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I'm super pleased to announce a brand new Advanced Techniques Webinar!!! On Wednesday November 19 at 7:00 PM CT, I will be presenting a 90 minute program on Advanced Techniques for Manipulating Data in Microsoft Excel. This program will include many high level tips that anyone who works in Excel should know. Date not convenient? No problem! People who sign up for the webinar will also receive a link to the recording afterwards. This program will qualify for 1.5 CAP recertification points. Space is limited!!!

To learn more, drop me an email at iaap@mrhenterprises.com.
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I often find it difficult to talk about myself, but I’m glad Marie made this homework assignment mandatory. I never considered joining IAAP or taking the CAP or OM exams until last April. While attending a chapter seminar, I won a free one-year membership to IAAP as a door prize. I took this as a sign that perhaps it was time to focus more attention on myself and some of my dreams that have been put on hold.

I have worked up through the ranks over the years from clerk typist to executive secretary senior and soon will have almost 30 years of service. While I have always taken the opportunity to increase my knowledge by attending workshops, seminars, etc., I always felt that “something” was missing. For various reasons, I didn’t complete college, and perhaps it is the void of not having a degree – something that signified an accomplishment – that I yearned for.  Whatever the reason, a little voice kept saying to me, “Now is the right time. You can do this. Go for it!”

I started inquiring about the CAP and OM exams. The thought of committing myself to more than the occasional one- or two-day workshop was a bit scary but exciting as well. For the first time in a long time, I am pursing something that is just for me - not to please anyone else, not because I have to, but because I see certification as an added bonus to my career. I have a real passion for my work, and I want to contribute as much as I can to my organization before I decide to retire. I know that my sound a little corny, but my entire 30 years of service has been with one organization, so there are some deep roots there.

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Henry Ford said, “Coming together is a beginning.  Keeping together is progress.  Working

together is success”.


As a Board, Western Canada Division is working hard to serve our Division members.  

Collectively, we are working together to ensure that our Chapters and members have the level of 

support needed to in order transition into the new structure.


The WCD Board is actively embracing the future and looks forward to the revitalized International 

Association of Administrative Professionals.  We applaud each and every member in our Division 

for your ongoing and continued support of IAAP.

In the midst of change, the essence of what makes our Association excellent remains.  Be 

encouraged to actively work towards the 2014-2015 Member of Excellence designation; consider 

obtaining your certification or continue working towards a successful recertification.

The essence of IAAP has not changed – be proud to belong to and collaborate with like-minded 

administrative professionals.
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I am writing this blog, my first ever blog, to fulfill an assignment by my CAP Study Group leader.  To start, let’s just say that I love words!  I truly appreciate the skill, patience, and commitment it takes to pull together a nicely written letter or document.  While I have never written a true “blog” before, and I am not absolutely sure that this one-time event could even be considered a true “blog,” I accept the challenge. 

Why am I taking the
CAP Examination?
In a nutshell, I am taking the
CAP exam because I know I can learn more and offer more to my employer all the while improving how I feel about myself. 
 

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A blog posting from another of my students. :)

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I have been in the Administrative field for about 5 years and I love it because my passion has always been to help others. Not until recently I came across IAAP and the CAP Certification. In my institution, no one knows what the CAP is, but in my research I was opened up to a whole new world. Everyone who is currently or has taken the certification seems so motivated and loves the career path that they have chosen. Having this certification will give me a better understanding of my institution and will in turn help me to be a better EA for my boss.

In deciding to choose the study group was easy, I looked at the study guide and the questions were much more involved than I anticipated. That made it easy; I needed to get into a study group! Choosing to be in a group will allow me the opportunity to share and gain new insights on particular topics which will in turn enrich my knowledge. I love my job and to have the CAP under my belt will only set me up for success and I can see that my future is bright.
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Pursuing my certification as an administrative assistant has been a goal of mine for several years.  When my employer offered to pay for the exam I jumped at the chance.  Having been out of school for quite some time though, I realized that my study and test taking skills were a little bit rusty to say the least so I knew that a study group would be well worth my money and time.  I had been searching for a study group for several months before I found the listing for Marie Herman's online study group. The fact that it is online worked  not only works perfectly for my busy schedule but also allows me learn and interact with the other students attending. I believe that a study group not only reinforces better learning skills but also builds confidence which I know I will need to pass the exam. 
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I have attended IAAP meetings in the Golden Corridor Chapter for the last few years and have thought about looking into the certification, but kept putting it off.  When my co-worker told me that she was looking into the study group to take the certification test, I thought it would be a good time for me to seriously consider signing up as well, so I did.  This is the first time I have taken an online course, which I am enjoying. It is convenient to take the course from home, the timing works out very well for me. I get home from work, walk my dog, eat some dinner, and then it is just about 7:00pm, and I am ready to log in and listen. 

