Meet Jason Sookram, CIA: Full-time Internal Auditor, Part-time DJ
Jason Sookram, CIA
San Fernando, Trinidad & Tobago
1. What prompted you to become certified?
I originally pursued the CIA® certification with the hopes of eventually earning a promotion. However, after going through the process, I realized it offered so much more than that. It has proven invaluable in giving me the confidence to question work practices that are not in congruence with IIA Standards and adjust them accordingly.
2. What IIA certification(s) do you hold, and why did you choose to pursue it (them)? Do you plan to pursue other IIA certifications, and if so, which ones and why?
I currently hold the CIA certification and I may consider earning the Certified Financial Services Auditor® (CFSA®) designation depending on what direction I head in my career. I pursued the CIA to elevate the level of professionalism I offer auditees. It has been a blessing in allowing me to guide them more effectively through the process and avoid hap-hazard investigations.
3. How does having an IIA certification(s) set you apart from your non-certified peers?
I believe it has made me a more confident and marketable professional comparatively to my non-certified colleagues. The knowledge it has given me enables me to use the IIA Standards as a basis for all the audit procedures I carry out which elevates the level of service I provide to clients.
4. How has your IIA certification(s) helped your career?
It has helped me perform my job more effectively which will inevitably allow me to be more successful throughout my career. I have no doubt that the knowledge I gained through the certification process will never be lost and will be built upon with experience.
5. Has earning the IIA certification(s) enhanced your skill level?
Earning my CIA has strengthened my interviewing, documentation, and engagement planning skills. I have standardized my working paper management and interview processes in congruence with the IIA Standards which has allowed me to produce a higher quantity of qualitative reports.
6. What advice do you have for others who are considering obtaining an IIA certification?
Don’t take these exams lightly. Regurgitation will not help you. This is a thinking man/woman’s qualification. The exam questions are complicated and you really have to dissect them. Before you sit for the exam, make sure you truly understand the material, not just memorize answers.
7. How does career planning and development play a part in your growth?
Career planning and development should always be top of mind, but it is particularly important to carve out a path with purpose since job security is at a premium in these uncertain times. In lieu of job security, being a Certified Internal Auditor makes me more marketable and gives me the confidence to pursue new opportunities should my current employment circumstances change.
8. What’s the best career advice you’ve ever received?
Start with the end in mind and build the framework along the way. Consider where you want to be professionally in 20 years and chart a course to get there. I researched several job descriptions for chief audit executives and have identified professional development opportunities that will allow me to obtain the qualifications and experience necessary to eventually pursue that role in an organization.
Jason Sookram, CIA began his career in accounting. After serving as an accounting assistant and then teaching accounting courses for a brief period, he found his niche in internal audit. With nearly a decade of experience within the profession, he now serves as an internal auditor for an organization in the oil and gas industry. When he is not focusing on meeting stakeholder expectations within his organization, he throws himself into his passion for music, working as a disc jockey, dabbling in music production, and learning new instruments like the piano. He also spends time volunteering with local nonprofit organizations that give back to the community.
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About the CIA
As the only globally recognized certification for internal auditors and The IIA’s flagship credential for more than 40 years, the CIA sets the standard for excellence in the profession. Learn more.