UP alumnus placed third in global exam

Posted on September 09, 2020

Hanre Erasmus, an alumnus of UP’s Faculty of Economic and Management Sciences, achieved third place in the world in the February 2020 sitting of Chartered Institute of Management Accountants’ (CIMA's) Strategic Case Study exam. The pass rate for this specific exam was 52%.
“I can't describe the sense of accomplishment after hearing about the third place I got. I didn't expect this at all, but it is a welcome addition to my academic journey,” he says.
The CIMA Strategic Case Study exam takes place four times per year in February, May, August and November. It is the last exam to be written before a CIMA student can apply for full membership to the professional body. Therefore, participants would have to pass the Operational and Managerial levels of the qualification, and three subjects on the Strategic level, before being able to sit the Strategic Case Study. 
CIMA tries to simulate a real-life scenario by providing a case study of a company within a specific industry. Erasmus explains that, in the case study, CIMA provides industry information, financial information, company structure and management of the company. This helps with preparation for the exam.
“On exam day, you have to prepare for a three-hour computer-based exam which includes, on average, six long questions. Additional unseen information is provided on exam day, which forms the base of the questions. The real-life simulation continues with questions in the form of e-mails from board members and other members of management, memo's or meeting discussions to be held.”
The aim is to test business skills, technical skills, people skills and leadership skills. To pass, CIMA requires proficiency in all four of these areas.
Erasmus’s CIMA journey started with the CIMA Global Business Challenge, which was used as his group’s final year Financial Management project.
“My lecturer at the time, Ms Viljoen, introduced us to CIMA with this project. Our group went on to win the South African leg of the Global Business Challenge, which gave us the opportunity to participate in India against participants from other countries. Ms Viljoen assisted us through the journey and if it wasn't for her, and the University of Pretoria, I probably wouldn't have pursued the CIMA journey. On an academic level, the skill to approach problems holistically and technical skills taught by the university and Ms Viljoen provided the best base any CIMA student can ask for,” he notes.
He attempted the Operational level in 2015. “During the five years, I had to stop with my studies due to professional responsibilities, and had to restart again. In 2019 I started with the Strategic level of the qualification and completed three individual subjects' examinations. I then started to prepare in September 2019 for the SCS exam in February 2020.”
Erasmus’s passion lies with strategic insight and an integrated and holistic approach to business and his future plans include assisting his company with international expansion. He is also considering an MBA qualification. 
- Author Department of Financial Management

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