know (you could get lost with all the detail in thinking about what the examiners COULD ask). The feedback I got from the mock exam was perhaps the most helpful part of entire course.

Thoughts on the CGMA exam and format
It was less about memorization — the case study/essay format forces application of concepts. The Program is almost like a mini/drive-by MBA. It's tough to get ""in the weeds"" with any one area. In some ways, it seems that the certification is the beginning rather than the capstone. The ambiguous nature of the questions mirrors real-life assignments (i.e., give me a few talking points about XYZ project in the next few hours)

Value of going through the Program
I got a much better understanding of concepts such as change management, linking KPIs to business outcomes/balanced scorecard/benchmarking, Triple bottom line: (profit, people, planet) and different types of risk/stakeholder analysis. I would cite the achievement of the CGMA designation as part of my overall resume and I would recommend the CGMA to any peer who would benefit.

Value of earning the CGMA designation
In my role as a financial planning analyst, I’m fortunate to be able to sit in on and occasionally participate in meetings with many of my organization’s key functional leaders. The CGMA body of knowledge has helped me ""connect the dots"" in these meetings by providing a framework that facilitates my understanding of many topics that are discussed.

I believe that human nature is to “take sides” and hold on to preconceived notions when evaluating a difficult business issue. The CGMA teaches the discipline of evaluating both the upside and downside risks of business issues in a systematic and effective way.