Why I became a CLP.Wendy L. Storino
--"Received a better job/brighter future"
This is the Sixteenth article in a series about the Certified Lease Professional program, explaining why individuals decided to become a CLP, the process, and their reaction to the knowledge and other benefits gained. It is recommended you read others in the series, a cross section of the equipment leasing industry to learn how this helped the individual person and their career.
Wendy L. Storino
End of Lease Manager
Shared Services Organization
Wendy spent the majority of her life in the Chicago Illinois area and recently relocated to Florida. She is married with one child; her hobbies include reading, spending time with family, and since moving to Florida, would really like to take up scuba diving.
She has broad experiences in customer service, end-of-lease, vendor relations, pricing and administration. Her strengths include extensive knowledge in Leasing, as evidenced by the CLP designation. She also believes that in addition to her experience and credential, it is her technical ability with the capacity to manage multiple projects efficiently that attracted CIT to hire her.
"Received a better job/brighter future"
I was working for a mid size leasing company when the corporation decided to sponsor experienced professionals in our company to go through the CLP Training and take the exam. As I sat in the first class, I was honored to be chosen to participate among so many professionals from all levels of the business. The first thing the instructor told us was that of those that decided to attend the training, about 50% wouldn't not make it through the training sessions, and to the final exam; and of those that made it to the final exam, only 65% would pass. He did not say this to intimidate us, but he wanted to convey the difficult journey we were about to undertake, sitting for the 6 to 7 hour exam is not for the weak. Naturally, this only fueled my desire to attend the training classes, study the materials and pass the test.
I first learned about the CLP designation while I was doing some consulting work with a leasing company. Like many leasing professionals, I was laid off during the downsizing of a large organization. I saw a CLP Plaque on the wall of a Vice President's office and asked what it meant to be a CLP, and like many people, my initial response was, "I can do that" believing that since I had been involved with several areas of the leasing organizations I worked for, I felt I had a firm understanding of the aspects of leasing. I did some more research into the CLP Organization and certification process and soon made it a personal goal to become a CLP.
I was eventually hired by the company that I was consulting for, to build their customer service and end of lease department. I soon listed this goal as one of my professional goals and objectives for that year. This was the year my company sponsored the training and exam for professionals in the organization. I was very excited. I tried to organize study groups, I put together a calendar to schedule time to go over the materials in each chapter with my colleagues between training sessions, and set up meetings to discuss sections of the CLP handbook. I did not get a lot of cooperation from my colleagues, so I decided to just make sure I knew the material backwards and forwards.
I studied weekends, wrote down key sections in my own binder, and used mind mapping techniques to make sure I had fully understood the sections; then I used colored paper clips to reference the sections that I felt I mastered, but wanted to go over again just in case I missed something. I even made flashcards. I felt like I was in school again no doubt, but I was determined to pass that exam.
When I sat down to take the test, I surveyed the room and found that not only was I the only female sitting for the exam that day, I was the only person in the room below a Vice President level with the company. I was certainly nervous, but confident that I would pass that exam. The trainer was right, about 50% of the people that began the class, slowly dropped out and didn't make it to the exam, and around 65% of those that took the exam passed.
I now work for a global leasing company as an Asset Manager. Having the CLP designation not only makes me proud that I know my profession, but I really believe it helped me obtain a better job and gives me a brighter future.