Everything I needed to know for the CAE exam I learned by being a Freemason

SC-032_300Well, maybe not everything, but it gave me a good background for lots of topics and I credit some experience helping run my Masonic lodge with success on the test and with the CAE Kickoff class. I had already been part of financial audits, setting budgets, reviewing financial reports, and seen the necessity for transparency.

Here’s the thing. If you have experience helping to run a membership group, such as a fraternity or sorority, civic group, mutual benefit society, or anything else that falls under the 501(c) designation, you already have experience in the space covered by the CAE exam. Figuring out how to turn those experiences into relevant learning material for the purpose of understanding association best practices covered in the CAE exam may be the hard part. If you are part of a membership group that collects dues, such as the Moose Lodge, you have issues of membership, finance, governance, facilities, leadership, possibly UBIT issues, and more.

Think about how your previous experiences – even volunteer experiences – relate to the CAE exam, association management, and other topics. I bet there is more overlap than you initially thought there might be. A lot of that can be good learning material.