Earning the CEM designation is a game changer! IAEE interviewed graduate Michael Droeger, CEM of SEMI. Read his journey on earning the CEM designation and why he became CEM game changer!
Hometown: San Francisco
University of Education: University of California, Davis (BA) and University of Colorado, Boulder (MA)
How has the CEM designation helped in your career?
I’m a freshly minted CEM, so I can’t say it has helped just yet, but I know from my peers and colleagues that having the CEM designation has put them at the forefront of the exhibitions and events industry. You don’t need to be a CEM to do great things, but having earned the CEM means you’ve identified yourself as a doer of great things.
Why is it important to maintain the CEM designation?
Maintaining your CEM designation is a sign that you’re committed to remaining at the top of your game and our industry. Not only that, but why would you want to lose something you’ve worked hard to achieve?
What made you want to obtain your CEM designation?
I wanted to expand my knowledge and better understand the inner workings of the exhibitions and events business, ultimately so I can do more than I have already done in this industry. Having the CEM designation shows dedication to continuous learning and growth, which employers (current and future) should value.
What advice would you give to an aspiring individual who wants to apply for the CEM program?
While the lessons can be challenging, you’ll be surprised how much you already know–and how much you don’t. Use your classroom experience to make the most of your in-person and online interactions. Ask questions and solicit feedback from your peers and instructors. Some of the most valuable lessons aren’t in the workbooks!
How did you start your career in this industry?
I started simply enough as a temp in the PR department of a trade association, but after my first show, I was hooked.
How have you made a difference with your show or with working with a client by applying the knowledge you gained by obtaining your CEM designation?
As a new CEM, I have yet to test the value of achieving the designation, but I have already been able to put the lessons to use, from honing marketing communications plans to reviewing vendor contracts.
What was it that you did or implemented right after obtaining your CEM?
That’s easy: I updated my LinkedIn profile!
What did you like most about the CEM Learning Program?
I really enjoyed the interaction with my peers and instructors. We all have different experiences and perspectives that enhance the lessons we learn and in many ways exceed the content of the reading materials.