Logical-R employee Kevin Moyles works at Ames Research Center on the Financial Support Services (FSS) contract. He has been working on his professional development by completing two professional certifications and has gone back to school to work on his MBA. I interviewed Kevin to find out what these major achievements entailed and gather his thoughts on their benefits in his career.
Q: What is your title, and what responsibilities do you have in your job function?
A: I am a Senior Cost Analyst at Ames. I do Re-entry technology financial resource support for the Re-entry Technology Division (TS). We have 8-9 Project Managers directly managing budget execution. I also do Reimbursable Agreements and Partnership Agreements. I develop division rates – what we charge NASA customers, both outside and inside. These rates are what we charge divisions for the use of our labs, WYEs, and FTEs. I also develop the division assessment rate, which is like a tax to use our employees.
Q: How long have you been doing this work?
A: I have been at my current job for a little over 2 years, and I have been at Ames a little over 3 years.
Q: What certifications and courses have you been working on or have received?
A: I did the Certified Managerial Account (CMA) Certification about a year ago. This certification is over cost accounting and corporate financial management – dividends, stock value, and things like that.
In April, I started the certification in Strategy and Competitive Analysis, which I took the final exam on September 7. Dr. Hubert Glover recommended this certification because I had received the CMA cert.
On August 26, I started working towards my MBA as well. So, between August 26 and September 7, I was working on both the strategy certification and the MBA, which was a little hectic. However, the MBA is only one class at a time each 8 weeks. They are condensed courses, but at least they are only 8 weeks each. Luckily my first class was an Excel class, which helped ease me into the workload.
Q: Speaking of workload, my next question was on how that has been. How has going for these certifications and the MBA been with a full-time job?
A: A few things you should know about me is I have two toddlers at home, and I commute about 62 miles to work.
The culture at NASA is very conducive to all this. We have flexible schedules, work/life balance is very important here, and we have every other Friday off. All of that makes something like this possible. It probably wouldn’t be as feasible at other companies most likely.
Q: What made you decide to get these certifications and the MBA?
A: My personal philosophy is to consistently improve both professionally and spiritually. Professional development is important to continually grow stronger. When I got hired, the first cert and the MBA were already planned. Hubert made the offer that Logical-R would help pay for the program, which propelled me to get the first cert, which then probably propelled the MBA. Then he suggested the second cert. By then, all of this was already a habit.
Q: What kind of work does it take to get these certs and an MBA?
A: The certs are kind of work at your own pace. You get the books and have online resources, and then you schedule your exams whenever you are ready. The CMA cert had two exams – Cost Accounting and Financial Management. The exams are multiple choice and essay.
The MBA is one course every 8 weeks. With the CMA cert, I was well ahead of schedule working toward the exams. However, with the MBA, there is work due every 3 to 4 days. I felt overwhelmed for the first week or two, but I kept working and dealing with it, and it was fine.
Q: Have you noticed that these certs have helped in your job?
A: Yes, absolutely. It is making me an incredibly better employee, making me more strategic, more analytical, more thoughtful with a better perspective.
There is definitely a technical overlap when developing rates for the division – indirect costs, direct costs, etc. Some equations can be quantitatively confusing, and my ability to think about it has improved.
As an example: there is a standard labor rate, but the actual does not equal the standard rate. You have variances such as different employees get paid different rates. There can be variances in hours worked too. I’m able to isolate these two variables, break them down and analyze them and figure out why they are different much quicker now. My ability to figure out why it is not equaling comes much quicker.
Q: Have your customers or supervisors noticed a difference in your work, or have they appreciated your efforts in your professional development?
A: I think my customers and supervisors see that I am finding ways to make things better and find efficiencies. They know that I am doing my MBA and trying to improve, and they value that. They may not know exactly what certifications I have worked on, but they see I am looking for ways to improve and work on my professional development and make things stronger all the time.
I just want to say that this is great because I love talking about myself (laughs).
Q: (Laughs) That’s good! I’m glad we can give you a chance to talk about yourself. Would you recommend other employees who will read this consider getting certifications or an MBA?
A: I think anybody that has a strong accounting background and is working on budgeting and would like to bolster that background should consider it. Maybe if they are in their 40s or 50s and in a senior position, then maybe not. But anybody trying to move up in their career; it is worth it.
Q: Do you have any advice for our readers?
A: I would highly suggest always trying to bolster professional development. These MBAs and certs are affordable and cost effective. I highly suggest people do them.
Q: Anything else you would like to say to our readers?
A: I am very grateful for the support from Logical-R. I owe a lot to Logical-R, and I am very grateful to the organization.
We at Logical Innovations would like to congratulate Kevin Moyles on his outstanding achievements and his ongoing endeavors in his professional development! We appreciate all of the time and hard work necessary for these accomplishments, and we are grateful for his dedication to his growth!
-The Logical Blogger