I have been an administrative assistant for many years, so this is good information for me to review and get tips to improve my skills.  So far, I find the chapters to be interesting, and feel it should help me to grow, and get better at my job. I don't retain what I read very well, so reading and then reviewing it with the study group is very beneficial for me.  If I just relied on my reading to study for the certification test, I would not feel as confident as participating in the online study group classes.  The study group is making me feel more prepared for the actual test.  
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It has been some time since I have had to take a formal exam (with the exception of work related training).  It has also been some time that I have been thinking about taking the CAP Exam.  With the encouragement of a couple of IAAP members and friends, I have decided that now is the time! 

I have been fortunate enough to find an online study group to help me prepare for the exam. We are now two weeks into the study group and I can honestly say I look forward to "meeting" and learning each week.  It has truly helped to be a part of the study group in that is has reinforced some things I already know and clarifies those things that I might be on the fence about as far as my job is concerned. I am still a bit nervous about taking a 3 hour exam, however, as each week of the study group goes by I become more confident in what I already know and the new things I learn.  I am really looking forward to taking and passing the CAP Exam in March of 2015.

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I’ve been a member of IAAP for five years now and for some reason now just seems like the right time to get my CAP and OM certifications. I am very fortunate to have a boss who is extremely supportive of my participation in IAAP. In fact, when I gave her a copy of the chapter VP form for my personnel file, she asked why I was the only officer without a designation after my name. Okay, I’m SO ready for the letters after my name and to proudly explain what they mean and what it took to get them.

The study group is an excellent option for me because SQUIRREL! I know me and how I can be easily distracted by life. The group will keep me on track and will enhance my study habits. It’s been a while since school, but if I remember correctly, reading the materials, taking notes, and discussing in class always helped me be a better student.

Sure, I’m anxious about the time commitment and the exams themselves, but the time is now.

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My employer is always encouraging me to challenge myself.  I became a member of IAAP last year and soon set my sights on the CAP exam.

It is always beneficial to learn new skills and information, in order to improve my job as an office manager.

A study group will encourage me to be prepare for each meeting (no procrastinating!), a forum for asking questions and gaining perspective from the other members. Maybe even new study skills!

Passing the exam will also be a confidence builder!!  Then on to the  OM specialty exam!!
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So my first assignment in the CAP study group I am in is to create a blog... what a blog? Me writing a blog (now my nerves are starting up and my anxiety is starting to take control). My thoughts turn to who would want to read a blog that I write and do I really have anything really to say? Well here goes my first attempt at creating a blog of my thoughts...

Why are I taking the CAP Examination?
I decided to take the CAP examination for many reasons. I have been the Administrative profession now for almost 18 years. I have worked my way up the ladder and have gone as far as I can on my experience alone. Having no actual degree to fall back on, I decided that I would like to get a certification to add to my resume. I work with a great company and they have offered to pay for my certification, so here I am studying to get my certification.

What am I hoping to gain in the process?
Well besides the obvious of a certification, I am hoping to learn something new that I can share with the team of Administrative Professionals here at the company I work for. Being the lead Executive Assistant in my workplace I would like to also get one up on becoming an Office Manager one day.

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This is from one of my students who is not a member of IAAP, so can't post here. :)

Why I am taking the CAP exam?

I am taking the CAP exam because I want to have more certifications listed on my resume. I have never completed a certification outside of articulating my degree. In this day and age, certifications seem to be a new way of promoting continuing education and personal work achievements, all while maintaining a full time work load. Work and life balance is already difficult as an adult, but to adding educational development to your plan, can become stressful. The thought of perusing a Masters crossed my mind but certifications realistically made more sense. I have researched all types of certifications for my field and this was the top on my list when weighing out the pros and cons.

What I am hoping to gain in the process?

