Flourishing as a CPSM - An Insiders Point of View

Flourishing as a CPSM - An Insiders Point of View

An Interview with Susannah Culbertson, CPSM,
SMPS Nashville Past President

Written by Morgan Pare, SMPS Nashville Communications Chair


Being a Certified Professional Services Marketer (CPSM) means being a part of something special. Those earning or having already achieved their CPSM have successfully positioned themselves among an elite group of professional services marketers who have invested in themselves, understand and embrace the need for continuous improvement through education; enhancing their opportunity for professional success.

As we enter CPSM Week 2018, I had the opportunity to speak with Susannah Culbertson, CPSM, Past President of SMPS Nashville, directly to her experience earning her CPSM and what it truly means to earn a CPSM. Here is what she had to share.

M: What motivated you to become CPSM certified?

S: “My background is engineering, not business or marketing. I was always trying to learn the ins-and-outs of being a great marketer. The CPSM certification program is, in my experience, the best way to learn just that. Not only did it reinforce tasks I was already performing at my firm, but I gained great, new insights that I was able to implement immediately. Not only was it influential to my role, but it became impactful to my firm. We all have ‘experts’ in our offices. Whether it’s an environmental engineering specialist or a healthcare facility solutions expert with a clinical background. Why not be a certified expert in your role?”


M: What does it mean to you to have your CPSM?

S: “It is an honor to achieve and a professional designation that is respected within the A/E/C marketing and business development community. It’s even more validation to your firm and other industry professionals.”


M: If you could describe the most challenging, yet gratifying, aspect about achieving your CPSM, what would it be?

S: “It was very challenging to make time to study! And remembering how to study, to be honest. Being in the working, professional environment for so long, I needed to figure out how to best manage my time between working, designate time being on the BOD with SMPS and studying for CPSM. Once you get into the swing of that aspect again you feel more accomplished, and in turn, more productive. It’s absolutely challenging, but worth it in the end.”


M: CPSM week highlights Hemmingway’s famous ‘six-word story’. What would yours be?

S: Studying stinks. Worth it for CPSM.  


M: What would you like to do for SMPS Nashville members trying to earn their CPSM?

S: “I’d like to be a resource and sounding board as they study for the exam. A great resource for me were tips on taking the test. It can be tricky, especially if you’ve been out of school for a while.”


M: What was your greatest resource before AND after earning your CPSM?

S: “SMPS! I attended R2C in Atlanta and I tell everyone that without it I would have never passed. It opened a whole new world of test taking tips, great “been there, done that” stories and comradery while studying. The CPSM group on MySMPS is a tremendous daily resource as well.”


M: Why would you encourage others to get their CPSM?

S: “If you are serious about your career in A/E/C marketing and/or business development, it’s a no-brainer to learn and grow in the industry. The CPSM designation shows you are doing just that.”


If you are one of those on the fence about earning your CPSM reach out to Susannah and follow SMPS headquarters all week long for stories, tips and fun facts you may not know about CPSM!


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