become proficient in one area, become the chief executive or
gain experience to find alternate employment.
Hudson: I wanted a role that would allow me to design innovative programs.
Moody: I wanted to take the steps that would prepare me ultimately to become a chief executive.
Freyer: I always wanted to pursue an advanced degree and was
encouraged to do so. I wanted to learn the theories and models that made something work.
UNDERSTAND HOW EACH CONTRIBUTES
TO YOUR COMPETENCY
Bergeson: I had my advanced degree prior to becoming an executive and, while not seemingly pertinent to my current work, it
helped me gain critical skills for success. The CAE helps me
sharpen my skills specific to association management and keeps
my knowledge current.
Freyer: The CAE experience and interaction with colleagues provides a holistic understanding of the mechanics of association
management. My advanced degree provides specific terminology and theories that enable me to understand why and how
something works. I also attained board certification in the profession that I serve. This gives me an additional level of credibility with our affiliates and more knowledge of the challenges
of the profession, and makes me more effective in my role.
Moody: The CAE grounded me in the fundamentals of association management and provided the foundation skills necessary
to be successful. My advanced degree expanded my understanding of the association as a business; I learned to ask the
questions that helped me understand the association in ways
that I could develop strategies to make it more competitive and
increase value for my members.
Hudson: I secured my advanced degree prior to working for
my first association. It gave me the theoretical principles and
processes of organizational and community development that
were immediately applicable to association management. The
CAE gave me a different, more rounded perspective of association operations.
HIRING PRACTICES: WHAT BECOMES
Moody: I look first for relevant experience in a potential
employee. I recognize a previous employer may not have given
him or her support or the resources to pursue any type of education. Then I listen to see if they have a passion to continue
learning. I ultimately hire someone with the expectation that he
or she will at least pursue the CAE.
Bergeson: Any sort of advanced degree jumps out at me. It
speaks to their dedication, drive and focus. The CAE also
reflects a commitment to learning about managing associations.
Freyer: The CAE is a good way to demonstrate your
knowledge of managing an association. An advanced degree
reflects a different commitment to learning because of the
requirements for achievement. If I have to choose, I prefer a
new employee with an advanced degree to one with a CAE
and no advanced degree — all else being equal.
Hudson: During my tenure as a staff executive, there were very
few CAEs so the designation didn’t quite hold the same legitimacy as now. Two decades later, I notice a vast difference among
the staff who possess a CAE; they demonstrate a more thorough
understanding of the association and its operations. Those with
ANY SORT OF ADVANCED
DEGREE JUMPS OUT AT
ME. IT SPEAKS TO THEIR
DEDICATION, DRIVE AND
FOCUS. THE CAE ALSO
REFLECTS A COMMIT-
MENT TO LEARNING
ABOUT MANAGING ASSO-