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What interested me most about joining IAAP was the certification.  I felt that having the designation of CAP or CAP-OM would be both beneficial to my own development as well as my career growth.  Since joining the Grady Health System chapter in 2012, I began studying both individually and with study groups developed within the chapter. However, during those years I was also in graduate school for my MBA and never registered to take the exams because I did not feel that I was prepared enough to pass and I am not one to waste my time or money if I do not feel I will have a positive outcome.  Although I have obtained my graduate degree, I feel that being a certified administrative professional gives more credence to my administrative skills and the support I give to others.  Although, studying for the exam online is a small undertaking with family responsibilities, I feel that in the long run the sacrifices made now will pay off in the long run and I look forward to changing my name plate to read, Riva Ellison-Davis, MBA, CAP-OM.

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I took the CAP exam in May 2013 and was short 14 points to reach the passing grade of 500.  Although this was short of my certification, I strongly believe that it was a very good effort. 

I regard the certification in CAP as a milestone of my years in administration which is so dear to my heart.   I am the Executive Assistant to  the CEO of my organization and I love my job and I love what I do.  Am very passionate about the satisfaction it brings me when I complete a task and not only that it is done to the best of my ability but persons including my manager appreciate the effort.  It is really a good feeling. 

In pursuing this course of study am hoping to gain knowledge on how to enhance my administrative skills and to make me more proficient in my job.

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Homework assigned by Marie Herman. I signed up for the study group to better prepare for tge March 3015 exam. The CAP certification is part of my goals for continuing education.
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As a seasoned executive assistant, I feel the need to prove that I am not only just as good an assistant as I was when I graduated at the top of my Secretarial School class in 1994, but that today I am a significantly better assistant.  My resume will show that I have 36 college credits and have over 20 years of experience, but I wanted a way to measure my current skills. I decided to take the CAP exam to do the measuring for me.  Of course, this also has the risk of proving the opposite of me.  So to give myself the best odds for passing the CAP exam, I joined a CAP exam study group. After attending two online study group sessions, I feel confident that I will be ready to take and pass the exam in March 2015.
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One more student who can't post a blog as she isn't a member. :)

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I want to become CAP certified because this degree will assist me in getting the best job that I am qualified for. I do not have a college education, and most of the employers are seeking ssistants with a bachelors degree, or professional secretarial degree, or CAP certified. Just studying the first 2 chapters has already helped me be better prepared for my interviews. 
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I have been an Executive Assistant to the CEO of a finance company in Boston for approximately seven years and I am ready to take the next step to becoming the Office Manager. I have gone to many seminars and in each they have recommended taking the CAP certification exam. The main reasons I am taking the exam, is to prove to myself that after seven years I perform my job well and to prove to my superiors that I am certainly qualified to move into a management role.

 

I enrolled the study group, because quite frankly I am a terrible studier on my own. I am the type of person that needs to have a course plan and I learn the best when others are speaking to me about the subject matter. The other minor reason is it gives me a little “me” time, which is hard for to find with two small children (shhhhh!). So far I have found the group very helpful to keep me on track.

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And one more from a student who was not able to post:

I work for an insurance company who recognizes the Certified Administrative Professional as a professional designation. I have been in an administrative professional role for most of my 25-year career. My company encourages personal development related to our individual roles, so I researched our library of designations and found the CAP information. This is a great fit for me, so I decided to take the online training course to prep for the exam in March 2015 and pursue the CAP certification.
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As many of you have probably noticed, I gave an assignment in my study group to have my students write a blog and share their experiences and thoughts in preparing for the CAP exam.

The following was written by a student who is unable to post on this site:

It has been some time since I have had to take a formal exam (with the exception of work related training). It has also been some time that I have been thinking about taking the CAP Exam. With the encouragement of a couple of IAAP members and friends, I have decided that now is the time!

I have been fortunate enough to find an online study group to help me prepare for the exam. We are now two weeks into the study group and I can honestly say I look forward to "meeting" and learning each week. It has truly helped to be a part of the study group in that is has reinforced some things I already know and clarifies those things that I might be on the fence about as far as my job is concerned. I am still a bit nervous about taking a 3 hour exam, however, as each week of the study group goes by I become more confident in what I already know and the new things I learn. I am really looking forward to taking and passing the CAP Exam in March of 2015.
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